‘Useful idiots’: how European climate extremists are fuelling Russia’s agenda

You might wonder what the link is between the bloody, totalitarian, belligerent, and aggressive regime of modern-day Russia and the planet-caring and environmental European activists and NGOs. At first glance, there is nothing.

Numerous investigations have revealed that Russia is actively supporting climate radical activists and green energy initiatives in Western countries in an effort to keep Europe dependent on Russian oil and gas exports.

Russia benefits from climate groups’ actions

Just consider who stands to gain as Europe becomes more reliant on energy sources. The answer is obvious. The Kremlin, because the desolation of the EU and UK energy security has strengthened the market positions of the Russian state company Gazprom and Moscow’s dangerous geopolitical targets.

The Russian economy does not benefit from cheap oil at all. A vast supply of oil and gas was produced and supplied to European nations on a yearly basis. Countries in Central and Eastern Europe have been almost fully dependent on Russian gas.

Another uncomfortable fact is that the anti-fracking campaign against America’s energy security has been conducted by radical US environmental groups, funded by people with direct ties to Russian leadership, according to American investigations.

The environmental groups made the headlines during Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine. Surprisingly, the ‘environmentalists’ conducted violent campaigns after Russia’s invasion of parts of Ukraine, and the adoption of harsh sanctions against Moscow by the West.

The entire world has seen that Putin’s regime leverages its energy supplies as a tool of political influence and a political weapon. When radical environmental groups act, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to benefit Moscow, they can no longer defend themselves as fair-minded gatekeepers of environmental justice. Moscow does not even need to finance directly these movements, but it will do everything to leverage their demonstrations to promote its agenda through its propaganda TV channels, and army of bots on social media.

Radical climate activists attacked Goya’s artworks

Radical climate activists glued their hands to the frames of famous paintings by Spanish master Francisco de Goya in Madrid’s Prado museum on November 6, Reuters reported. It’s the latest attack in a series of environmental demonstrations targeting artworks across Europe.

Two activists, a man, and a woman attached themselves to Goya’s masterpieces “The Clothed Maja” and “The Naked Maja”. They also painted “+1.5 C” on the wall between the two artworks.

According to the Prado museum, the wall graffiti was immediately covered up and the paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries had not been harmed. 

The gallery went on to say, “We oppose the use of the museum as a place to hold a political protest of any type. According to the police, two people were detained.

Series of barbaric attacks on artworks by radical climate activists

Groups of radical environmental activists have carried out a series of protests targeting artworks in recent weeks ahead of the COP27 climate change global conference in Egypt.

On October 14, environmental activists from the British group Just Stop Oil poured tomato soup over Vincent Van Gogh’s painting “Sunflowers” at the National Gallery in London.

On October 23 at the Barberini Museum in Germany, radical activists of the German climate movement Letzte Generation (Last Generation) poured tomato soup over the impressionist Claude Monet’s painting “Spear of Hay”. After that, they glued their palms to the wall with Monet’s artwork.

On October 24, Just Stop Oil radical environmental activists threw a chocolate cake at the wax statue of King Charles III at the famous Madame Tussauds in London.

On October 30, two activists from the movement Letzte Generation glued themselves to a metal structure that contains a 66 million-year-old dinosaur skeleton at Berlin’s Museum of Natural History.

On November 5, four Italian climate protesters in Rome poured pea soup over Van Gogh’s painting “The Sower”. The attack was carried out by four women from the group Ultima Generazione (Last Generation) who shouted slogans against global warming and fossil fuels.

Scholz condemned climate activists

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz strongly condemned the radical climate activists for attacking famous artworks to protest against the COP27 climate summit aimed at reducing global warming.

“I am very sad about what is happening and very glad that it has not come to the point where an irreplaceable artwork has been permanently damaged,” Scholz told during a press conference.

Blocked road by activists put a cyclist’s life in danger

Scholz also urged the radical climate activists not to put the lives of other people in danger after a street protest of the Letzte Generation group reportedly prevented rescue squads from accessing the scene of an accident.

Activists trying to make a political point “should always bear in mind that there should be no endangerment of others”, Olaf Scholz declared. “If that is what happened here, it is very regrettable and very saddening,” he stated.

According to the German newspaper Bild, an ambulance was delayed in reaching a cyclist who had been run over by a cement mixer in Berlin because climate protesters had glued themselves to a nearby street.

A 44-year-old cyclist was declared brain dead. The Berlin police filed a complaint against the two activists of the Letzte Generation for, among other accusations, failure to assist a person in danger. 

This sad accident triggered a heated debate in Germany. The Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser stated: “When crimes are committed and other people are endangered, all limits of legitimate protest are exceeded. None of this has anything to do with a democratic debate. Criminals must be prosecuted quickly and consistently.”

How are environmentalist groups funded?

But from where is the initiative funded? The British Just Stop Oil and the German Letzte Generation both claim to receive money from “private donations” and the Climate Emergency Fund, respectively.

