As the Russian invasion of Ukraine proceeds, anarchists throughout Russia continue to mobilize in protest, joining thousands of other Russians. Here, we publish three statements from longtime Russian anarchist projects that offer some analysis of the situation in Russia and how the invasion of Ukraine might shift it.
Protests are scheduled in Russia for tomorrow (Sunday, February 27). We are still waiting for a report from our contacts in Ukraine, which we will publish when it arrives.
Russia itself has become an information battlefield in the course of the invasion. The Russian government has attempted to block access to Twitter so that Russians will not see what is happening in Ukraine or, for that matter, elsewhere in Russia. On the other side of the barricades, the Kremlin website was hacked. Whether the Russian people decide to support this invasion at great cost to themselves—or to oppose Putin’s agenda at great risk to themselves—may well determine what happens in Ukraine in the long run.
“Peace is a privilege reserved for those who can afford not to fight in the wars they create—in the eyes of madmen, we are just figures on a chart, we are just barriers in their path towards world domination.”
-Tragedy, “Eyes of Madness”
Solidarity actions continued today in Germany, Switzerland, and elsewhere around the world:
Anarchist Militant’s Position on Russia’s Attack on Ukraine
The following statement appeared yesterday on the Telegram channel of Militant Anarchist [Боец Анархист], a collective in Russia whose name we have previously translated as “Anarchist Fighter.”
Our position on the events taking place in Ukraine is clearly evident in our previous posts. However, we felt it necessary to express it explicitly, so that something would not be left unsaid.
We, the collective of Anarchist Fighter, are by no means fans of the Ukrainian state. We have repeatedly criticized it and supported opposition to it in the past, and we have also been the cause of large-scale repression against the VirtualSim operator, done by the Ukrainian security services in an attempt to fight us.1
And we will definitely return to this policy in the future, when the threat of Russian conquest has receded. All states are concentration camps.
But what is happening now in Ukraine goes beyond this simple formula, and the principle that every anarchist should fight for the defeat of their country in war.
Because this is not simply a war between two roughly equal powers over the redistribution of capital’s spheres of influence, in which one could apply Eskobar’s axiom.2
What is happening in Ukraine now is an act of imperialist aggression: an aggression that, if successful, will lead to a decline in freedom everywhere—in Ukraine, in Russia, and possibly in other countries as well. And it will also increase the likelihood that the war will continue and escalate into a global war.
Why this is the case in Ukraine is obvious, as far as we are concerned. But in Russia, a small victorious war (as well as external sanctions) will give the regime what it currently lacks. It will give them carte blanche for any action, due to the patriotic upsurge that will take place among part of the population. And they will be able to blame any economic problems on sanctions and war.
The defeat of Russia, in the current situation, will increase the likelihood of people waking up, the same way that occurred in 1905 [when Russia’s military defeat by Japan led to an uprising in Russia], or in 1917 [when Russia’s problems in the First World War led to the Russian Revolution]—opening their eyes to what is happening in the country.
As for Ukraine, its victory will also pave the way for the strengthening of grassroots democracy—after all, if it is achieved, it will be only through popular self-organization, mutual assistance, and collective resistance. These should be the answer to the challenges that war throws at society.
Furthermore, the structures created for this grassroots self-organization will not go anywhere once the war is over.
Of course, victory will not solve the problems of Ukrainian society—they will have to be solved by taking advantage of the opportunities that will open for the consolidation of society in the instability of the regime that comes after such upheavals. However, defeat will not only fail to solve them—it will exacerbate them many times over.
Though all these are all important reasons for our decision to support Ukraine in this conflict—let’s call them geopolitical reasons. But they are not even the primary reasons. The most important reasons are internal moral ones: because the simple truth is that Russia is the aggressor, that it pursues an openly fascist policy. It calls war peace. Russia lies and kills.
Because of its aggressive actions, people are dying and suffering on both sides of the conflict. Yes, even those soldiers who are now being driven into the meat grinder of war (not counting those bastards for whom “war is mother nature,” who, in our opinion, are hardly people at all). And this will continue until it is stopped.
Therefore, we urge everyone who reads this, who is not unfeeling—to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people (not the state!!!) and support their struggle for freedom against Putin’s tyranny.
It falls to us to live in historic times. Let’s make this page of history not a shameful one, but one we can be proud of.
Freedom to the peoples of the world! Peace to the people of Ukraine! No to Putin’s aggression! No to war!
以下文字在2022年2月27日以俄語播客的形式發佈於 Autonomous Action 網站。
俄羅斯已處於被國際社會孤立的情況之中。 (土耳其總統雷傑普·塔伊普)埃爾多安、(中國共產黨總書記)習近平，甚至塔利班都在味籲普京停止敵對行動。 歐洲和美國每天都在對俄羅斯實施新的制裁。
俄通監(Roskomnadzor)(俄羅斯政府的聯邦通訊、資訊科技和傳媒監管局)仍在試圖威脅整個互聯網，要求「不要把這稱為戰爭，而是特別行動」。但很少人會再認真對待它們。只要俄羅斯的互聯網沒有完全關閉，就會有足夠的資訊來源。以防萬一，我們再次建議預早設置帶網橋的洋蔥路由器(Tor with bridges)、虛擬私人網路(VPN)和賽風(Psiphon)。
俄羅斯人民對烏克蘭戰爭的反應與 2014年(烏克蘭革命後俄羅斯奪取克里米亞)發生的情況完全不同。許多人，包括為政府工作的名人，都要求立即結束戰爭。值得注意的是，被移除的俄羅斯電視明星伊萬‧烏爾甘特(Ivan Urgant)。
The Anarchist Black Cross of St. Petersburg Statement against the War
We, the anarchists of St. Petersburg, strongly oppose the imperialist war of conquest unleashed by the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine. There is no sitting on the sidelines in this conflict and there cannot be.
We believe that a military operation against Ukraine only serves to preserve the current political regime in Russia—to ensure that Putin, who has been in power for more than 20 years, who has unleashed several bloody military attacks, who has repressed dozens of journalists and anti-fascists and opposition activists, who has destroyed freedom of speech and human rights in Russia, who has plunged the vast majority of the population into poverty, can remain the president of the Russian Federation indefinitely.
Those who are culpable for the war crimes that are being committed right now before our eyes—rocket attacks on cities and villages, the killing of civilians, the use of prohibited ammunition—are not only those who give orders and participate in hostilities, but also those who support or excuse these actions directly or indirectly.
We urge everyone by any possible means to demand an end to the war and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine!
-Anarchist Black Cross, St. Petersburg
Eskobar was the vocalist of a Ukrainian rock band called Bredor. Long ago, in an interview, he said a famous phrase, which became a meme: “Шо то хуйня, шо это хуйня”—a succinct way to articulate something to the effect of, “When you are forced to choose between two undesirable options while lacking any alternative whatsoever.” ↩