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From Turin to Varese, the thread that binds Italy’s ultra-right to Putin’s Russia

Sunday 31 March 2019, by siawi3


From Turin to Varese, the thread that binds Italy’s ultra-right to Putin’s Russia

Milan hosts conference with Russian Aleksandr Dugin, the reactionary thinker linked to the Kremlin. Neo-fascist groups travel in the Donbass (a region in eastern Ukraine and southwestern Russia) to celebrate traditionalism

Photo: Aleksandr Dugin with the “Julleuchterâ€

Pubblicato il 05/11/2018
Ultima modifica il 05/11/2018 alle ore 21:48

Andrea Palladino

A strong wind from the East blew through Piazza Duomo, in Milan yesterday as the doors to the Royal Palace opened to the conference “A Hundred Years Later ... Eurasia! Art meets Aleksandr Dugin†. The event was hosted by the Arnia collective, an openly revisionist collective with Nazi-like leanings that is chaired by Ines Pedretti, a former candidate in the small town of Casaleggio (Novara) for the Nsab (Nationalsozialistische arbeiter bewegung or the Nationalist and socialist movement of workers). Arnia manages the cultural association “La corte dei Brut†of Gavirate, in the province of Varese—Dugin was invited here a few months ago—an enclave for right-wing radicals led by Rainaldo Graziani. As the son of Clemente, the founder of the new order, Graziani was the head of Meridiano Zero, a group of neo-fascist right-wingers active in the 1990s.

In many ways, this is the final filament of a close alliance between the Italian and European ultra-right with Putin’s Russia—a filament that threads through Dugin, the true spirit of Moscow’s traditionalist and reactionary thinking that’s inspired the self-proclaimed Caucasian republics, from South Ossetia to Donbass in Ukraine, passing through the Crimea. Think meetings, conferences, study centers, as well as symbols, like the small, hollow clay candlestick known as the Yule Leuchter (Julleuchter) or “Yule Lantern†that was produced and used by the SS—an object that the cooperative Arnia gave as a gift to Aleksandr Dugin last June during a ceremony in the Court of the Brut. It is precisely this expansionist geopolitical thinking that appeals to the neo-fascist right-wingers, who are fascinated by the “fourth political theory†of the Russian philosopher, openly inspired by Julius Evola and René Guenon. It’s a close, powerful relationship that yesterday shared the stage in the heart of Milan. A starting point for a broad and national initiative with the Russian philosopher, Rainaldo Graziani writes on Facebook.

From Varese to Turin, from Milan to Riva del Garda. Two names in the Arnia cooperative are linked to Piedmont. The vice-president Nicoletta Cainero was the partner of Giovan Battista Ceniti, the right-wing spokesperson in Val d’Ossola, who was convicted of murdering the Gennaro Mokbel’s moneyman, Silvio Fanella. Egidio Giuliani, a former Nar (Armed Revolutionary Nuclei) who occupied Cainero’s until four years ago was also sentenced. The investigations of Rome’s Mobile Squad at the time then speak of links with the neo-fascists on Lake Garda.

The thread that unites Italian right-wingers with Russia ravels at many ends. The representative office of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk operates in Turin. The manager, Maurizio Marrone, on September 6, went out in a black shirt, with the Donbass flag and a photo of Aleksandr Zakharchenko, president of the separatists supported by Putin who was killed in an attack on August 31. That same sentiment appeared two days later in Verona, although a little less combative when Vito Comencini, deputy of the League and secretary of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Montecitorio, spoke in the name of Zakharchenko and wrote on Facebook on September 6 that it was “a way to honor him†. He is the soul of the Veneto-Russia Association, engaged in various tours in the secessionist Donbass. Together with Andrea Bacciga, Comencini is under investigation for their salute to the women’s group “Non una di meno†in the City Council. And when Bacciga donates a book from the former SS Leon Degrelle to the library, there is no doubting his political leanings: “A nice gesture,†he comments. Symbols, statements and political signs that bind their passion for Putin and Dugin, through the self-proclaimed Ukrainian and Giorgian republics, into the realm of the radical right.

An original version of this article first appeared in Italian in La Stampa.