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mainstream article about antifa. nazis etc in Russia

This is an interview with somebody representing more liberal wing of Rusian anti-fascism, interesting nevertheless.

From knives to explosives. The new wave of Nazi terror in Russia

An article by Vlad Tupikin about the murders of antifascists.

Last Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006, the murder case of 20 year old antifascist Alexander Ryuchin was taken to court. On the 16th of April, 2006, (just nine days before his twentieth birthday in fact) he was slaughtered in the suburbs of Moscow, on his way to a concert of punk-hardrock music, popular among young Moscow antifascists. A few skinheads armed with knives attacked Sasha and his friend Egor. Actually there was no fight – there was a murder.

Three attackers have been detained, Nazi paraphernalia and literature have been found it their apartments. Another three of them have gone into hiding. It may seem that everything is clear. But don’t hurry to make your judgements. The case has been brought to court not under the murder clause. The detainees, two members of Slavonic Union – Vasily Reutov and Andrey Anziferov, as well as Alexander Shitov, a member of the group “Format 18,” are to be charged with “hooliganism” conducted by a group of individuals through a deliberate collusion or organized group (Art. 213. 2 CC RF), “Wilfull infliction of light injury“ (Art. 115 CC RF) and for “beatings” (Ñò. 116 ÓÊ ÐÔ). And the actual murder case has been sidetracked to a separate procedure, with the accused being Alexander Parinov and Nikita Tikhonov, who are in hiding, and one unidentified person.

The attorney Stanislav Markelov, representing the mother of the deceased, Tatyanan Petrovna Ryukhina, has informed a reporter from the REGNUM agency: “Everything is being done to minimize the level of social harm of Reutov’s, Anziferov’s and Shitov’s actions. There is a pretty cynical, but working rule: if there is corpse there is a case for ‘Murder.’ And I’m very concerned, that the murder of an antifascist by right wing radicals becomes an exclusion from this rule.”

Another similar abnormality is that the case stemming from the murder of another 20 year old antifascist form Saint Petersburg, Timur Kacharava, still hasn’t gone to trial. He was also slaughtered by the followers of extreme right wing views, who attacked him and his friend Maxim on the 13th of November, 2005, in the very city centre of Saint Petersburg, near the shop “Bukvoed,” on Ligovsky Avenue. It’s a busy place, where tourist buses leaving for Finland park, and right next door is the Moscow train station. Again there was no fight. The fascists rushed upon him, stabbing him several times with knives. Timur received one wound to the neck that proved fatal.

The perpetrators of this widely publicized crime last year were already detained in December 2005. The governor Valentina Matvienko and the speaker of the Federation Council Sergey Mironov were making declarations about the Nazi character of the murder and about the need to combat the display of xenophobia in the capital city of northern Russia. However the case is dragging along, and the Petersburg antifascists are starting to believe it will be smothered completely, with the state charging the detainees only with hooliganism, and limiting the sentence to an insignificant period, if not suspending it altogether.

And finally one more event, very recent. On Friday, 22 December, in the south-eastern part of Moscow, in Lyublino, a home-made bomb exploded in the entrance of an apartment house. On the wall near the bomb was a swastika. The can containing the explosives was hidden beneath a radiator, and apparently the bomb was activated by wires running from the explosives to a board with an offensive nationalist inscription written on it: “The residents of the flat … are black…”

The bomb, or rather the board, was detected in the apartment entrance by 20 year old Tigran, who was living in that flat. He almost touched the bomb, but saw the wires in time. He wasn’t able to see the bomb, but decided to call the police. After a while the police detachment arrived with a bomb expert and a bomb sniffing dog. While the police were trying to clear the device it exploded.

This event has been reported in the press as the latest attack by nationalists on non-Slavonic residents of Moscow. In their reporting, a young Armenian man was able to escape becoming the next victim of right wing extremists – a banal story for modern Moscow, no matter how terrible it may seem. Quite banally the Office of the Public Prosecutor initiated a criminal case on hooliganism – not murderous assault …Tigran has been interrogated as a witness (not as a victim!).

However this event is not simple. Tigran was born in Moscow and his parents are Muscovites (in the press there has already been an absurd and false version in circulation, that he and his family have only been living in Moscow for some ten years). He is not merely “a young man from Caucasus.” He is a Moscow Antifascist, in the past one of the workers of the www.antifa.ru web site. Besides that, he –just like his dead coevals Timur Kacharava adn Alexander Ryukhin – is an admirer of punk-hardcore music.

To all appearances, Tigran should have been the third in the list of murdered young antifa. His photograph has been posted in Nazi web sites, he has been threatened several times, on the walls of the construction site in front of his house one could see Swastikas, with the words: "Tigran, say hello to Timur". Several times he has been attacked in concerts, several times he bumped into people who looked like boneheads (boneheads, in Russian bons, – are named by antifa which are Nazi-skinheads, to avoid confusion with skinhead-antifascists, who exists). Tigran is quite tough, he was always the winner in any skirmish.

