Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

September 21 2022 A Russian Revolution Begins With Mass Protests Against the Draft

     We are the Revolution, who refuse to enforce the tyranny and terror of carceral states, the imperial conquest and dominion of others, the legitimacy of any authority or the wealth, power, and privilege of hegemonic elites, the theft of any human beings sovereignty and independence, or the boundaries of the Forbidden.

     The Russian people have met Putin’s draft order for the invasion of Ukraine with solidarity in resistance, mass protests, and desertions and monkeywrenching by the peace movement within the military.

     Let us say to tyranny and those who would enslave us as we reply to fascism; Never Again!

     As written in The Guardian in an article entitled Russia Protests: more than 1,300 arrested at anti-war demonstrations; “Security forces detained more than 1,300 people in Russia on Wednesday at protests denouncing mobilisation, a rights group said, hours after President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s first military draft since the second world war.

     The independent OVD-Info protest monitoring group said that according to information it had collated from 38 Russian cities, more than 1,311 people had been held by late evening.

     It said those figures included at least 502 in Moscow and 524 in St Petersburg, Russia’s second most populous city. Unsanctioned rallies are illegal under Russia’s anti-protest laws.

     The Vesna opposition movement called for protests, saying: “Thousands of Russian men, our fathers, brothers and husbands, will be thrown into the meat grinder of the war. What will they be dying for? What will mothers and children be crying for?”

    As written by Andrew Roth in The Guardian in an article entitled ‘I’d rather leave than fight’: Russians react to Putin’s draft; “Alexander, 33, found out about Vladimir Putin’s decision to order a partial mobilisation during an emotional call from his wife.

     “Sasha, they can take you,” she told him shortly after he’d arrived at his office in downtown Moscow.

     While Alexander had served in the army as a conscript nearly 15 years ago, he never saw combat. That puts him comparatively low in the mobilisation draft, Russia’s first since the second world war.

     Still, like many others, he is worried that he could receive a povestka, his draft papers, and be sent to the front.

     “I’d rather leave than fight in this war,” he said in a short interview over a messenger app. “If they call me up, then I would want to leave [the country].”

     But because of a new law criminalising desertion, he said, he thinks that he could face a decade in prison or more if he runs. “It’s impossible,” he said of the choice. In the end, he said, he would probably “have to go” into the army. But he’ll try to find a way around that.

     Millions of Russians woke up on Wednesday to the realisation that they may actually have to participate in the country’s war and occupation of Ukraine. For nearly seven months, many Russians have tried to simply ignore the invasion of Ukraine. Now, for many families, the war has come home.

     “This is the thing everyone was afraid of when the war started,” said one mother who believed her son could be drafted.

     Others say they’re ready to fight. One man in his 30s with past military service said he believed that it was his patriotic duty to go into the army if he was drafted. “I want to be with my country,” he said.

     So far, Russia has not closed the borders to prevent draft dodgers from leaving. But many think that could be the next step.

     Russians fleeing the country have bought out tickets to countries like Turkey and Armenia, where they can travel without a visa. Individual tickets to those countries are not available until this weekend, and even then can cost more than $3,000. Aviasales, a popular air ticket site, even has an option to choose the destination “wherever I can go”.

     Many European countries have closed their land borders to Russians, leaving still fewer options to escape. And even those Russians who leave could still face a criminal charge for desertion if they are drafted and don’t return.

     Large state companies have begun handing out draft papers. “Among our colleagues, there are employees with combat experience, who have served in the armed forces,” wrote Sberbank, a state-owned banking and financial services company. “Some of them have their mobilisation papers and have been given their orders.”

     Opponents of the war have begun to protest in cities across Russia. But the rallies are small, sometimes just a handful of people. In Novosibirsk, one man who was arrested at a protest yelled: “I don’t want to die for Putin and for you!” A protest is expected on Wednesday evening in Moscow as well. Russian police have already blocked off the central Pushkinskaya Square.

     Opposition figures broadcast a prank call during which they reached the son of the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov and told him he’d been drafted for the war. He suggested that he would settle the matter “on a different level”.

     Some opponents of the war have called it a mogilizatsia, a play on the word mobilisation and the word mogila, a grave.

     “We know it’s a lot more dangerous than they say,” said Alexander. “Otherwise why would they need the draft?”

