Ukraine: The Anarchist Response

Statements

12th March 2022
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This is a collection of articles written by Anarchists in response to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. It is a living document and is currently in it's early format as a dumping group for links.

It aims to contain statements, theory pieces and social context, written by Anarchists in the Ukraine, Belarus, Russian, and indeed the world over. It does not contain war propoganda, agitprop and similar media or the conflict.

These statements come from a very broad selection of Anarchist tendancies, they are provided without editorial commentry.

This is by no means complete, If you have links to texts in mind, contact us either by emailing [email protected] or contacting the Twitter page of the AF.

Format Preference:

HOST NAME
ARTICLE NAME –
(WRITTEN BY + Date - Language)
Link URL

Peter Ó Máille & Guiraude M.
Last update 29/03/2022

LATEST

On March 17 a round table was held live on You Tube to air anarchist voices from Ukraine itself, from Belarus and Russia.The event was hosted by the Anti-Authoritarian Movement Athens, Nosotros EKX and CrimethInc. It contains up-to-date information about the recent and current situation for anarchists in these ex-Soviet countries and focusses on anarchist responses to the war and what can and should be done my anarchists in response to it.

Watch it here.

Here we pull out some important bits

Round-up.

Some libertarian socialists of Operation Solidarity in Ukraine involved in the armed struggle look to an end to the war through a wider uprising starting in Ukraine and spreading to Russia, Belarus and Chechnya to overthrow dictators and may way for libertarian initiatives. Since the start of the war they have witnessed great social solidarities which can be built on. They know that people’s material reality will be bad after the war and there will be social uprisings, and anarchists can play a role in making these successful. They consider that the Russian federation will collapse and that there will be a new federation of smaller, still authoritarian states though rather than self-governing territorial units such as anarchists might like. Anarchists who have left are still working for those who remain. If NATO intervenes, they will lose this opportunity, and they don’t want an active NATO counter-attack. The Russian contributor speaks about the state’s decimation of anarchist organisations in Russia and state repression of even ‘peaceful’ protest against the war. The only anarchist site really is avtonom.org, but of course this is banned in Russia itself. Anarchists who have fled Russia are involved in helping other political refugees, and many of them have fled also out of fear of the draft. Others raise money for anarchist prisoners via ABC Moscow. The contributor from Anarachist Black Cross Belarus (it would be illegal to have an anarchist ‘organisation’ in Belarus too) linked the situation to the development of the political dependency of the Belarussian dictator Lukashenko on Putin since Russia’s support for him since 2020, and the impossibility of social protest since then and the destruction of the anarchist movement (c.100 in exile and 20-odd in terrible conditions in prison). The sanctions against Russia will hit Belarus as well. Some anarchists have joined the anarchists fighting in Ukraine to help push back the authoritarian onslaught, partly because there is no chance of a fight-back in Belarus as long as it has Russian military support. Russia would have to be smashed before uprisings can work, with Kazakhstan as another obvious recent example of this.

On fascism, Nazism, ultra-nationalism and their impact in the war. The Ukrainian contributor stresses the difference between fighting in a self-defence group organised by anarchists and fighting ‘for Ukraine’, because anarchists are fighting like the ‘territorial defence units’, i.e. for their towns/communities, not for the Ukrainian state. They can’t be neutral anyway, even if only for the sake of building credibility for their movement within Ukrainian society. They need people to understand that neutrality is not an option. On the question of whether this brings them into military alliances with Nazis, which concerns anarchists externally wondering whether to support them, aside from the Azov battalion they are more limited in influence than in 2014, and anarchists are not interacting with them anyway while they are in different regions (the question was not extended to what would happen if this were not the case, e.g. would anarchists have to fight on two fronts). The Russian far-right were apparently in decline also. The Belarussian far-right, on the other hand, is more active than it has been. The ‘international unit’ which brings in people from the wider Belarusian diaspora to fight in Ukraine against Putin does have right-wing elements. On the other side, there are Belarussian nazis who support a far-right Russification of the region.