And now there was a bomb.

The politics, which is being ignored by the Office of Public Prosecutor, through initiation of the criminal case on relatively slight clauses in Tigran’s case, is being followed by the Federal Defence Service of RF. While police were interrogating him as a witness, the members of FSB visited his mother at home (the door was damaged by the explosion, and it wasn’t closing) and, taking advantage of her emotional shock, they confiscated things like: badges with the crossed out swastika, stripes, but most importantly – the computer, said Tigran.

Tigran even has a receipt of confiscation for the computer from the FSB. All his materials for the term papers due before examinations are now unavailable, something that has to be answered for in the Institute.

I would like to emphasize: as far as I know, neither Timur Kacharava, nor Alexander Ryukhin were members of any antifascist organisations, they were just following their own antifascist views and were people with active lifestyles. Timur was playing in an antifascist hardcore group, on Sundays he was serving hot food to homeless people (homeless, or, according to old militia terminology, bums, if anybody doesn’t know yet – they are another object of hatred by young Nazis, along with non-Slavs and representatives of several youth subcultures – punks, rappers). Sasha was carrying out the Propaganda on his own: he was designing on computer and distributing self-made antifascist stickers (some such stickers were found in his pocket after his murder). Tigran was also not a member of any organisation, but was helping an antifascist web site, when he was not busy with his education.

To my question, whether Tigran was taking part in fights with Nazis, he answered with affirmation: "Of course, if they are attacking. Should we give up then?"

"Nazis made us antifascists, – a former member of antifa.ru contitnues. – We all belong to some subcultures, to some groups, whose representatives were clashing with fascist violence, and thus becoming a target for their attacks. In one particular moment you stop respecting yourself if you’re not answering blow for blow. Especially if the police and the state as a whole don’t do anything in general, in order to stop the street fascist danger”.

"We, young antifascists, are sometimes being accused,” Tigran continues, “that, if we were not present, Nazis would already calm down. Saying that we are acting as a teasing red flag to them. If there would be no antifascists, say those who accuse us, the street Nazi violence would come to naught. Everything is completely opposite. Antifa was not present and obvious long enough and finally they appeared, owing to the fact that Nazi violence was not stopping, but rather getting larger and larger. And everybody knows that at first Nazis were attacking people of non-Slavonic appearance and normal representatives of youth subcultures, that were weaker. Atifa appeared later – as a reaction, as a response of informal antifascist youth ".

"Look, – Tigran says, – fascists, when attacking, often pursue an objective of mutilating or killing their victim, they use knives and even guns. Antifas, when fighting with fascists, do not pursue an objective of physical elimination or disabling. Fascists should just understand, that they are also not eternal, they are not immortal, they have to understand the value of human life, the value of every individual. Maybe, small, underage Nazis, teens, who shaved their heads because its cool, because now everybody will be afraid of them, after getting it several times in the neck from normal guys, will understand that there is nothing cool in being a fascist, – no. Maybe at least some of them would stop."

Tigran thinks, however, that Nazis in general – as a violent street movement – can’t be stopped by just fights. This is just containment, the defence of youth subcultures against Nazis. "If they aren’t put in jail, Nazi idiots following their sense of impunity will begin doing much worse things. In their closed forums on the internet they are already discussing the preparation of terrorist acts on markets and even against state agencies, but haven’t decided yet whether to make the newcomers carry it out or whether to take the responsibility themselves". "How do you know?" I ask Tigran. "Our antifa hackers have broken such forums several times," he answers. According to him, on the same forums there are reference books on preparing and using home-made explosives, same as the one that exploded in the entrance of his apartment house.

"How do you feel after that event?" I asked him. "It’s ok. Friends helped me to repair the door, they gathered some money. Now we need money for a good attorney, we got to search for them. Now we have something to be busy with. But somehow it seems that my door is just about to be blown up."

Isn’t he afraid that the unexpected guests will come again? "They were already here – the night after the explosion, when the door was not closing. At four o’clock a ring on the remote entrance phone – a young cheeky voice, saying a telegram. Later on, walking in the entrance. Some of them were hiding their faces under a scarf or hood, poking by the door, up along the staircase and down. The cat in my flat pricked up its ears, I looked into the peephole, and I saw – "guests". I asked my sister to call the police again, and rushed to the staircase to chase them. But in home slippers you can’t run fast, I couldn’t catch them up. And the police too, they came with automatic-guns quite quickly, apparently they were stationed somewhere close."

