A purge is coming as Spanish police hunt pro-Russian connections of the ultra-left

Image of a letter bomb. Credit: Policia Nacional

Spanish police are hunting pro-Russian connections within the ultra-left in Spain following the letter bombing campaign that took place earlier this week.

According to OK Diario on Saturday, December 3 the police are investigating known left-wing organisations in the country as they look for clues as to who is responsible.

Although it is said that few remain or are active and most of monitored by Spanish Intelligence, the belief is that the war in Ukraine may have spurred new groups and supporters to come to the fore.

Operation Dankoto was launched in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea when authorities became aware that pro-Russian Spaniards were providing support to separatist groups.

That operation did lead to some arrests and the continued monitoring of some groups, monitoring that was stepped up after the latest invasion by Russia. Every organisation known to support or provide help to separatist groups or Russia is now under suspicion and is being investigated.

That includes groups like Balgoe Delo (act of kindness) which collects and delivers humanitarian aid to civilians in the Donbas region. Their website says: “We directly help orphanages, hospitals, soup kitchens, schools, etc. In this regard, we ask everyone, who is not indifferent, to provide us with all possible support in this task. We will be grateful for any help and cooperation.”

Although not necessarily under suspicion, organisations like this provide a great “hiding place” for radicals who can conduct their clandestine activities under the guise of charitable work.

Other organisations said to be under scrutiny are the Youth Coordinator of the Union of Organisations of Russian Compatriots in Spain and Andorra and, the so-called Euskal Herria-Donbas Elkartasun Komitea (Basque Country-Donbas Solidarity Committee).

They are open about their support for Russia and their dislike of NATO, with statements saying that “we understand the operation launched by Russia as an effort to protect the citizens of Donbas, and we do not accept the hypocritical condemnations of those who still do not denounce the abuses committed by the Ukrainian armed forces for 8 years.”

Others like the Rubén Ruiz Ibárruri Brigade call themselves the “internationalist brigade of proletarian solidarity,” however, they claim “we have no connection whatsoever with Russian media or with any financial or political structure.

“We are anti-imperialist, feminist, diverse and anti-racist, and therefore, we cannot and do not want to align ourselves with the interests of elites, oligarchies and conservative or far-right movements, regardless of the side they come from.”

The add they wish to put together a historical analysis of Ukraine that lists its past transgressions including the massacre of the House of Trade Unions in Odessa and the existence of Nazi structures in the military and institutional apparatus of Ukraine (…).”

Political parties are also under the spotlight including the Communist Party of Spain, led by the deputy and former Secretary of State Enrique Santiago. He has acknowledged hosting talks of committees in support of Donbas.

But it goes further than that with not every political party supportive of Pedro Sánchez’s support for Ukraine, with government partners like Pablo Iglesias, former vice president and former leader of Podemos, supporting the strategy of President Vladimir Putin saying that Russia “defends its security and its areas of influence like everyone else.”

He and many others believe that Putin was right to take action to protect its borders, however, protecting borders is one thing, invading a sovereign country and annexing territory is another.

Online there are many Spanish residents who have expressed support for Russia including writers and even lawyers, and they will all be under scrutiny as the Spanish police hunt pro-Russian connections to identify who is behind the letter bombs.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]