The topic of radical white fundamental Christianity has become more relevant than ever in the United States after the failed putsch of supporters of former President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C.

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While a detailed investigation of the events of January 6, 2021 on Capitol Hill is being in progress, the American press, unfortunately, does not pay sufficient attention to the processes of political activation among Russian-speaking immigrants. Especially, remarkable changes are taking place nowadays among religious refugees from the republics of the former USSR and the CIS countries.

We are talking about hundreds of Russian-speaking church communities in the USA, whose members fled from the persecution of the Soviet authorities to America and now live here. The total number of members of these communities can reach up to half a million people – according to human rights activist Boris Perchatkin, who in the early 1980s got two terms in Soviet camps for his religious beliefs and consistent struggle for the exodus of believers, persecuted by the Soviet government, to America.

For many years, “Soviet refugees” freely settled down on American territory, overgrown with businesses and adapting to the new social and political reality.

For historical reasons, in the beginning, the new Americans didn’t really orientate in the political environment of their new homeland. However, later, having realized their importance, the “Soviet” Christians began to exercise the political horizon in various states.

For example, during the Democratic Governorship of Gray Davis in California, Russian-speaking believers came out to the Capitol in Sacramento, demanding to halt the legalization of same-sex marriage.

It is worth noting that despite the movement of religious communities against LGBTQ in California was numerous and quite noticeable, still it failed to impact on the abolition of the rights of sexual minorities – same-sex marriages were allowed, but under another Democratic governor, Jerry Brown.

The Slavic community in Northern California, including its most active core – the religious community of Sacramento, actively resisted any expansion of the rights of sexual minorities, constantly holding protests and collecting numerous petitions addressed to the governor.

As a sad result, in the course of a fierce confrontation between conservative Slavic believers and the LGBTQ community, a local homosexual immigrant was murdered. However, religious refugees were not limited to the struggle for conservative values – over the past two decades, we have also observed their constant and consistent war against mandatory vaccination, which has become even stronger since the coronavirus pandemic.

Especially on this front, blogger Elena Nikitskaya, famous in Slavic evangelical circles, distinguished herself. Nikitskaya actively speaks at local and international forums, expressing her distrust and skepticism in relation to official regulations regarding public health.

A staunch supporter of President Trump, Nikitskaya was seen marching to the Capitol in Washington on January 6th. Together with the blogger, whose videos are watched by hundreds of thousands of Russian-speaking Americans, a number of other immigrants from Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries also joined “Save America March”. In particular, a group of Russian-speaking immigrants from Florida, led by detective Steve Dudnik, arrived in the US capital. Dudnik is also a blogger and political activist for President Trump.

“The Russians don’t give up,” in the video Dudnik says, when heading to the Capitol in Washington, paired with Elena Nikitskaya.

“Our grandfathers went to Berlin in tanks, we are going to Washington!” On his way to “Save America March” in Washington, D.C. Dudnik lashed out at the Democrats, comparing his trip with the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops in 1945.

“Our grandfathers went to Berlin in tanks, we’re going to Washington in cars! We can repeat! But to repeat even worse – to kick the Democrats out of Washington to hell!”  Dudnik says in one of his videos, urging Russian-speaking immigrants to join his team to protect Trump, who has lost the power.

But if before the sad events in Washington, D.C. Dudnik made quite bold statements, then almost immediately after an unsuccessful assault attempt, Dudnik gave back and literally rejected his own words. For example, being not far from the Capitol during its capture by some participants of the march, Dudnik reports that he did not see representatives of Antifa among the protesters, and that only republican activists gathered outside the Capitol building. Then on the air of Russian state-controlled television he says that he was wrong, that provocateurs were allegedly found among the protesters, and that the crowd of Trump supporters “was led by calls to enter the Capitol.”

Steve Dudnik

Further, on the air of the same TV channel, Dudnik emphasizes that during the assault he was not at the Capitol building at all, he was just watching the event only through “the lens of his video camera”. Meanwhile, his YouTube channel published “exclusive footage of Dudnik’s team,” indicating that at least one of the cameramen of this video was right outside the walls of the Capitol and carefully captured every detail of the assault.

