Early in the Putin years, he was the driving force behind Format18, a violent group that called itself the ‘armed wing’ of Russia’s National Socialist party.
"Format18 regularly assaulted immigrants and dark people. Its creativity lay in deciding that visibility — movie cameras coupled with social media — was not its enemy, but its friend. It filmed the attacks, turning them into imitation music videos that went viral on YouTube and VK. Google ‘Format18′ and ‘funny’ and you’ll figure out why: their savage sense of humor. ‘Lol, I love those videos,’ one European neo-Nazi says. ‘It’s funny when they beat people up then burn their passports.’ Some of the videos showed murders."