On how to support anarchists in the region. There was discussion about how comrades elsewhere can support financially, politically and so on. The Ukrainian comrade suggests that within the region, anarchists need material and organisational help to play their part in uprisings, e.g. practical training, including military. The Belarus comrade points out that people elsewhere need to research the current situation and not fall back on what they think they know about Ukraine, e.g. that it is riddled with nazis. The better informed that anarchists in the west are about the east, the less time and effort comrades there have to put into just explaining the basics. The significance also of donations to anarchist structures such as ABC Belarus, ABC Moscow and Operation Solidarity was also stressed because of the disparity in resources between east and western anarchists. The Athens comrade later suggests an online resource to collect together up-to-date information, solidarity resources etc. Obviously anarchists in these countries don’t have the capacity to do this themselves right now.

On the action of states against Russia. The Russian contributor spoke against sanctions because it hits ordinary Russians and not least those organising against Putin. Oligarchs are not the only victims of sanctions but sanctions are not prompting uprisings against Putin, as the west argues, because it isn’t possible to do that given the current clamp down. The Belarus comrade disagrees and argues that paralysing the Russian war machine is vital and sanctions are important to this. Also, national states should not be banning their citizens from fighting in Ukraine. The Ukrainian contributor suggested that far more technology could be sent to be put into people’s hands (not necessary the state’s). A half-joke was made – why can’t the West simply bomb Putin?

ORGANISATIONAL STATEMENTS

Most anarchists with active websites produced statements condemning the invasion very quickly after the invasion, expressing solidarity with ordinary Ukrainians. Internationalist solidarity comes from as far as the Zapatistas (Ahehuete) in Mexico. Many take a traditional anti-militarist/no-war-but-the-class-war/neither-NATO-nor-Moscow position which, whilst seeing Russia as the aggressor, expose NATO’s own predatory ambitions but warn of the dangers of exonerating the Ukrainian state and of expanding the war. Red and Black Notes (Australia) stress that other countries should not become involved. Anarkizmo.net takes a traditional plague-upon-both-their-houses approach as does Scissortail Anarchist Organization in the USA. The anti-militarist position is consistent and coherent in statements by the FAI Italy and APO (Greece), members of in the International of Anarchist Federations. The French and British Anarchist Federations in IFA agree with the broader analysis but point to the dilemma of anarchists in Ukraine faced with the choice of whether to flee or stay and fight, in full knowledge of the perils of a ‘lesser-of-two-evils’ approach, which Anarchists are not facing for the first time in history. The majority of statements coming out of eastern Europe itself, for example the Russian based network Autonomous Action, who have been opposing and being repressed by Putin for over two decades, see the war as the culmination of the threat he poses. For them, because on the ground it is not a war of equally repressive states with both equally oppressing their own people, they support anarchists being represented in the military as well as humanitarian resistance to Russia. Like Autonomous Action, the Russian section of the International Workers Association (IWA), the KRAS stresses the need for soldiers, workers and others to resist the war within Russia itself. The contrast with their own secretariat’s (CNT-AIr France) position , which supports everything short of that, again indicates that federations in the same international are open to different perspectives and, as always, do not rush to any ‘party line’. All agree of the vital role of the Russian and Belorussian populations in undermining the war effort at home and encourage Russian soldiers to desert.

Organise!/Anarchist Federation:

On the Russian Federation's Invasion of Ukraine (London AF / AF Nomads 050322 - ENG)
https://organisemagazine.org.uk/2022/03/05/on-the-russian-federations-invasion-of-ukraine-statements/

Umanita Nova:
Against The War, Against All States (Massimo Varengo/ Federazione Anarchica Italiana 270222 - ITL/ENG/SPN)
https://umanitanova.org/contro-la-guerra-contro-gli-stati
(Click here for the English translation and here for the Spanish translation)

Anarchist Revolution
Desert The War, Desert The Armies (FAS Sicily 250222 ITL)
www.rivoluzioneanarchica.it/disertiamo-la-guerra-disertiamo-gli-eserciti-comunicato-della-fas

Le Monde Libertaire
Communiqué. Stop the war! (FA French-speaking Anarchist Federation 250222 FRA/ENG/SPN)
www.monde-libertaire.net/index.php?articlen=6255

Anarchy
Against war, against governments! (FAB 022822 BUL)
https://www.anarchy.bg/%d0%b4%d0%b5%d0%ba%d0%bb%d0%b0%d1%80%d0%b0%d1%86%d0%b8%d0%b8/%d0%bf%d0%be%d0%b7%d0%b8%d1%86%d0%b8%d1%8f-%d0%bd%d0%b0-%d1%84%d0%b0%d0%ba%d0%b1-%d0%b7%d0%b0-%d0%b2%d0%be%d0%b9%d0%bd%d0%b0%d1%82%d0%b0-%d0%b2-%d1%83%d0%ba%d1%80%d0%b0%d0%b8%d0%bd%d0%b0/

