“Hi can you please forward a message since two of us are trying to get a carshare from germany to ukraine going,” reads a Feb. 26 message forwarded to a popular neo-Nazi Web channel.
“We are 3 french, leaving Strasbourg tomorrow morning with our car,” another message answered. “There is place for 2 german fighters.”
These are the types of conversations that have flooded Western neo-Nazi and white-nationalist venues online every day since Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine: users organizing carpools, plotting how to cross the Poland-Ukraine border to join the fight against Russia. Their goal is not to defend Ukraine as we know it — a multiethnic, democratically minded society led by a Jewish president. Some neo-Nazis simply see this new war as a place to act out their violent fantasies. For others, though, the force pulling them toward the conflict is a shared vision for an ultranationalist ethno-state. They see Ukraine as a golden opportunity to pursue this goal and turn it into a model to export across the world.