IDCP: funding from Kremlin, works for Russian propagandist media

Alexander Dugin, a Russian political philosopher, known for views widely characterized as fascist, is associated with IDCP

In this series of articles, we research prominent pro-Russian organizations in Europe. Today, we will take a closer look at Institute of Democracy and Cooperation (IDCP) in Paris, France.

The Institute describes its aims as “broadly defends a conservative outlook on human rights and international relations. And at the same time, political order should be underpinned by a moral perspective, and specifically by the Judeo-Christian ethic which unites both the Eastern and Western parts of the European continent”.

But the primary purpose of the organizations is to provide a symmetrical response to the allegations of Freedom House about human rights violations in Russia.

What is wrong with Institute of Democracy and Cooperation?

The Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris, hereinafter “IDCP” or “IDC”, was founded in 2008 by Russian attorney Anatoliy Kucherena. In addition to having purportedly acted as Putin’s trusted person during the 2012 and 2018 Russian presidential elections, Mr. Kucherena has handled high-profile cases relevant to the Kremlin such as former NSA contractor turned Russian citizen Edward Snowden and Ukrainian president-turned-fugitive Viktor Yanukovych. 

IDCP generally concerns undisclosed government support, senior leadership possessing close links to ultranationalists, participation in well-known disinformation media ecosystems and serving as a fake observer for biased elections.

Key figures and funding

Natalia Narochnitskaya

The organization in Paris is headed by historian and former Russian State Duma deputy Natalia Narochnitskaya. Ms. Narochnitskaya is a former Soviet diplomat, an erstwhile Rodina member turned prominent far-right figure and until quite recently a trustee for the now-sanctioned Russkiy Mir Foundation

John Laughland

The British philosopher and historian John Laughland is Director of Studies. Laughland offers amplification and outreach into the UK political conservative sphere by offering a Eurosceptic perception on a variety of issues that are often girded by an extreme national sovereignty philosophy.

According to a leaked diplomatic cable from Wikileaks, the founder of IDCP Anatoliy Kucherena confirmed that the Government of Russia would be providing financial support to the organization.

Alexander Dugin

Mr. Laughland and Ms. Narochnitskaya serving as experts for the Russian Valdai Club can be connected to sanctioned Russian ultranationalist Alexander Dugin. Before being rebranded as Sputnik, the Voice of Russia housed all three of these individuals as political commentators that could be counted on to offer their opinions. One major ideological overlap, between Narochnitskaya and Dugin, comes in the form of the Izborsky Club, a far-right think-tank founded by Alexander Prokhanov.

Less than a week after Russia passed a law banning the distribution of “propaganda” promoting “non-traditional sexual relationships” to minors, IDCP convened a roundtable on the topic of “the decline of family values ​​in Europe, as well as the Russian view of the problem and the measures taken by the Russian authorities to preserve the institution of the family, for which the Russian government was severely criticized by the liberal elites of the West.”

Also while not officially listed on IDCP’s website, Maurice Bonnot served as a fake observer for a biased Russian election in 2018, along with members from the Franco-Russian Dialogue. Lastly, there exist numerous appearances by Mr. Laughland on RT, a Kremlin-funded and now-EU-sanctioned entity espousing anti-Western lines.

How dangerous are such organizations?

Russian Nonprofit organizations, whether directly or indirectly, that are involved in money laundering, reputational manipulation, narrative control or criminal activity, can have a corrosive effect on the European nonprofit sector. Furthermore, any Russian NPO and Nonprofit organizations engaged in such practices can be used as a tool for weaponized kleptocracy to undermine Western institutions.

In previous articles, we’ve talked about:

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