Ukrainian civilians — mostly women, children, and the elderly — are now fleeing from Russia’s invasion of their country and headed to Eastern European neighbors. But already, the far-right site Breitbart is taking a hostile stand against the U.S. potentially accepting such refugees — and tying it to a longstanding antisemitic conspiracy theory.
On Thursday, the white nationalist site ran the headline “Soros-Linked Mass Migration Lobby: U.S. Must Open Borders to Ukraine Refugees,” while superimposing a picture of the Hungarian-born philanthropist and Holocaust survivor over a photo from a pro-Ukraine demonstration in Warsaw, Poland.
The article vilified refugee settlement groups as “the mass migration lobby,” saying they “have a financial stake” in their work, and citing both government funding as well as “millions from Soros.” The article also embedded a tweet from anti-immigrant extremist Mark Krikorian, who sarcastically declared that resettlement groups would not “let a crisis go to waste.”
Breitbert has long trafficked in anti-immigrant and anti-refugee hatred, as well as antisemitic attacks on Soros as a particular boogeyman. These claims also tie into a wider network of right-wing conspiracy theories regarding the so-called “demographic conquest” and the great replacement conspiracy theory, which have been linked to mass shootings by white nationalists.
In addition, Breitbart ran another article Friday on Sweden potentially refusing to take in refugees, while many other countries in Europe are gearing up to do so. Breitbart has on occasion been willing to ponder the idea that countries of European political heritage should welcome refugee status for some people — that is, when the purported victims were white, and their alleged persecutors were not. But such generosity apparently does not extend to acceptance of refugees from Eastern Europe who are now fleeing violence perpetrated by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.