Siberian punk may be imprisoned for anti-militarist agitation


30-year-old Aikhal Ammosov is a member of the local punk rock group Crispy Newspaper. For allegedly "discrediting the Russian army" this guy is threatened with 3 years in prison. The reason for the case was that he and his girlfriend tried to hang a banner "Yakutian punk against war" in the center of Yakutsk before the visit of Prime Minister Mishustin. It was August 26, after which Ammosov was sent to a pre-trial detention center for 15 days.

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Submitted by Thunderbird on August 28, 2022

Aikhal's real name is Igor Ivanov. This year, city court of Yakutsk, the capital of the Republic of Sakha, has already fined him 30,000 rubles under an anti-war administrative article three times. So, at the end of April, the musician held a rally near the funeral service, coming out to him with a poster "The groom has arrived". At the military memorial, he lit a candle at the memorial plaque "Hero City Kiev". He also spray-painted on a public building "Yakutia will be free", and posted more than a hundred flyers around the city, they were all different.

The punk band Aikhal plays in has, in recent years, managed to drag independent label producers, intrepid tourists and foreign magazine reporters to this remote place of Siberia. But the war, it is clear, changes everything. “Until now, my generation was not interested in anything. Many people drink, some go hunting, others are just passive. I have been waiting for someone to publicly present my thoughts and the thoughts of my peers. The fact is that today no politician seems worthy to be called a "man" or "woman." So I decided to do everything myself”, he said in the spring interview with Rolling Stone.

Ammosov's actions were extremely noticeable. Not only in Yakutsk, with a population of 341 thousand, but all over Russia. Then the problems started: he was arrested on April 25, and for five days remained in the custody of the special services and police.

"In making this decision, I was well aware that I could face unpleasant consequences. I left my job. I cut off communication with friends. I don’t want others to be involved. However, I believe that the freedom of my fellow citizens depends on my history and first of all, thousands of young people from Yakutsk. If they condemned me, their existence would also be less secure."

Ammosov claims to belong to the "partisans and patriots" who fought for the independence of the Sakha people a hundred years ago, and today use art as a form of struggle. "I grew up in a poor family. As a child, I was aware of the vast differences that exist in our society. Today, some might think that I'm an abnormal punk because I don't drink or smoke. But here we have our own way of understanding things. In the first place is knowledge and intelligence. This is what we call sakha-punk."

"The groom has arrived" - the most resonant of the Aikhal's single pickets. "All the conflicts that Russia starts are similar and tragic. Are meaningless. People are dying because of the whims of officials and oligarchs. Those in power start the aggression, and we, ordinary people, pay the price. I thought the quote would touch people to the core."
"If Russia is a dictatorship, in Yakutia we live in an ultra-dictatorship: here you can be really crippled for an opinion that runs counter to the "nationwide" one. People are so cruel - if you go alone to a picket or draw some kind of anti-war graffiti, paste anti-war leaflets, you have to be prepared that every man passing by you can break your legs and arms. It is very dangerous. Catch both servicemen and ordinary residents prone to zombie propaganda. These "patriots" drive cars with the letters Z and beat up those who don't agree with the war."
A lot of such photos can be found in his Instagram

Then, he told more interesting details in a June interview with Sadwave:

"I'm against any wars. It is strange to be for it. Any conscious person who thinks with his own head will be against armed conflicts. We all watched war films. We watched Soviet films. War is always bad. War does not bring anything good. Only death, hunger and poverty. These are elementary things that even a child knows! But people are so stupid that they say that we must fight. They say that war is good. That sooner or later it would happen. Wars must be prevented, not fomented. And do not contribute to their development. I am not a hippie and have never been a peace-loving person. Was not a pacifist. But I have never been for the war. I have read many books about wars. About the Great Patriotic War, about Afghanistan, about Chechnya. I will always be against wars.

Anti-war sentiment is very strong among young people in Yakutsk and the region. Our youth is smart, thinking, conscious. I believe in her. Probably 95% are against war. Only rare frames are supported. Maybe because of propaganda and parents? There are more supporters among the older generation. But even they begin to understand what's what. And they are also on our side. People are confused. They were deceived. People don't understand what they are doing. Why do they need this war? Everyone wants to live in peace. Everyone wants to live in peace. But they are told that it is necessary. That it is forced. That there was no other way.

It seems that my story is being led to a criminal case. They just don't want to leave because they're afraid. That I will raise the people. There are already a lot of people behind me. Ordinary workers, loaders, taxi drivers. Youth. Intelligentsia. Marginals. Residents of uluses. (provincial areas - ed.)

My support is very strong. They constantly write to me, I see people on the street, I communicate. They write to me from Buryatia, Tuva. Petersburg guys write, help with fundraising. Recently sent ten thousand to pay off the fine. Young guys came up on the street, said words of gratitude, said that they support me, that they follow my affairs, they took pictures as a keepsake. They ask a lot, they are interested in politics, they ask what will happen in the future when the war is over. There are many young people in Yakutsk who support me. I go to meetings, talk to them, listen to their thoughts. They want to speak up, but no one listens to them. Here only the old people manage everything, and nothing is given to the young. Young people leave the republic or the country in search of a better life and decent work, because they are not given normal conditions here. Elderly people are everywhere. I would like to change this. For the young to come. So that young, energetic and ambitious guys, ready for action and change, work everywhere. We have stagnation and regression here. We live like in a tin can.

There are a lot of young people in Yakutia. And they are not allowed to do anything. They are just wasting their precious energy. They walk. They fight. Sleep around the clock. And it would be possible to use this energy for good. We would change a lot. Yakutsk is a city of the young, but this city is run by rusty old conservatives. We are the new generation. Generation of New Romantics. Nonconformists and passionate personalities. Now is our time. This is our year. Now we are writing history.

Before, I already went to rallies, participated in the public affairs of the republic. Did a lot of different things, but it was neither bright nor bold. I was reserved and secretive. Now I try to do everything for show: when people see, they stop being afraid, they get inspired, they themselves begin to act. I kind of pave the way. And I say that everyone can follow it, it is proven. Acting covertly and anonymously is smart. But to act for show is brave and bold. And pay for courage, maybe I'll be in jail.

I played in different bands, but they all fell apart. Lived at most for a year or two. Almost all my life I have been writing politicized texts about the Yakut realities. He ridiculed those in power. He wrote satirical poetry. But I didn’t really focus on anyone, I just did intuitively what I wanted to do (...) Inventing our own punk rock from scratch. We do not expect any encouragement, or praise, or glory. We just play for ourselves and friends. Yakutsk is the Seattle of the 90s. Yakutsk is the London of the 70s. But we do what we have to do. With great devotion and fanaticism. Only punk rock gives us a breath of freedom. We want to live. We want freedom. We want to make history."

We continue to monitor the development of the situation. And remind you that this month were arrested and suspected of combat actions two anarchists in Krasnoyarsk due to a conflict with some right-winger.

In addition, you may be interested to read this material to the birthday of a libertarian socialist from Kharkov who was exiled by the tsarist authorities to Eastern Siberia and became a famous researcher of indigenous peoples.