White supremacist David Duke has set his sights on Russia. Saying that the
nation holds the "key to white survival," Duke has recently embarked
on a campaign to spread his racial theories of white superiority and
anti-Semitism in the former Soviet Union. The notorious American hatemonger has
recently launched an appeal to Russian nationalists. In Duke’s eyes, Russia
presents an unmatched opportunity to help protect the longevity of the white
race, since he predicts that "racially aware" parties could achieve
political influence there. He believes that Russia’s "sense of racial
understanding" will unleash a trend internationally.
Duke has taken at least three recent trips to Russia to speak with
nationalists and to promote his new book, The Ultimate Supremacism: My
Awakening on the Jewish Question (the Russian title translates as The
Jewish Question Through the Eyes of an American). Duke has indicated he may
move there to more actively "struggle against people of other colors and
with Jews," according to the Interfax news agency.
During his visits to Russia, Duke has held a rally at a respected literary
museum and met with nationalist leaders there, including former Communist
lawmaker General Albert Makashov, a figure well known for anti-Semitic
statements. Duke went to Russia this past summer at the invitation of Alexander
Prokhanov, editor-in-chief of Zavtra (Tomorrow), an ultra-nationalist
newspaper, and Konstnatin Kasimovsky, the head of an anti-Semitic organization
called Russian Action. At the time, several Russian nationalist publications ran
reports on Duke’s visit to Moscow. An Internet forum of Russian neo-Nazi
skinheads praised the meeting with Duke, who was termed "a well-known
Since December, Duke’s book has been sold openly in the main lobby of the
State Duma (Congress), for 50 rubles (about $1.80) - an affordable price by
Russian standards. The first printing of 5,000 copies was almost sold out within
several weeks. A second printing is reportedly due out soon. The book itself is
actually a Russian translation of the chapter on "the Jewish question"
from Duke’s autobiography My Awakening.
In his presentation of the book to the Moscow press, Duke pointed out that
both America and Russia suffer from "Jewish oligarchy," and revealed
his concern about the presence of Russian Jews in the media and large
businesses. The book is a co-production of Duke’s Free Speech Press and
Tsentrkniga Ltd., a large Moscow publishing house that has several anti-Semitic
titles in its catalog.
Duke’s visits and his book have attracted little attention from the Russian
news media and the public. Only a few leading public figures have
commented about Duke’s activities in Russia. During the first week of
February, the Parliament’s legislation committee chairman Pavel Krasheninnikov
said Duke’s rhetoric violated Russian law banning instigation of racial and
ethnic enmity, and could lead to legal actions against him. Further, he
suggested that Duke’s alleged plan to remain in Russia indefinitely could
force an official reaction.
"If it’s not a provocation or a dirty public relations stunt aimed at
attracting attention, Russia’s law enforcement should deal with this
person," he said.
Duke’s ideas are not new for Russian extremists, and some have expressed
doubts that the former Klan leader could build a significant following in
Russia. Prokhanov said Duke’s ideas are unoriginal and therefore will not
attract much attention. "All the things that are said in the book are as
old as time," he said in an interview.
However, Duke’s propaganda might seem credible, since he can present
himself as a respected American author and politician. According to Andrei
Fefilov, an ultranationalist activist and journalist, Duke’s ideas will fall
on fertile soil in Russia. "There are so many patriots in Russia today who
are ready to support Duke’s White idea, many more such people than you may
think," Fefilov said, according to Moscow’s Kommersant daily.
Because Duke has not been barred from Russia, and not many leading figures
have spoken out against him, Duke’s activities may be a sign of an apparent
willingness of Russian leaders to tolerate the views and activities of
ultra-nationalists. Further, Duke has positioned himself to take on a possible
role attempting to broker cooperation between nationalists in Russia and in
Western nations - an area of concern, given Russia’s history of anti-Semitism.
Duke says Russia can help solve the "crisis faced by the White World"
by becoming the only national government to stand up for white interests only.
He hopes this development would cause "a domino effect that would cascade
through the whole world." According to Duke, Russians have a greater
knowledge than Westerners of the "power of International Zionism and the
dominant Jewish role in orchestrating the immigration and multiculturalism that
is undermining the West."
ADL Moscow Actions
The ADL office in Russia urged the Moscow Prosecutor to open an investigation
of Boris Mironov, a leading ultranationalist who wrote an anti-Semitic
introduction to Duke's book. The office also initiated a letter from a prominent
Duma member to Russia’s Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov, urging that a
criminal case be opened against the author and the Russian publisher of Duke’s
book. The letter by Alexander Fedulov described the book as anti-Semitic and as
violating Russian anti-hate crime laws. Russian legislation prohibits racial,
ethnic and religious incitement which is a punishable crime under the criminal
Duke in America
Duke’s Louisiana-based organization, the National Organization for European
American Rights (N.O.F.E.A.R.) - founded in January 2000 -- focuses on the
threat to "white rights" posed by immigration and multiculturalism,
and stands to gain publicity from Duke’s activities in Russia.
Duke is currently under investigation by federal agents in the United States
for gambling away money donated by supporters. He served in the Louisiana
Legislature in the 1980s, ran for the U.S. Senate from Louisiana in 1990 and for
Louisiana governor in 1991. He has also served as an elected committeeman of the
Republican Party in his home state of Louisiana. Duke now serves as president of