In Memoriam. Seven stories of social activists died under shellings of Kharkiv

Sumskaya street

Obituaries for seven activists killed during Russian shelling of Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Submitted by Thunderbird on April 6, 2022

Kharkov does not surrender and is not going to surrender to the Putler butchers largely due to the willingness of people to share the most necessary things and support others when they themselves need support. While rescuers, doctors and municipal workers are on the limit of all possible forces, many others show that no one here is left to the mercy of fate, on a voluntary basis.

The most affected neighborhoods are actually surviving thanks to humanitarian activity. All those depicted in these photos were killed by the "Russian world" came to us to bring death, for the fact that they provided life under siege. All of them had an opportunity to leave the city a long time ago, but instead chose to help the community and will stay such young forever...

Please join the collective's fundraising campaign for restoration of the local social fabric. The title photo is made by our reporter today on the main city street. Yesterday overview of anti-military sabotage in Russia and Belarus is waiting for you here.

All of us in one form or another observed around these spontaneous, not yet comprehended anarcho-communist tendencies during this 42 days of the war. In the wilds of residential areas, immersed in cold and darkness, from some distant depths of human nature, an impulse to communal life arose, like a small candle flame in the wind. Those who can fight only with civilians knowingly burned Barabashovo clothing market with rockets in addition to food warehouses: there were not only stocks of goods there - merchants provided those who lost their homes with mattresses, pillows, blankets...

And own life sometimes becomes the price of such actions.

Minibus driver, pacifist Anton Khrustaliov helped evacuate more than 300 people from the most dangerous district - Saltovka - and died under rocket attack during another volunteer raid on March 16.

On the same day, died the leader of Flash Cross project, engineer of the Gas Transportation Institute, volunteer Yuri Volchkov. From the first hours of the war, he joined to aid for people in need, delivering food and medicines around Kharkov. The shell hit his car.

Nikita Chukhno, a third-year student at the Kharkov University of Radio Electronics, also volunteered from the beginning of the war and died on March 26. That day, he helped the residents to restore the windows. An explosion erupted as Nikita walked through the building materials.

During a missile attack on the Gorky Park area the afternoon of March 14, fragments of the "Russian world" hit the car of the Help Army Kharkiv volunteer organization. 26 y/o Artem Ayvazyan died, his sister Alena was injured and operated on. She and the second sister Mariam Ayvazyan also are volunteers, managed to stand up on feet without parents. Before the war, they helped orphans, then internally displaced persons, and now the military and civilian population of Kharkov. All have pedagogical education.

Yuliya Zdanovska, 21 y/o student of the Faculty of Mechanics and Maths in the Kiev National University, was a volunteer of the Kharkiv Station charitable foundation and became a victim of the regional administration bombing March 1. In 2017, she passed the external independent evaluation with maximal 200 points, together with the team won the European Mathematical Olympiad among girls from 44 countries, was engaged in tutoring on computer science at the school and Olympiad levels. One of her last messages: "Thank you but I'm staying in Kharkiv until the victory"...

Natalya Skibina, 36 y/o student of the regency-singing department of the Kharkov Theological Seminary died under missile strike on the city hall March 2. She had a pharmaceutical specialty and volunteered to pack city-allocated medicines for delivery to hospitals.

Igor Volokhov about ten years ago was an anarchist organizer known as Cain and while studying at the National Law University in Kharkiv tried to establish a local cell of the student syndicate Direct Action. Then he supported the Euromaidan and moved towards liberalism. Originally from Crimea, in the spring of 2014, Ihor became one of the founders of the socio-cultural squat center for displaced persons evicted in 2018, from the first days of this invasion joined the Kharkiv territorial defense and died during the same attack, when he finished his duty at the entrance to the city council.

Kharkov is traditionally known as a city of boring faces, year after year locked in the routine of their gray everyday life, not wanting to notice anything around. And in many places of this devastated land, at these very moments, more and more people are beginning to take the first steps to return their lives into their own hands. The sudden stop of the daily cycle of production and consumption seems to have opened a rift in society, at the bottom of which the first sparks of a new world are smoldering. Everything is very simple and difficult at the same time.

Paradoxically, in conditions of constant risk to life, people help each other much more willingly than in peacetime. It's a pity that this "disaster communism" usually basically disappears with the disappearance of the main danger. Although humanitarian mobilizations in Kharkiv are largely vertical, the sharing of private transport and the provision of food or medicine to those who are unable to leave the premises are a prime example of the germs of anarchist self-organization from below.

Let's hope that it will flourish again in the pretty collective efforts to rebuild the destroyed neighborhoods, and then in the daily working days. But all this will be later. Before all this, we first need to survive...

See also our recent report Back to 1919 about famine and white terror in the occupied northern suburbs of Kharkiv.



12 months ago

Submitted by Steven. on April 6, 2022

FYI, we have created a tag for articles about this conflict, so anything about it please tag "Russia-Ukraine war". Many thanks. Have added to this article