All this phantasmagoria is really taking place now in Moscow before New Year. And blocking it from my mind, by blaming it on youthful rage, a desire to kick up a row and a gang fight, is getting harder for me personally. Knives were already in use. Now explosives are in use.

It’s absolutely obvious, that the question requires not only the consideration of the police, but of the politics, and pedagogy too. Is the official initiative of „Nashy“ enough that declared themselves as a democratic antifascist movement? Obviously, not.

Politicians who don’t want to give up the antifascist theme to the Kremlin and its political agents must think about how to react to new circumstances avoiding the standard methods.

Fascism and xenophobia – it’s not merely another trump-card in an election campaign in the marked pack of cards of the authorities, it’s a social reality. Those who were not shown the truth of the situation by the “Russian March,” should have been made aware by the Nazi terror in the streets. But apparently, opposition politicians, coming in their cars to carry out discussions or joint demonstrations with nationalists (whom they think to be “moderate”) don’t take the streets into account in general. The fact is these streets are being controlled d by Nazis too.

Often this is ignored by the mass media too. In one of the respected newspapers, I have been told that the statement of some antifa.ru out there, regarding the murder of Sasha Ryukhin – is not yet an informational couse. "Moreover, they should be certainly registered", – said the editor looking strictly into my eyes. I don’t’ know, whether they are registered or not. I know that in order to take the knife and make a bomb, there is no need for registration. And Nazis know it very well.

30 December 2006, 09:29

Vlad Tupikin

Polit.ru

Posted By

Eastern Barbarian
Jan 18 2007 13:40

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Comments

Vaneigemappreci...
Jan 19 2007 13:13

Interesting interview EB, Nazi's and fascists in russia seem to be very confident about pursuing violence and murder with impunity. Theyve even been putting up videos of attacks involving knifes on youtube.

how far do you think elements of the russian state are involved in these actions? The magistrates are clearly being very soft on those committing the attacks, is there a conscious policy of appeasement going on? Are the authorities hoping to get a reaction from anti-fascists that would provide a justification for a more draconian clampdown?

Tacks
Jan 19 2007 13:25
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:
Interesting interview EB, Nazi's and fascists in russia seem to be very confident about pursuing violence and murder with impunity. Theyve even been putting up videos of attacks involving knifes on youtube.

I've seen some bad shit, but damn... link for that?

sad

Vaneigemappreci...
Jan 19 2007 13:44

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scMKyAYd92k

this is actually from russian news or something

theres loads of them, type in "welcome to russia" or "russian nazi's" and you'll find all sorts of brutal attacks.

The situation faced by russian antifa and migrant workers in russia is clearly horrendous.

wangwei
Jan 19 2007 13:54

I am so proud of the antifa in Russia. They are doing what the left should have done in Germany when the Nazis were trying to rise.

The Russian ruling class knows the danger of revolution, the world revolution of the 20th century happened there, and they need to crush the left through an orgy of nationalism and violence -- fascism. As the left fights them, they'll grow through a sythesis of struggle. I hope the best for them, as they are fighting in the streets in a life and death struggle. I can only hope that I'm as brave as they are when the time comes.

Tacks
Jan 19 2007 14:25

I don't want to knock a statement i am in complete agreement with, but that's a bit bombastic wangwei.

Obviously the russian state has more truck with nationalists than leftists, but thats not really why they are promoting nationalism (and i'm talking about Putin promoting nationalism, not suggesting neo-nazi's are being promoted by the govt). Putin et al promote nationalism to make the state stronger and their elitist reforms more palatable. Its not like he can say 'i'm deregulating the economy in the name of the ruling class, you tramps'.

Crushing leftists is not a big priority to a government which has already wiped the floor with the Russian Federation CP a few years ago at the polls, and is almost undoubtedly rigging elections now anyway.

other things: Putins party has its own nationalist youth group (who beat people up) called 'nashi' anway;
Putin is quite happy to pay tribute to great nationalist Communist leaders like Stalin, somewhat taking the rug out from under traditonalists.

I'm just wary that you seem to to think russia is in some kind of pre-revolutionary war with the govt using fash to fuck up the proletariat.

Steven.
Jan 19 2007 14:35
Tacks wrote:
I'm just wary that you seem to to think russia is in some kind of pre-revolutionary war with the govt using fash to fuck up the proletariat.

Wangwei seems to hold the mistaken idea that lots of places are near revolution. most of his posts seem to be similarly "over-enthusiastic".

wangwei
Jan 19 2007 18:11
Quote:
Tacks: I'm just wary that you seem to to think russia is in some kind of pre-revolutionary war with the govt using fash to fuck up the proletariat.

I am not saying that Russia is near a revolutionary phase by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just pointing out that the government does need the far-right paramilitary orgs to crush the left. (I don't think the Russia CP is left by any stretch of the imagination. Apart from the anarchist movement there, I'm not aware of any other anti-capitalist left.)