Pramen
Soldier! The enemy is in Minsk, not Kiev! (Anarchists of Belarus 210222 ENG)
www.pramen.io/en/2022/02/soldier-the-enemy-is-in-minsk-not-kiev/
(Click here for the Spanish translation)

APO
Against the war, the state, fascism & imperialism (APO 160322 GRC-ENG)
http://apo.squathost.com/against-the-war-the-state-capitalism-fascism-imperialism/

AFED.CZ
Against the invasion, without hypocrisy (Czech-Slovak AF 250222 CZH/ENG/RUS)
www.afed.cz/text/7594/proti-invazi-avsak-bez-pokrytectvi

IFA Member Articles:
www.i-f-a.org/2022/02/26/ifa-member-federation-articles-on-the-ukraine-situation
www.i-f-a.org/2022/03/16/further-statements-and-links-to-articles-by-anarchists-on-ukraine

Avtonom:
Against Annexations and Imperial Aggression.
(Autonomous Action 220222 - ENG/RUS/POL)
www.avtonom.org/en/news/against-annexations-and-imperial-aggression

Ahuehuete:
There Will Be No Landscape After The Battle (EZLN 0322 ENG)
www.ahuehuete.substack.com/p/ezln-ukraine?s=r

Red And Black Notes:
Statement on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine ( Oceania's Anarchist Communists collectives 260222 ENG)
www.redblacknotes.com/2022/02/26/no-war-but-the-class-war

Twitter - @ScissortailAO
Untitled statement on the war in Ukraine (Scissortail Anarchist Organization 250222 ENG)
www.twitter.com/ScissortailAO/status/1497003284938252294

Anarkismo:
Against Militarism and War (Anarkismo Coordination 250222 ENG/ITL/CAS/POR/FRA/HRV)
www.anarkismo.net/article/32552

International Workers Association
Peace in the cottages, War in the Palaces! (CNT-AIT France 100322 ENG)
https://iwa-ait.org/content/peace-cottages-war-palaces

AIT-RUS
НЕТ ВОЙНЕ! (KRAS 250222 RUS)
https://aitrus.info/node/5921

Nihilist
War Never Changes (Nihilist Editorial Staff 18022 ENG/RUS)
https://www.nihilist.li/2022/02/18/war-never-changes-nihilist-statement-on-the-possible-war-with-russia/

Autistici
Proletarians in Russia and in the Ukraine! On production front and military front… Comrades! ( TŘÍDNÍ VÁLKA (Class War) 240222 ENG + Various)
https://www.autistici.org/tridnivalka/proletarians-in-russia-and-in-the-ukraine-on-production-front-and-military-front-comrades

MelbACG
War In Ukraine (Melbourne ACG 010322 ENG)
https://melbacg.wordpress.com/2022/03/01/war-in-ukraine/

Additional/Related:
Instagram - @femspb
A Call from the Activists of the Eighth Initiative Group (Eighth Initiative Group 100322 RUS-ENG)
https://www.instagram.com/p/Ca6hTGHM8hN
(Click here for an English translation by CrimethInc)


SITUATIONAL/HISTORICAL ANALYSIS

These lengthier pieces underpin and reflect the position of many anarchists in eastern Europe, which is that their situation is rather different from that of western anarchists and leads them to a slightly different analysis of the war. The war has not come out of nowhere but has seemed more and more likely as Putin acted more imperiously, most obviously with reference to Ukraine since 2014 and Kazakhstan, and that their own legal and political repression has worsened significantly in relation to western anarchists as well. Those in Russia have had almost no room to manoeuvre, although are still bravely active in the anti-war movement. Anarchism in Belarus has been effectively wiped out by Lukashenko for now. The consensus seems to be that either anti-militarists take an exceptionalist position in relation to Putinism, or abandon the people of Ukraine to him, letting him reassemble of the old Russian Empire from now ‘democratic’ countries where anarchists have a better chance of working towards social revolution. The writers are aware of the paradoxes, for example that the implication is perhaps ‘Rather NATO than Moscow’, but point to parallels with Anarchism in ‘revolutionary’ Russia (not least Ukrainians), Spain in the 1930s, and conflicts in more recent times when anarchists have fought for the defenceless in spite of having to make liaisons in practice with bourgeois forces. The most comprehensive place to look is Autonomous Action, for example the widely syndicated ‘Why should we support Ukraine?’ Pramen, an anarchist site from Belarus, gives important background in its explicit call for Belarusians to desert and to critically support the resistance in Ukraine. Finally, whilst a long way from our sort of anarchism, the Russian Nihalist’s perspective is interesting.

