Keynote: Putin’s Russia and the European Far Right

VenueAula on the Campus, Spitalgasse 2, Hof 1.11., University of Vienna

Although contacts between Russian political actors and European far-right activists emerged already in the 1990s, they remained relatively low-profile until the second presidential term of Vladimir Putin that started in 2004. As the Kremlin became increasingly anti-Western, contacts with the European far right became more intense and operated at a higher level. The lecture shows that the Russian establishment was first interested in using the Western far right to legitimise Moscow’s politics and actions both domestically and internationally, but then Moscow began to support particular far-right political forces to gain leverage on European politics and undermine the liberal-democratic consensus in the West. In conclusion, the lecture discusses relations between Russia and the European far right against the background of the escalation of the Russian war against Ukraine in February 2022.

Dr. Anton Shekhovtsov received his PhD from University College London (UK) in 2018. Today he is Director of the Centre for Democratic Integrity (Austria), Associated Fellow at the Research Center for the History of Transformations at the University of Vienna (Austria), and an expert at the European Platform for Democratic Elections (Germany). He is the author of the books New Radical Right-Wing Parties in European Democracies (2011) and Russia and the Western Far Right (2017). He also published numerous op-eds in international media, and several academic articles in Journal of Democracy, Russian Politics and Law, Europe-Asia Studies, Nationalities Papers, and Patterns of Prejudice, among others.

This keynote lecture is part of the event Ukraine Kennen:Lernen by the Research Center for the History of Transfromations (RECET).