The ruling elite disposes of the thugs that they used when they no longer need them, just like the Nazis did in the night of the long knives.

Quote:
John; Wangwei seems to hold the mistaken idea that lots of places are near revolution. most of his posts seem to be similarly "over-enthusiastic".

I don't think any place in the world is near a revolutionary situation, having said that, there are some places where intense revolutionary activity seems to be happening (Oaxaca and Chiapas most notably). I don't know why you're ascribing such sentiment towards me, but maybe I'm a bit too enthusiastic in some posts, but I don't recall ever saying the revolution is on the near horizon.

Tacks
Jan 19 2007 19:55
wangwei wrote:
Quote:
Tacks: I'm just wary that you seem to to think russia is in some kind of pre-revolutionary war with the govt using fash to fuck up the proletariat.

I am not saying that Russia is near a revolutionary phase by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just pointing out that the government does need the far-right paramilitary orgs to crush the left. (I don't think the Russia CP is left by any stretch of the imagination. Apart from the anarchist movement there, I'm not aware of any other anti-capitalist left.)

See mate, thats exactly what i was worried you were saying grin

If you disregard the CP you're left with a Left a similar size to the far left in any western country - very small. If you only take the the bloody anarchists you're talking about a drop in the ocean. You are telling me that the russian anarchist movement is enough of a a threat to the Russian Federation that they are using the boneheads to the same degree that Hitler used the SA? GTFO LOL grin

Given that i've just illustrated there is a state lead nationalist movement in Russia already, they do not need the nazis.

Quote:
I don't think any place in the world is near a revolutionary situation, having said that, there are some places where intense revolutionary activity seems to be happening (Oaxaca and Chiapas most notably). I don't know why you're ascribing such sentiment towards me, but maybe I'm a bit too enthusiastic in some posts, but I don't recall ever saying the revolution is on the near horizon.

Ok sorry, i'm not trying to become the new revol and i respect enthusiasm - frinstance we agree that anarchists should get free miliatry training and cash of the state they live in if they can*. I think you have however quite clearly stated twice now, that the situation in russia is similar to a pre-rev set up; state supported fascism is often called the last line of defence of capital, what they will turn to to stop a militant movement.

Fair enough if you didn't mean it like that, you say a lot of similar straight-forward left stuff.

ATB,T

*really, its a fucking great laugh

wangwei
Jan 19 2007 20:51
Quote:
I think you have however quite clearly stated twice now, that the situation in russia is similar to a pre-rev set up; state supported fascism is often called the last line of defence of capital, what they will turn to to stop a militant movement.

I don't recall ever saying that the situation in Russia is a pre-rev set up. I'm seeing the need for a far right contingent as a way to prop up the existing state and discipline the working class for the oncoming increase in Russia's intervention in war. I'm seeing a further increase in interimperialist rivalry between the US and Russia, not full blown yet because Russia can't directly challenge the US yet. But, I definately see some sparks flying.

I don't think the Russian Government needs the criminal fascist elements to fight the left, but to fight and discipline the working class. "In order for a nation to attack another nation, they must first declare war on their own workers" -- Mao Zedong and I think that's what's going on there in Russia.

Having said that, I applaud the Antifa for fighting the fascists, and hope that they are able to broaden the struggle to directly confront capitalism, and not just the right elements, lest liberalism win out and really drive the working class into the ruler's waiting embrace.

Tacks
Jan 19 2007 22:31
Quote:
"In order for a nation to attack another nation, they must first declare war on their own workers" -- Mao
Zedong.

Indeed he did.

Eastern Barbarian
Jan 23 2007 13:53

Antifa is Russia is strongly linked to anarchists, but not only, there is quite big hooligan following to antifa as well.
Anyway- whether Russian anarchist movement is considered a big threat or not, it is clearly quite severely repressed, same happening with antifa - people charged with construction of criminal group, stitched up for things they didnt do etc.

Vaneigemappreci...
Jan 23 2007 15:39
Quote:
whether Russian anarchist movement is considered a big threat or not, it is clearly quite severely repressed

there seems to be quite a lot of repression for anyone who steps out of line in russia at the moment, if liberal journos are being shot dead in their homes then its unsurprising that anarchists also feel the long arm of the state.

S2W
Jan 21 2009 04:02

Vlad is not liberal but a long-time anarchist, although he sometimes may write with liberal style

akai
Jan 21 2009 06:20

That's right, Vlad is one of the hardcore old-timers. It has to be pointed out that he works as a professional journalist in the mainstream media. This article may have originally appeared there.

BTW, you may notice the mention of Stanislav Markelov who was murdered the other day. Markelov always tried to defend people like the victims of fascist violence.