They were banned and designated as extremist by a Russian court in October 2021. But Male State — the online gang of racists, homophobes and misogynists Bellingcat investigated last year — has retained a significant following and managed to become a vocal and vile online booster of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
While Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has stated that one of the main aims of his country’s military action is the “denazification” of Ukraine, vile anti-semitic posts and calls for Ukraine’s leaders to be executed are a regular feature on Male State channels.
As Bellingcat detailed in its previous investigation, Male State’s tens of thousands of members fight against everything they perceive as a threat to Russia. They wrap up their hate in an extreme right-wing ideology they describe as “national patriarchy”, all under the informal leadership of a college dropout named Vladislav Pozdnyakov.