Russia infiltrates Antifa groups in Germany to ignite far-right

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Throughout May, German Antifa websites operated by the Kremlin promote local protests of left-wing anti-fascists in hopes of creating chaos and further dividing the two sides of German politics.

Russia was caught doing the same thing in the United States in 2015 and 2016. While the Kremlin was helping Trump’s campaign, they were also using social media to increase progressive / populist messaging, Black Lives Matter protests, and the Bernie Sanders campaign.

In Germany, the far-right Alternative for Germany party, or AfD, gets strong support from both official Russian government media and unofficial pro-Russian channels. But Mr. Jones, the former F.B.I. analyst, said the Kremlin also appeared to amplify messages from AfD’s staunchest opponents, left-wing anti-fascists. That would underscore what analysts say is Russia’s true interest — sowing political discord in democracies, regardless of ideology.

One example: Websites promoting what appear to be two local German anti-fascist groups, Antifa West Berlin and Antifa Nord Ost, share a server used by Russian government hackers who attacked the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election. The registration information for one of the German sites includes an anonymized email address that was also used to set up a pair of Russian spearphishing sites.

This month, these two websites prodded thousands of Twitter followers to attend an anti-AfD rally in Berlin. The murky combination of anonymous online content and in-the-street action is reminiscent of 2016, when Russian groups pushed people in the United States to attend rallies claiming to support both Black Lives Matter and the police.

The New York Times


Photo: seven resist

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