It has to be said that there have been fewer extended, specifically contextualised and experience-based articles produced by western anarchists. This is inevitable on one level, but the nuances of what eastern Europeans are telling us and asking of us could do with being engaged with at the level of this specific conflict as opposed to the application of historical positions which relate across the board to most conflicts. The eastern European view is amplified in some western sites though. The problem of western leftist approaches in general are established forcefully in Freedom NewsComment section (the position taken in the authoritarian Czech Class War perhaps exemplifies what is wrong, failing to realise that Ukrainian and Russia soldiers turning on their officers is not quite the same thing in reality). СЛАВА МАХНОВЦІ! in Organise! invokes the spirit of Makhno and urges Russians to overthrow Putin. The US CrimethInc site very much amplifies eastern voices in the west, reprinting articles by the Various authors, Ukrainian Resistance Committee, Autonomous Action, as well as background context, but is a complete outlier in going as far as ‘by any means necessary’ (see its Ex-Worker’ podcast). Enough14 also has very up-to-date site in its eastern European coverage.

Organise!/Anarchist Federation:
Слава Махновці!
- (Emma Hayes)
https://organisemagazine.org.uk/2022/02/28/%d1%81%d0%bb%d0%b0%d0%b2%d0%b0-%d0%bc%d0%b0%d1%85%d0%bd%d0%be%d0%b2%d1%86%d1%96-international/

Freedom News:
Fuck Westsplaining (Zosia Brom)
https://freedomnews.org.uk/2022/03/04/fuck-leftist-westplaining/

A Thousand Red Flags (Darya Rustomova)
https://freedomnews.org.uk/2022/03/07/a-thousand-red-flags/

CrimethInc:
War and Anarchists: Anti-Authoritarian Perspectives in Ukraine (ANON 150222 ENG + Several More)
www.crimethinc.com/2022/02/15/war-and-anarchists-anti-authoritarian-perspectives-in-ukraine

Ukraine: Between Two Fires ( VARIOUS TEXTS FROM UKRAINE 030222 ENG/GER/RUS/FRA/SPN/POL/ROM)
www.crimethinc.com/2022/02/03/ukraine-between-two-fires-anarchists-in-the-region-on-the-looming-threat-of-war

Final Straw
Anarchists in Ukraine Against War (The Final Straw Radio / Ilya 240222 ENG)
www.thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2022/02/25/anarchists-in-ukraine-against-war/

A Russian Anarchist Against The Ukraine War (The Final Straw Radio / Petr 130322 ENG)
https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2022/03/13/a-russian-anarchist-against-the-ukraine-war/

Avtonom
Why Should we Support Ukraine (Autonomous Action 280222 ENG/RUS)
https://avtonom.org/en/author_columns/why-should-we-support-ukraine

The Commoner
Assembly, a Ukrainian Anarchist Magazine, on Politics and a Possible Russo-Ukrainian War (Javier Sethness 270122 ENG)
https://www.thecommoner.org.uk/assembly-a-ukrainian-anarchist-magazine-on-politics-and-a-possible-russo-ukrainian-war/

Hyperallergic
Why we Need a Post-Colonial Lens to Look at Ukraine and Russia (Daria Badior 090322 ENG)
https://hyperallergic.com/716264/why-we-need-a-post-colonial-lens-to-look-at-ukraine-and-russia/

Gal-Dem
Why Romanticising the Soviet Union Obscures its Colonial Past (Aizada Arystanbek 280222 ENG)
https://gal-dem.com/why-romanticising-the-soviet-union-obscures-its-colonial-past/

Pramen
If Only There Was No War? (Прамень 280122 ENG/RUS)
https://pramen.io/en/2022/01/if-only-there-was-no-war/

Additional: Not an Anarchist resource, however Real Life Lore "Why Russia Is Invading Ukraine" is a very good resource for understanding the background geopolitics which have brought us here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If61baWF4GE

WAR COMMENTARY
This comes from Anarchists immediately involved in the conflict in various capacities on the ground, both the military situation and the situation of war resisters. News is regularly updated via news sites such as Enough 14 and, soon, in Freedom and Organise!).

