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Meet the Italian neo-fascists attending the Russian Embassy’s parties

Three key figureheads from Italy’s extreme-right subculture took part in celebrations at Ambassador Paramonov’s offices in Rome. After all, the close ties between the Kremlin’s emissaries and Italy’s Nazi-adjacent nostalgics are nothing new

Guess who’s coming to the party. For a government that insists it’s waging a war to “denazify” another country, Russia’s sure has an unusual infatuation with Italy’s neo-fascists. Three of the most well-known figures in that space were guests at the Russian Embassy in Rome on February 8, when Ambassador Alexey Paramonov (who recently lamented Italy’s “hostility” towards his home country) held a celebration for Russian Diplomats’ Day, Repubblica reported.

Naming names. Maurizio Murelli, who described his participation in a lengthy Facebook post, was the first one. He’s a former hard-right terrorist who supplied the explosive that killed a police officer in 1973. After an 18-year conviction, he became a publisher and has been nurturing the extreme right’s subculture ever since. He’s been indicated as a key figure among those who spearheaded Kremlin-aligned infiltrations in the League.

  • He went to the Russian Embassy along with his longtime friend Rainaldo Graziani, son of Clemente Graziani, co-founder of Ordine Nuovo – perhaps the single most important neo-fascist organisation outside of Parliament in postwar Italy, dissolved in 1973 after its members took part in some of the most deadly terror attacks of that time.
  • In 2017, Mr Graziani took steps to continue his father’s legacy by founding the REuropa Association. Its web domains are owned by a cooperative chaired by Ines Pedretti, his wife and the third guest at the Russian Embassy party.

Oh, the irony. “One of the universally recognised foundations of contemporary civilisation has been, and always will be, the rejection of terrorism,” Ambassador Paramonov said in his welcome speech – in which he lamented the West’s double standards as well as the “winds of war” sweeping the world, and called for the use of “diplomacy and dialogue” to revert to a “pacific coexistence”.

Nostalgic feats… The party was also a commemoration of Darya Dugina, the slain daughter of the hard-right ideologue Alexander Dugin, known for having Vladimir Putin’s ear. “As much as Darya Dugina was not a diplomat, she formulated and represented ideas […] very dear to Russian diplomacy,” said the Russian ambassador, celebrating the role of the civilian in President Putin’s all-of-society efforts.

  • Repubblica also recalled that the late Ms Dugina had attended the 2018 event where Mr Graziani re-founded Ordine Nuovo’s “study centre”, while her father had taken part in actual Nazi rituals (he was reportedly given the Julleuchter, a lantern that Heinrich Himmler gave to his men) at Mr Graziani’s farmstead near Varese a few days later.
  • A year later, continues the newspaper, the very same trio organised Mr Dugin’s Italian summer tour: eleven lectures in ten days.

… and modern propaganda. For Russia’s government, such events serve the double purpose of cultivating local ties and consolidating its propaganda apparatus. Mr Dugin himself was slated to take part (albeit virtually) in one of the several propaganda events, tied to the release of a Kremlin-approved film on the Dombas, that sympathisers of President Putin’s regime have been organising across Italy.

  • It’s no real surprise that such events attract people from the political fringes: they seem to share a close ideological alignment with Moscow’s regime.

Image: Maurizio Murelli’s Facebook page

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