War in Ukraine Through a Look at Alexey Mozgovoy (1975-2015)

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Apr 5 2017 16:08
War in Ukraine Through a Look at Alexey Mozgovoy (1975-2015)

This article is directed against the liberal-left interpretation of the war in Ukraine. They see the war as a “people’s uprising” of the East of Ukraine (Donbass), against a fascist regime in Kiev, backed by Western imperialism. This primitive characterization is given voice, for example by Patelis Dimitris, an activist from Greece, who was speaking at the International Forum of Solidarity with Donbass, organized by Alexey Mozgovoy, in May 2015: "What is happening today in Donbass is an uprising of popular masses against fascism, the first such uprising in XXI century".

Such is the naïve, primitive understanding by left activists of the war in Ukraine. And this war concerns not only Ukraine, but Russia too, and the fate of socialism in general.

Who was Alexey Mozgovoy (1975-2015)? He was a former commander of a military brigade “Prizrak” (Ghost), which was a semi-independent military organization in the South-East of Ukraine, battling against the regime of Poroshenko, in Kiev.

Alexey Mozgovoy was a worker in his social origin. Before the events of 2013-14 in Ukraine, he used to be a “guest worker” in St. Petersburg, Russia, working on a building project, it seems as a cook.

In his political views, he was a curious mix of left and right wing ideology, which is so typical for modern day post-USSR. He was a socialist in that he argued for nationalization of strategic enterprises, which have been stolen from the state by oligarchs. He also argued for a constitution which would return the political power to the people, making the bureaucrats people’s servants, not visa versa. The 3 slogans, upon which his brigade was based were: 1. People’s power, 2. Anti-fascism, 3. Anti-oligarchy (see the movie «Первый», “First” about A. Mozgovoy).

A. Mozgovoy was also a Slavic nationalist and an anti-Semite. His close friend was Igor Strelkov, who used to be the first Minister of Defense in the newly formed Donetsk People’s Republic. Strelkov is known for his sympathy to the monarchist movement. If we look at the set of principles upon which the Prizrak Brigade was based, under #12, we find the concept of “Russian world”. The idea is that Russians, Ukrainians and Byelorussians should unite against their common enemies. These enemies Mozgovoy sees as Jews, who are conspiring to divide up the Slavic people and make them slaves (see many entries in his diary for 2014-15).

Mozgovoy was killed because he spoke against the bureaucracy and oligarchy, which is the ruling caste both in the newly formed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (LPR & DPR), and in the “mainland” Ukraine. Most important are his 2 articles, called “The System” and “The System-2”, published in early May, 2015, shortly before his murder on 23 May, 2015. He writes:

"The System… there is so much… chaos in this word today! But, it is organized and controlled… For each, there is his “trough” and a clear distribution of privileges. Anything else is not interesting for the members of this group. The most important thing is that the System should not falter; god forbid that anyone shows an initiative and makes a step aside, even if this step is in the direction needed for the people. This can contradict the politics of the System itself… and this is similar to death for its many prominent representatives and simple functionaries."

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