A representative of one of Ukraine’s most prominent ultra-nationalist political parties, National Corps (Azov), is slated to speak later this year alongside United States-based white nationalists Jared Taylor and Kevin MacDonald in Finland, furthering the group’s effort to expand its mission abroad within an international network of hate.
National Corps has sought to expand its reach by allying with radical white nationalist groups across Europe and in the United States, much like South African nationalist groups have done. In April, Azov hosted a mixed-martial-arts fight in Kyiv that featured Robert Rundo, founder of the U.S.-based and explicitly violent neo-Nazi gang Rise Above Movement, facing off against a Ukrainian contender who is a member of Azov. (The Ukrainian won.) Back in the U.S., Rundo is facing federal charges for conspiracy to commit acts of violence for his cause, the result of a series of attacks allegedly conducted against a number of people (including two journalists) by Rundo and two other RAM members at a March 2017 rally in Huntington Beach, California, as well as for allegedly punching two people at an April 2017 rally in Berkeley.
Undeterred by any bad press rendered by the Rundo MMA fight, members of the Finns Youth Party, a far-right nationalist organization, are moving ahead with plans to feature two self-styled intellectuals of the U.S. white nationalist movement at their “Awakening II” conference.
Taylor is the founder and editor of the white nationalist publication American Renaissance, where authors are known for attempting to conceal their racism under a thin veneer of academic analysis. He has a decades-long background in the white nationalist movement and hosts an annual conference where last year speakers gloated about recruiting a new generation of youth to their cause. Taylor has occasionally toyed with anti-Semitism as he pushes for his vision of an “entho-state” in which the United States would maintain a white supermajority ruling class by wielding the powers of the state against non-white people.
MacDonald is the author of a book that numerous anti-Semites, such as white nationalist and failed U.S. congressional candidate Paul Nehlen, have cited as their inspiration for developing an anti-Semitic worldview. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists MacDonald as a white nationalist who “argues that anti-Semitism, far from being an irrational hatred for Jews, is a logical reaction to Jewish success in societies controlled by other ethnic or racial groups.”
Last year’s Awakening took place in a secret location in Helsinki and was organized by Tuukka Kuru, a Finns Party Youth member who described the conference as a “white existence” event to News Now Finland. A poster for last year’s event listed Taylor, white nationalist author Greg Johnson, and alt-right YouTubers Colin “Millennial Woes” Robertson, Paul “RamZPaul” Ramsey, and Marcus “The Golden One” Follin as planned speakers (Follin reportedly canceled his appearance before last year’s event).
For National Corps, Semenyaka’s appearance at Awakening II is the continuation of an ongoing mission to make their far-right agenda an international political issue. Semenyaka spoke last year at an ethno-nationalist conference in Estonia called “Etnofutur II” alongside Ramsey, Robertson and Swedish alt-right figure Daniel Friberg. Last year, Semenyaka was credited for organizing a National Socialist (a.k.a. Nazi) black metal music festival called “Asgardsrei” in Ukraine.
The international strategy National Corps is hoping to leverage comes from a playbook used by other white nationalists elsewhere in the world, with varying degrees of success. Last year, South Africa far-right activists were able to leverage that network to disseminate “white genocide” conspiracy theories surrounding land expropriation discussions in their country that eventually found their way to President Trump’s Twitter feed.
The conference was promoted by racist Rebel Media correspondent Katie Hopkins.
FINLAND – please consider signing up firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time to stand up for your daughters. Finland First.
06 April 2019 pic.twitter.com/bYrXrGaDhm
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) January 2, 2019