April 8, 2020

State Department designates the Russian Imperial Movement aka RIM

On April 6, 2020, the US Department of State announced the designation of the Russian Imperial Movement, also known as RIM, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) in addition to three of RIM’s leaders.  Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, gave a briefing about the designations describing this as an historic event because it’s the first time that the US has designated a foreign white supremacist organization.

RIM is a terrorist group that provides neo-Nazis and white supremacists with paramilitary-style training in St. Petersburg, Russia.  The group is allegedly responsible for a series of terrorist attacks in 2016 when two Swedish-nationals who engaged in RIM training, returned to Sweden and detonated a bomb outside a café, then bombed a migrant center severely injuring one person.  The two also attempted to bomb a campsite for refugees, but failed when their device would not detonate.  According to Sales, RIM is also alleged to be among the forces that fought in Ukraine on behalf of pro-separatists.

As a result of the designations, any assets in the US that were held by RIM or the three leaders will be frozen, and all US transactions will be blocked.  Because RIM is designated as a SDGT rather than a Foreign Terrorist Organization, criminal charges for providing material support to the organization are not automatically available.  However, according the Sales, the designations will also make it increasingly difficult for RIM members to enter the US.

State Department Press Release | Ambassador Nathan Sales Briefing