In another shot, Dudnik poses with weapons as he furiously opposes the restrictions to the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

In the Russian information space, detective Dudnik significantly softens his rhetoric: “We came there to support our President, whom we love, it is our constitutional right to cast our vote, come, say that we want him to be the President of our country.”

On Russia state-controlled Channel 1, Dudnik calls the participants of Save America March “nice people” and compares the events of January 6 with the “peaceful May Day demonstration”, which was traditionally carried out by the USSR government for exclusively propaganda purposes..

The presence of “Russian-speaking storm-troopers” at the Capitol on that day is evidenced by at least one video, in which one of the protesters can clearly be heard setting the crowd on fire at the windows of the government building with shouts: “Go ahead! Faster!” (However, the authenticity of this video has not been confirmed).

This provocateur (or these provocateurs) apparently has nothing to do with the Dudnik-Nikitskaya group. At least there is no proof to it.

Later, evangelical blogger Elena Nikitskaya also appeared on the air of the same Russia state-controlled Channel 1, saying that with the advent of the new government in Washington, Trump supporters are being persecuted for their political views. Moreover, Nikitskaya refutes any speculation that the participants in the Trump march were preparing to seize the Congress building, testifying about some provocateurs who, allegedly, in conjunction with the local police, inflamed the atmosphere near the Capitol.

(Russian-American freedom fighters seem to be irrelevant to how the Kremlin’s propaganda machine treats Russian opposition figures like Alexei Navalny.)

None of the mentioned influences believe in the legitimacy of the victory of Democratic candidate Joseph Biden, thus, they spread misinformation among their audience, which often does not speak English and therefore satisfy their information needs, actively consuming the materials of the Kremlin propaganda.

Relations with the Russian Foreign Ministry

Elena Nikitskaya along with Russian diplomats in San Francisco

As part of the promotion of Russian interests in the United States, it is also interesting that several years ago Nikitskaya actively participated in the filming of the Protestant film “God-seeking of the Slavic peoples”. The film tells about the birth of Protestantism on the territory of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union; it was filmed by a Ukrainian pastor from Sacramento – Alexander Shevchenko. To obtain permission in order to shoot some scenes on the territory of Fort Ross in Northern California, Pastor A. Shevchenko turned to the Consulate of the Russian Federation in San Francisco, namely to Consul General Sergei Petrov and Honorary Consul General Natalia Owen.

Let us remind you that the old Russian fortress Fort Ross is funded by the Kremlin oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, financed by the Russian charitable foundation “Renova”, registered and operating in Russia. In 2018, the US Treasury Department included Viktor Vekselberg on the list of persons subject to sanctions, a year earlier the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in San Francisco was closed, and the diplomatic staff was disbanded amid mutual accusations of both countries about interference in internal affairs.

Meanwhile, the mentioned diplomats, Petrov and Owen, have actively promoted the work of Russian para-militarized troops in California for a decade, which we wrote about in 2018, and which actively collaborated with immigrant (including religious) communities in Sacramento.

Religious refugees arrested at the Capitol during the assault

Two other representatives of evangelical refugees from one of the former Soviet republics – Moldova, were arrested during the storming of the Capitol. Both 28-year-old Christina and her 54-year-old mother, Yevgenia Malimon, were also on January 6th in a crowd of protesters in the government block of Washington, D.C. Both women were charged with violating curfews and illegally entering state property.

In addition, it became known that Kristina Malimon is an active member of the Republican Party and consistently advocates “conservative values”. Specifically, the young woman is a Multnomah County Republican Party delegate and vice chairman of Oregon Young Republicans. On her Instagram, you can find numerous quotes from the Bible, as well as references to various conspiracy theories. Christina often poses in front of cameras with high-ranking officials of the Donald Trump administration. In particular, at the end of the last year, she posted a photo with Roger Stone, pardoned by the former president. She also recently posted a photo with Donald Trump Jr. Christina claims that Donald Trump won the presidential election and calls the election procedure corrupt.

The Young Republicans of Oregon criticized the January incidents in D.C., but retained Malimon’s civil right to participate in rallies and protests.

Meanwhile, as “Slavic Sacramento” managed to find out in the District Court of the District of Columbia, the trial in the Malimon case is scheduled for early June this year.

Ruslan Gurzhiy,