New publication: New Strategies of Transnational European-U.S. Right-Wing Extremist Combat Sports Networks
by Alexander Ritzmann
This article assesses the main strategies, networks, and threat potentials affiliated with the activities of two current key right-wing extremist (RWE) leaders who first met in 2018 at a combat sports and music festival in Germany. The younger of the two, U.S. citizen Robert Rundo, later created one of the largest transnational right-wing extremist combat sports networks, called Active Clubs. His role model and mentor, the Russian citizen Denis Kapustin (aka Nikitin), has been building the foundation for this network in Europe since 2006. Kapustin is currently the commander of the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK) military unit that fights on the side of Ukraine against the invading Russian army.
Transnational RWE networks pose significant challenges for the national security of the United States and Europe. This article will address two current manifestations of this threat. First, it addresses the White Supremacy 3.0 strategy. This strategy aims to grow the existing RWE combat sports network in the United States and beyond by mainstreaming its visible activities, particularly through a focus on promoting athletic aesthetics, fitness, and sports. If successfully implemented, this strategy could significantly increase the number of combat sports-trained RWE individuals.
Second, members of RWE combat sports networks are currently fighting on both sides of the Russian war on Ukraine. RWE individuals have access to military combat training and state-of-the-art weapons of war. Some are gathering battlefield experience. This development will likely lead to the militarization of RWE combat sports networks and can have serious implications for threats to Jewish, Islamic, LGTBQ+, and other communities.
This article assesses the main strategies, networks, and threat potentials affiliated with the activities of two current key right-wing extremist (RWE) leaders who first met in 2018 at a combat …