Hope Not Hate researcher accused of plugging Far-Left extremism by endorsing communist Red Army

Hope Not Hate researcher accused of plugging Far-Left extremism by endorsing communist Red Army

"You are our Red Army!" Hope Not Hate researcher describes his "comrades"

Steven Edginton

By Steven Edginton

Published: 29/04/2024

- 19:30

A Hope Not Hate researcher said to his "comrades" that "you are our Red Army"

A researcher at Hope Not Hate, an anti-extremist Left-wing pressure group, has been accused of pushing far-Left extremism after a video emerged of him endorsing the communist Red Army, GB News can reveal.

Matthew Collins, the head of intelligence for the group, stood behind a Soviet flag at an event in London in 2013 and said: "Comrades, brothers and sisters, HopeNotHate.co.uk, you are our Red Army!"

Janusz Kowalski, a member of the Polish parliament and a former government minister, told GB News: “Praising the Red Army is the most Left-wing extremist thing to do, especially after knowing what tortures they did to people in the Siberian gulags, to Poles in Katyń killing 22 thousand of Polish officers, and during the Stalinist anti-Semitic purges.”

The Polish politician continued: “It shocks me that today anyone could praise the German Army or the Red Army, they’re two sides of the same coin.”

A Polish victim of Red Army crimes during the Second World War told GB News the Hope Not Hate researcher’s comments were “completely idiotic” and “arrogant”.

The video, seen by GB News, shows Collins wearing a shirt with a red star, a communist symbol, and the caption "Cork Vive La République".

\u200bA Soviet realism painting of LeninA Soviet realism painting of LeninFlickr

Collins was speaking at an event in part hosted by Hope Not Hate in February 2013 celebrating the Red Army’s victory at Stalingrad in 1943.

The Red Army was responsible for numerous atrocities, including mass rape, murder and terror.

In 1940, Władysław Mleczko was forced from his home in Poland by Red Army soldiers and deported to Russia.

Mleczko, 93, said: “I was a victim of the Red Army, they were brutal.”

“They threatened me, I had to obey their armed directives, you couldn’t speak Polish in school, not even one word. You had to comply with communism, you tried to take your religion from you.”

Mleczko, who fled to England in 1948, continued: “He should be ashamed of aligning with the Red Army. That force was brainwashed, there is only one way of thinking.”

“The Red Army represents brutality and governments like Putin’s army. To them, life is cheap, they have no respect for life. The Red Army put people in labour camps or executed those who did not follow orders.”

“Saying ‘you are our Red Army’ is completely idiotic. Only arrogant people would say that.”

A T-34 Soviet-era tank drives during a military parade on Victory DayA T-34 Soviet-era tank drives during a military parade on Victory DayReuters

Seumas Milne, a controversial former advisor to Jeremy Corbyn, attended the Stalingrad event, along with other fringe Left-wing activists.

The Red Army was created in 1918 by communist revolutionaries in Russia and later acted as the Soviet Union’s primary means of invading other countries and defending its territory.

Historian Giles Udy told GB News: “There is very little difference between Stalin and Hitler.”

“The Red army was murderous and composed of generals who took very little concern for their troops’ concerns and safety.”

“Do the leadership of Hope not Hate have the same approach towards their own as those generals? He [Collins] better treat them better than those tyrants did.”

Kowalski, the Polish MP, concurred: “Throughout and after the war we’ve learnt that the Red Army committed crimes on a similar level to the Nazis, murdering and raping millions of civilians in all the countries they came to. All the countries of Central and Eastern Europe were not liberated, they were pillaged, their elites were killed.”

During his teenage years Hope Not Hate’s Matthew Collins was a South London organiser for the far-right group the National Front, volunteered for the British National Party and was a member of a neo-Nazi group.

Collins then became a self-described “anti-fascist” campaigner, leading investigations into far-right organisations and joined the Left-wing pressure group Hope Not Hate.

Hope Not Hate has wielded significant power in recent months following its research into the online profiles of candidates standing for the Reform Party.

Following a series of exposés of Reform candidates revealing controversial past social media comments, Reform has stood down several of its candidates.

In recent years, statues have been destroyed across eastern Europe commemorating the Red Army.

In 2022, a Red Army memorial was taken down in Riga, Latvia, with the city's executive director, Janis Lange, saying: "For Latvians, this monument symbolises Latvia's occupation after the Second World War and after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, we can't tolerate it anymore."

Hope Not Hate told GB News: "The event marked the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad, a battle which all military historians agree changed the dynamics of WW2. At the time of the battle, the Russians (and so the Red Army) were allies of the British."

"It has been well reported that Matthew was a far-right activist in his teenage years. It has also been reported that he worked as an antifascist mole within these organisations. More recently, Matthew’s worked saved the life of a Labour MP and a police officer. This story was retold in a recent five part ITV drama, The Walk In, starring Stephen Graham."

Additional reporting from Charlie Peters.

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