Enough 14 / A2Day:
The Invasion of Ukraine: Anarchist Media Call from Kharkov ( ANON 040322 ENG/RUS)
https://enoughisenough14.org/2022/03/04/the-invasion-of-ukraine-anarchist-media-call-from-kharkov

Freedom News-Avtonom
Russian anarchists against the Putin regime's war with Ukraine (Autonomous Action 240222 ENG/RUS)
https://freedomnews.org.uk/2022/02/24/russian-anarchists-against-the-putin-regimes-war-with-ukraine/

Warszaw Skafa
The fall of the Romanov house for the second time
(Warszawska Formacja Anarchistyczna / Robert 50322 POL)
https://warszawskafa.org/2022/03/05/upadek-domu-romanowow-po-raz-drugi/

CrimethInc
Grassroots Resistance to Putin’s Invasion (CrimethInc 240222 ENG + Various)
https://crimethinc.com/2022/02/24/russia-and-ukraine-grassroots-resistance-to-putins-invasion

The Ex-Worker Podcasts (CrimethInc ONGOING ENG)
https://crimethinc.com/podcasts/the-ex-worker


Global Solidarity: Against the States and the Militarization of the Planet (Various from the B.U.R. region 170322 ENG)
https://crimethinc.com/2022/03/17/global-solidarity-against-the-states-and-the-militarization-of-the-planet-a-video-presentation-with-speakers-from-ukraine-belarus-and-russia
(Watch directly on Youtube)


SOLIDARITY
Solidarity. This is needed on so many levels. Anarchists who wanted to leave have been able to because of the well organised groups in ‘democratic’ eastern Europe but still need support, as other may. Anarchists are in our element when it comes to offering not only material aid to people in need but also encouraging people to establish horizontal structures of mutual aid themselves. By supporting their appeals with money we are not only supporting them as comrades themselves but supporting them as people offering meaningful solidarity to others. Dresden and Moscow ABC groups are supporting anarchists and others in and fleeing Ukraine from the outside (the Dresden group seems easiest to donate money to atm). In Ukraine, anarchists of the Resistance Committee themselves have established Operation Solidarity which is ‘providing mutual aid to people on the run, supporting movements of emancipatory forces in defense against the Russian imperialist war and developing infrastructure of solidarity with anarchists and anti-fascists all over the world’ with practical advice, links etc on the site. Anarchists with military experience who wish to volunteer in the Resistance Committee can also do so there.

Operation Solidarity (www.operation-solidarity.org)
The Committee of Resistance (https://linktr.ee/theblackheadquarter)
ABC Moscow (https://wiki.avtonom.org/en/index.php/Donate)
ABC Dresden (www.abcdd.org./en/2022/02/240support-anarchist-community-in-ukrain-during-war)
ABC Galicja (https://zrzutka.pl/9hubp6)
Federation of German speaking Anarchists - FdA - Project Safehouse (https://fda-ifa.org/ukraine2022/)

Note. To qoute a polish comrade, please DO NOT send more clothing. Poland is flooded with clothing right now and it's take up space for other stuff such as: sleeping bags, power banks, first aid kits, field and tactical medical supplies, foam mattrasses, camping gas stoves, blankets, thermal blankets, dry compact food rations and so on.

Tool Kit for Solidarity with Ukraine (https://express.adobe.com/page/55i83AhF95E0b) is a radical intersectional site which draws together links to groups (including anarchists) offering specifically practical solidarity with marginalised and especially vulnerable people in or leaving Ukraine, be they disabled, Queer, trans/non-binary, people of colour, Roma – and also grass roots medical and media sites in Ukraine, Russia and surrounding countries.

POINTS OF NEWS ACCESS
Web:
www.autonomynews.org
www.avtonom.org/en
www.pramen.io/en
www.crimethinc.com
www.enoughisenough14.org

Telegram:
T.me/antifaua
T.me/solidarnistinua
T.me/theblack

Instagram:
@operation.solidarity
@theblackheadquarter

Twitter
@theblackheadqua
@antinazichannel
@bad_immigrant







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