Russian

21.09.2022 Российская революция начинается с массовых протестов против призыва

      Мы — Революция, которая отказывается насаждать тиранию и террор карцеральных государств, имперское завоевание и господство над другими, легитимность любой власти или богатства, власти и привилегий гегемонистских элит, кражу любого человеческого суверенитета и Независимость, или границы Запретного.

      Российский народ встретил путинский проект приказа о вторжении в Украину солидарностью в сопротивлении, массовыми протестами, дезертирством и выворачиванием наизнанку движением за мир в вооруженных силах.

      Скажем, тирании и тем, кто хотел бы поработить нас, когда мы отвечаем фашизму; Никогда больше!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/22/russia-protests-more-than-1300-arrested-at-anti-war-demonstrations-ukraine?CMP=share_btn_link

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/21/russians-react-to-vladimir-putin-military-draft-russia-partial-mobilisation?CMP=share_btn_link

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/20/russia-recruits-inmates-ukraine-war-wagner-prigozhin?CMP=share_btn_link

     Here are some of my previous posts on the Revolution within Russia:

March 25 2022 World War Three, Part Four: the Russian Theatre of War

     As key oligarchs, power brokers, political allies, and kinglets of bureaucracy abandon Putin and escape to freedom, soldiers of Putin’s invasion force mutiny and join their comrades in Ukraine, mass peace protests erupt throughout Russia despite brutal police repression, and the heroes of Ukraine begin to recapture ground and drive the Russian Army from their nation, in some cases a Russian Army now cut off from their lines of supply and threatened with encirclement as snipers eliminate their commanders, a window of possibilities opens in which the tide of the conquest may be turned.

     We now have the tantalizing opportunity to trap the Russian Army in Ukraine and destroy it in detail, lest we face it instead in the streets of Warsaw and Berlin. There is no doubt whatever that this is Putin’s goal; the reconquest of all former proxy states of the Soviet Union, as well as imperial dominion of the Middle East and the Mediterranean in his conflict with Turkey.

    If we act now as a united humankind in solidarity with the peoples of Ukraine and of Russia against this war of crimes against humanity and in revolution to liberate Russia from Putin’s regime and the tyranny of oligarchs, with the full will of NATO and the EU and with the Russian people as forces of Liberation, we may truly win a peace in our time as appeasement never can.

     To quote the lines of Winston Churchill in the magnificent film Darkest Hour, which the historical figure never said; “You can not reason with a Tiger when your head is in its mouth.”

     As written by David A. Andelman in CNN, in his article entitled Putin Just Made theCcase for a European Army; “Four years ago, French President Emmanuel Macron, newly arrived in office, proposed a European Defense Force — a counterweight to a NATO alliance he and increasingly other EU leaders feared was being effectively held hostage by the United States and especially Donald Trump.

     The result at the time was a rupture between Trump and Macron, followed by the French leader’s rapprochement with then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Still, Macron’s idea went no further. Until now.

     On Thursday, it will come to fruition. With Macron in the driver’s seat as France holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, the vehicle is called the “Strategic Compass.” This blueprint for Europe’s security strategy, ratified Monday by the bloc’s defense ministers, sets out a context and concept in the strongest, even belligerent language. “We are adopting this,” the report begins, “at a time when we witness the return of war in Europe” — with these words boldfaced.

     It continues by warning that: “Russia’s war of aggression constitutes a tectonic shift in European history. The EU is more united than ever in the face of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine.”

The document then goes on to recite the broad scope of challenges to the security of Europe, but equally in regions where Europe has profound interests from the Middle East and Gulf region across Africa to the Asia Pacific region, even Latin America. Many of these challenges are traced to “increasing foreign interferences” with their roots in the Kremlin.

To cope with all of this, Europe now intends to act, in unison and with determination, to build a powerful military-industrial structure that can spring into action whenever and wherever the collective or even individual interests may be threatened.

     Until now, Europe’s defense relied on a curious mix of NATO power — for the nations in the alliance — to national armies of every conceivable level of competence and funding. All these report, largely, to a national commander. Now, under the Strategic Compass, there will be a single unified command. There is also anticipated to be a close partnership with NATO, the United Nations and the G-7 that includes Canada and Japan, according to the blueprint. All EU nations, NATO and non-NATO alike, will be part of the Strategic Compass.

