In Russia radical anarchists were defeated already in the end of 1990ies (NRA case). The last underground fighter Ilia Romanov was arrested in 2002 in Ukraine and sentenced to 10 years. But have anarchists lost their combat spirit? 10 years later a new generation of revolutionaries came, they wanted more than demonstrations and antifa.
Anarchy Today team have prepared a small video on various attacks by anarchists in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia (BUR) from 2008 to 2017. By attacks we mean destruction or damage to enemy property – buildings, premises, cars, construction equipment, objects, etc.
So it happened that anarchist insurrectionists in the so called BUR have always preferred arson attacks with Molotovs. As they say, a guerrilla only needs petrol and a bottle. Self-made explosive devices were seldom used.
It is worth noting, that there were ten times more similar attacks in the period than the film shows. There were hundreds attacks in fact, mostly in Russia. The fact is that many attacks were not videoed at all. For some anarchists never claimed responsibility or gave a false address of the site, even a different country. For example, there are no videos how anarchists explode police cars, explode incendiary bombs on the sites of luxury car showrooms or plant self-made bombs at police and administrative buildings. We can only read about it in short reports at some anarchist sites (Black Blog, From Russia With Love, Center of Study of Anarchists …) and in the book Other Generation. There were more dashing and brave attacks than we imagine.
As we know, in Moscow, the first anti-cop arson by the new generation of militant anarchists ( it is incorrect to call them insurrectionists) occurred during the night from February 19 to February 20 2009. The next day a video was published in the Net by a militant group People’s Revenge, which showed people throwing Molotovs into police cars. People’s Revenge reported that two cars had been destroyed and called upon “every decent person …to stand up to fight the arbitrariness and despotism of the police, intelligence agencies and bureaucracy.” So the period of arson and explosions began …
The first serious attack by Minsk anarchists was setting fire to the entrance door of Belarusbank on May 1 2010. Before that there were just burnt billboards and symbolic pogroms.
In Вelarus anarchists did not manage to develop this strategy. Already in the fall of 2010, the authorities launched large-scale repression. Two structures dealt with anarchists – The Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption (GUBOPiK) and the State Security Committee (KGB). The cops were not kidding. Most radical anarchists were arrested. Some of them turned bitch, others remained unbroken, for this they were thrown into the prison zones (now everybody is already free). State propaganda even made a film about them – Anarchy. Direct Action (2011).
In Russia, the situation was much better. This is to a large extent due to the size of the country, in particular, the metropolis of Moscow, where the most attacks were committed. Also note: what for Lukashenko’s regime is a terrorist attack, for Putin is just hooliganism. After all, Moscow has repeatedly experienced real bloody terrorist attacks organized by Islamic and nationalist militants. No anarchist arson or bomb attack can be compared with these.
Therefore, the authorities in Russia did not properly deal with the anarchists. There were several detentions, but no one specifically for arson and no one was jailed.
And, after 2012, the insurgency has declined. Of course, the operatives from the Federal Security Service (FSB) played an important role here. They managed to make some of the give up all attempts to destroy anything more. Some even had to leave the the Russian police state.
In general, anarchist underground was not defeated. It lives and develops.
Our main idea is that open peaceful anarchist movement has no future! We know one thing – struggle against state and capitalism has to include a wide range of actions – from peaceful to militant, from creative to destructive.
The 2009-2012 period was the peak of anarchist resistance in the history of post-soviet BUR. Almost every day, especially in the Moscow region, something happened day and night. The media became interested in the anarchist underground, and looked for meetings. In 2011, The Newspaper Ru published the first interview with the rebels.
Anarchist sites covering similar activities have since either been closed or have already become dead. Since 2015 Black Blog – the loudspeaker of anarchist guerrilla has been silent. Actions tend to be forgotten, reports lost, videos get removed – this is a natural process. Nothing is eternal. But we still would like to recall and refresh the memory of those years. We truly honor the traditions and all the militant actions of the past years made by our comrades. With this video we want to introduce newcomers to this history and please the old fighters who have not yet retired.
Good luck. Don’t get caught by cops.
Anarchist militant resistance continues!