A neo-Nazi terror group dubbed The Base reportedly discussed derailing trains, plotted assassinations of anti-fascist activists in the U.S., and was working to form links between ultra-nationalist military units in Ukraine, according to VICE. Court documents revealed that a 20-year-old Virginia native and member of The Base, Matthew Ryan Burchfield, traveled to Ukraine in the fall of 2019 seeking to join the war in the Donbas region of the country, VICE reported Thursday. Burchfield detailed how he began participating in an accelerationist group chat, which led him to traveling to Donbas, where the Ukrainian military is fighting Russian-backed paramilitaries. Ukrainian military units such as Azov Battalion and Right—both of which are on the frontlines of the war in eastern Ukraine—reportedly have concrete links to an international network of neo-Nazis. Burchfield considered joining the U.S. military but traveled to Ukraine instead, seeking to join a military unit via a contract, he confirmed to VICE. The country has reportedly been serving as a training ground for far right-extremists.
“Traveling to Ukraine allows American neo-Nazis to gain actual combat experience to bring back home,” said Mollie Saltskog, an intelligence analyst at the non-profit terrorism watchdog Soufan Center. “They can then instruct others and use their skills to orchestrate violence and terrorist activities in the Homeland.”