‘The non-dormant beast’: Antisemitism in communities of Russian nationalists on Vkontakte

Petr Oskolkov, Sabina Lissitsa, Eyal Lewin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article explores the specifics of Russian antisemitic discourse of recent years using the example of three nationalist communities on Vkontakte, the most popular Russian social networking site, by means of critical discourse analysis. The main strategies they employ to frame the Jews online are stereotyping Jews as ungrateful and greedy, labelling the liberal opposition as Jews and using conspiracy narratives of Jews controlling the elites. The war in Ukraine has added nuances: Jews are accused of helping Ukraine, undermining the Russian political system and orchestrating the conflict. A situation of socio-political turmoil transforms the perceived threat presented by Jews in ‘pro-regime’ nationalist discourse from symbolic (identitarian) to realistic (economic and political) by providing underpinnings for the traditional fears. For nationalist communities based on the ethnic and racial understanding of a nation, this transformation is less present because they originally perceived Jews as a realistic threat. Though sociologically, Russian antisemitism has been in stable decline offline in recent decades, it is more visible online because of social media's apparent anonymity and content generation affordances.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNations and Nationalism
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Russian nationalism
  • Vkontakte
  • antisemitism
  • far-right
  • social media


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