     While Ukraine is not a member of the EU, though it is an aspirant, there is nothing in the Strategic Compass that in theory — unlike NATO — would bar any such European armed forces from acting, should the bloc believe its security is being challenged.

     As for the immediate crisis in Ukraine however, it would likely not result in direct armed intervention by any European forces — especially since it could take a year or more for the mechanism to be established even after its ratification this week.

     That said, this year Europe will agree on “operational scenarios” for a 5,000-member “EU Rapid Deployment Capacity” that will begin “regular live exercises,” with full deployment by 2025, according to the report. All branches of the military of member countries — land, air, sea and civilian defense — will be mobilized and integrated into these efforts, it added.

     None of this can be good news for Russian President Vladimir Putin. His hope was that an invasion of Ukraine would be met with discordant reactions — dividing large nations from small, East from West and those with deep reliance on trade with Russia and access to its natural resources, especially oil and gas, from those more capable of standing alone. And above all, that the war would divide the United States from Europe.

     But as the Security Compass declares, again in boldface emphasis: “We are showing an unprecedented resolve to uphold the principles of the UN Charter and restore peace in Europe together with our partners.”

     With the drafting process beginning two years ago and accelerating into today’s fifth and final draft, ballooning along the way from reportedly 28 pages to 47 pages, it’s now become part of a broader pattern of making Putin pay. And a strong, united Europe with the military muscle to back it up is likely more than enough payment.

     It seems likely that the Security Compass will fill some critical holes in Europe’s overall ability to defend itself — and the broad, often disparate interests of its 27-member nations. A handful of these, including Cyprus, Finland and Malta, are not in NATO and unlikely to be welcomed into the organization in the foreseeable future.

     The broader fear among many NATO-member nations that they could be drawn into a war not of their own choosing, is one that does not find its place in the Strategic Compass document. Meanwhile, the existence of a provision in the NATO treaty holds an attack on one member is an attack on all, and every member could be required to respond.

     Indeed, many NATO member nations worry that any expansion of the alliance, particularly to smaller nations bordering Russia — Ukraine, Georgia or Moldova in particular — could mean all are sucked into a wider war.

     At the same time, the existence of a European-deployed military force could represent a standard by which to measure NATO and its defense capacities. Or certainly, calibrate Europe’s defense relations with the United States. Where and how quickly, for instance, could this European force spring into action — while a more cumbersome NATO, perhaps at the mercy of the US, its dominant member, might hesitate.

     As President Macron told reporters last week as he unveiled his platform for reelection next month, he was determined “to try to make our country a more independent nation in a stronger Europe.”

     Third and perhaps most importantly — for many NATO and non-NATO nations alike — the Security Compass would effectively insulate the continent from the vicissitudes and inconsistencies of the American political system.

Amid Putin’s catastrophic and increasingly barbaric invasion of Ukraine, the fear that Donald Trump and his temper tantrums over NATO’s defense spending may not be permanently in the rearview mirror has certainly strengthened the case for a European army to call one’s own.

     What should be the response of NATO and especially the United States to what could be seen as a direct challenge to their 73-year maintenance of peace in Europe? Unquestioned and unquestionable support and encouragement of the foundations of the Strategic Compass.

    It’s clear that since NATO power and American diplomacy failed to intimidate Russia from launching, now prolonging and intensifying, the largest military attack on the European continent since the Second World War, it’s time to bring other actors to the table.

     Joe Biden has a unique opportunity to project America’s support this week as he visits Europe’s leaders who are slated to approve the Strategic Compass on their two-day summit meeting beginning Thursday.

     Any wavering in that support can only be seen by Vladimir Putin and other challengers to the world order as a victory to be seized and exploited. This is the time to present a united front in whatever form it might take against autocracy and aggression now and in the future.”

     Europe must be able to defend herself from conquest by fascist tyrants, and America must remain ready to act in solidarity with any Resistance, but we must also act to liberate Russia from the yoke of Putin’s mad tyranny.

     As written in The Economist in an article entitled The Stalinisation of Russia;

“As it sinks in that he cannot win in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is resorting to repression at home.

     When Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, he dreamed of restoring the glory of the Russian empire. He has ended up restoring the terror of Josef Stalin. That is not only because he has unleashed the most violent act of unprovoked aggression in Europe since 1939, but also because, as a result, he is turning himself into a dictator at home—a 21st-century Stalin, resorting as never before to lies, violence and paranoia.

