In 2017, James Fields rammed a car into a crowd of counterprotesters at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one and injuring dozens. The event sparked widespread discussion of the recent rise in hate crimes.
Lurking under the surface of this reenergized hate is a calculated transnational effort to augment the strength of white supremacist groups. Fields is a member of a new neo-Nazi group, Vanguard America, which has ties to the British neo-Nazi group Vanguard Britannia. Similarly, groups like “the Base” and the Nordic Resistance Movement have used social media platforms to disseminate White supremacist ideology and recruitment propaganda internationally.
To harden their members and expand their international ties, White supremacist groups have urged their followers to join foreign paramilitary groups, with Ukraine becoming a hotspot for these extremists.