The Climate Emergency Fund foundation was established in California in 2019 and has already provided millions of dollars in support to organizations all across the world.

The funding mostly goes to organizations that aim to use civil disobedience to bring attention to climate change.

The “Climate Emergency Fund” has transferred 3.5 million US dollars to eleven organizations, including the “Last Generation,” by the end of September. The payment’s quantity is not known, though.

Oil tycoon’s heiress supports the movements

Aileen Getty, the granddaughter of J. Paul Getty, the oil tycoon and founder of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, is a co-founder of the non-profit Climate Emergency Fund. Aileen Getty said she gave $600,000 to the group. Ms. Getty claims that she has shifted the majority of her charitable contributions, which for years have funded AIDS research, parks, and green spaces, as well as housing assistance for the homeless, to climate change issues.

Ms. Getty stated that most of her family’s wealth came from businesses involved with fossil fuels, and this contributed  to climate change on the planet. Getty Oil used to be one of the US largest oil producers and was purchased by Texaco in 1984. Ms. Getty said she has been transferring fossil fuels out of her own portfolio in favor of sustainable investments. 

“I proudly provide funding to the Climate Emergency Fund, which in turn makes grants to climate activists engaged in nonviolent legal civil disobedience, including Just Stop Oil, the group the activists represented. I do not fund these groups directly, nor do I have direct control over which specific actions climate activists choose to take”, Aileen Getty said.

“Climate protest” tactics used in the US

The Kremlin has a history of using climate action to further its objectives. For years, the US government has investigated Russian financial ties to environmental organizations that push for ending US fossil fuel production and shut down fracking sites and pipelines, to the detriment of American consumers.

International leaders have long claimed that Russia supports environmental organizations in Europe to prevent countries from becoming energy independent and to tighten the country’s stranglehold on the continent. As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, countries throughout the world are starting to avoid Russian oil, and US policymakers are wondering just how close Russia is to the environmental movement. Let’s see prior investigations.

Kremlin’s funding of the environments examined is US

On July 30th 2014 the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works issued a Minority Staff report titled “The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA.” The research reveals a complex web of “dark money” from overseas investments that flows through a nonprofit named Sea Change Foundation to the American environmental movement.

There have been significant questions about whether foreign interests, particularly Russian, are funding attacks on US natural gas because it would hurt Moscow. They highlighted that a major foreign funder of the U.S. environmental movement had ties  through its Bermuda office to Russian money laundering and Putin’s government.

In 2014, U.S Environment and Public Works Committee Republicans released a report highlighting the collusion between environmental activists, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and billionaires using large sums of money to influence environmental public policy.

In 2017, two congressmen called for further investigation of the connection between these funders and Russia. In the letter, the authors said: “Russia is using a mix of soft and hard power in its attempt to increase its influence through a campaign of disinformation on many issues, including energy.” And concluded: “The fact that they are putting pressure on the European nations is a matter of concern”. 

“We don’t go into the details of discussions among allied leaders, but Russia has been using a mix of hard and soft power in its attempt to recreate a sphere of influence, including through a campaign of disinformation on many issues, including energy. In general, the potential for Russia using energy supplies as a means of putting pressure on European nations is a matter of concern. No country should use supply and pricing terms as tools of coercion,” the NATO official told the Guardian in 2014

The US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology issued a report on March 1, 2018, detailing how Russian-supported entities teamed up with US environmental groups to use social media to raise arguments against the production of oil and natural gas.  

A US congressional committee alleged that Russia financed influential environmental groups and used social media to support opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline, fracking and fossil fuels. The committee claimed that Moscow is attempting to make “useful idiots’” of unwitting environmental groups and activists” to further its geopolitical agenda.

Useful idiots or genuine activists?

The UK environmental group Just Stop Oil has staged several protests over 2022. The organization was founded in February 2022, the same month Russia launched an all-out war against Ukraine. Similarly, the German climate movement Letzte Generation was founded only in late 2021. 

Brutal attacks on artworks in Europe remind of the Russian brutality in Ukraine in the ongoing war.

Months ago these groups were unknown, and now they make the headlines with their actions which go to the benefit of Russia. They intensified their attacks exactly at the time when harsher sanctions were being imposed on the Russian energy sector. Let’s think all of that is just a coincidence, and Russia utilised them as ‘useful idiots‘ to promote it’s oil agenda.

While it’s almost impossible to know if Letzte Generation and Just Stop Oil movements are funded by good-faith climate philanthropists or by organizations linked to the Kremlin, we see that these demonstrations go to the benefit of Russia, and they are being organized exactly at the times when Moscow desperately needs them. And these climate activists cannot deny that they ignore these facts.

Note: In political jargon, a useful idiot is a term for a person perceived as propagandizing for a cause, particularly a bad cause originating from a devious source, without fully understanding the cause’s goals, and who is cynically used by the cause’s leaders.

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