     To understand the scale of Mr Putin’s lies, consider how the war was planned. Russia’s president thought Ukraine would rapidly collapse, so he did not prepare his people for the invasion or his soldiers for their mission—indeed, he assured the elites that it would not happen. After two terrible weeks on the battlefield, he is still denying that he is waging what may become Europe’s biggest war since 1945. To sustain this all-encompassing lie, he has shut down almost the entire independent media, threatened journalists with up to 15 years in jail if they do not parrot official falsehoods, and had anti-war protesters arrested in their thousands. By insisting that his military “operation” is de-Nazifying Ukraine, state television is re-Stalinising Russia.

     To grasp Mr Putin’s appetite for violence, look at how the war is being fought. Having failed to win a quick victory, Russia is trying to sow panic by starving Ukrainian cities and pounding them blindly. On March 9th it hit a maternity hospital in Mariupol. If Mr Putin is committing war crimes against the fellow Slavs he eulogised in his writings, he is ready to inflict slaughter at home.

     And to gauge Mr Putin’s paranoia, imagine how the war ends. Russia has more firepower than Ukraine. It is still making progress, especially in the south. It may yet capture the capital, Kyiv. And yet, even if the war drags on for months, it is hard to see Mr Putin as the victor.

     Suppose that Russia manages to impose a new government. Ukrainians are now united against the invader. Mr Putin’s puppet could not rule without an occupation, but Russia does not have the money or the troops to garrison even half of Ukraine. American army doctrine says that to face down an insurgency—in this case, one backed by NATO—occupiers need 20 to 25 soldiers per 1,000 people; Russia has a little over four.

     If, as the Kremlin may have started to signal, Mr Putin will not impose a puppet government—because he cannot—then he will have to compromise with Ukraine in peace talks. Yet he will struggle to enforce any such agreement. After all, what will he do if post-war Ukraine resumes its Westward drift: invade?

     The truth is sinking in that, by attacking Ukraine, Mr Putin has committed a catastrophic error. He has wrecked the reputation of Russia’s supposedly formidable armed forces, which have proved tactically inept against a smaller, worse-armed but motivated opponent. Russia has lost mountains of equipment and endured thousands of casualties, almost as many in two weeks as America has suffered in Iraq since it invaded in 2003.

     Mr Putin has brought ruinous sanctions on his country. The central bank does not have access to the hard currency it needs to support the banking system and stabilise the rouble. Brands that stand for openness, including ikea and Coca-Cola, have closed their doors. Some goods are being rationed. Western exporters are withholding vital components, leading to factory stoppages. Sanctions on energy—for now, limited—threaten to crimp the foreign exchange Russia needs to pay for its imports.

     And, as Stalin did, Mr Putin is destroying the bourgeoisie, the great motor of Russia’s modernisation. Instead of being sent to the gulag, they are fleeing to cities like Istanbul, in Turkey, and Yerevan, in Armenia. Those who choose to stay are being muzzled by restrictions on free speech and free association. They will be battered by high inflation and economic dislocation. In just two weeks, they have lost their country.

     Stalin presided over a growing economy. However murderously, he drew on a real ideology. Even as he committed outrages, he consolidated the Soviet empire. After being attacked by Nazi Germany, he was saved by the unbelievable sacrifice of his country, which did more than any other to win the war.

     Mr Putin has none of those advantages. Not only is he failing to win a war of choice while impoverishing his people: his regime lacks an ideological core. “Putinism”, such as it is, blends nationalism and orthodox religion for a television audience. Russia’s regions, stretched across 11 time zones, are already muttering about this being Moscow’s war.

     As the scale of Mr Putin’s failure becomes clear, Russia will enter the most dangerous moment in this conflict. Factions in the regime will turn on each other in a spiral of blame. Mr Putin, fearful of a coup, will trust nobody and may have to fight for power. He may also try to change the course of the war by terrifying his Ukrainian foes and driving off their Western backers with chemical weapons, or even a nuclear strike.

     As the world looks on, it should set out to limit the danger ahead. It must puncture Mr Putin’s lies by fostering the truth. Western tech firms are wrong to shut their operations in Russia, because they are handing the regime total control over the flow of information. Governments welcoming Ukrainian refugees should welcome Russian émigrés, too.

     NATO can help temper Mr Putin’s violence—in Ukraine, at least—by continuing to arm the government of Volodymyr Zelensky and supporting him if he decides that the time has come to enter serious negotiations. It can also increase pressure on Mr Putin by pushing ahead faster and deeper with energy sanctions, though at a cost to the world economy.

     And the West can try to contain Mr Putin’s paranoia. nato should state that it will not shoot at Russian forces, so long as they do not attack first. It must not give Mr Putin a reason to draw Russia into a wider war by declaring a no-fly zone that would need enforcing militarily. However much the West would like a new regime in Moscow, it must state that it will not directly engineer one. Liberation is a task for the Russian people.

     As Russia sinks, the contrast with the president next door is glaring. Mr Putin is isolated and morally dead; Mr Zelensky is a brave Everyman who has rallied his people and the world. He is Mr Putin’s antithesis—and perhaps his nemesis. Think what Russia might become once freed from its 21st-century Stalin.”

     As I wrote in my post of January 28 2021, The Limits of Force and Control: Navalny Challenges Putin and Russia Erupts in Solidarity Against Tyranny; The state tyranny and terror of force and brutal repression is a bluff which folds when called, and the limits of power find their event horizon in disobedience and the refusal of a people to submit.

     Authority can spin lies and illusions to confuse and misdirect the audience of their citizens, and they can kill, imprison, impoverish, and destroy the lives of their foes; but no one can compel the submission of those who in resistance become unconquered and free.

     A tyrant who must resort to fear and to force has no legitimacy and no power to inspire loyalty and faith; a tyranny of lies designed to falsify us and steal our souls cannot long survive exposure. This principle is now being proven once again in the streets of Russia, just as it was in Washington D.C. in the aftermath of the January 6 Insurrection.

     Always pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

Darkest Hour: You cannot Reason With a Tiger When Your Head Is In Its Mouth

A Brief History Of Ukraine (And Why Russia Wants To Control It)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/25/russian-activists-sign-open-letter-calling-for-end-to-war-in-ukraine

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/russia-ukraine-war-putin_n_623d7138e4b0c0781ab93fc4

https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/23/opinions/european-army-defense-strategic-compass-putin-andelman/index.html?fbclid=IwAR221N7qHkrboAQuqx21owRePJW_S1O8oPM68D3zMr0etkANcETEBY_Ph58

https://time.com/5933718/alexey-navalny-putin-protests/

February 25 2022 A Russian Resistance

     In Russia a mass movement of peace protests in solidarity with the people of  Ukraine, and against Putin’s invasion, has seized the streets of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, and cities throughout the nation. In defiance of brutal police repression and arrests, they came; in the face of ubiquitous propaganda, lies, falsifications, rewritten histories and the alternate realities of identitarian nationalist politics, they came to call out the would-be king who has no clothes.

     And the icons of Russian culture joined the heroic families and workers who stand with the families and workers of Ukraine, and with their champions among the free nations of the world, and with one voice declare to those who would enslave us; We are not your slaves, nor will we enslave others in service to your power.

     For we are many, we are watching, and we are the future.

     As written by Andrew Roth in The Guardian article entitled Prominent Russians join protests against Ukraine war amid 1,800 arrests; “As invasion continues, people from worlds of entertainment, business and journalism voice opposition.

     Prominent Russians shocked by the invasion of Ukraine have gone public with their opposition to the war, despite the professional and personal risks that come with dissent on such a sensitive issue in Russia.

     More than 1,800 people were arrested at rallies across the country on Thursday night as prominent Russians from the worlds of entertainment, business and journalism have risked their livelihoods in order to speak out.

     When Elena Chernenko, the veteran diplomatic correspondent for Kommersant newspaper, found out that Russia was invading Ukraine, she said she was stunned.

     “Of course, I was shocked … Until yesterday morning, I refused to believe that Russia could launch a massive military operation against Ukraine,” said Chernenko, who believed Russia may at most recognise the territories in south-east Ukraine.

     “I thought that all the talk about invasions was awful hysteria. I argued with people on Twitter and in person that nothing would happen, it’s all thought up,” she said. “Maybe I don’t understand anything about Russian foreign policy anymore.”

     After Putin announced the military operation, she penned an open letter condemning the attack on Ukraine. “War has never been and will never be a method of conflict resolution and there are no excuses for it,” she wrote. Nearly 300 journalists have signed, including representatives of state-run media.

     In retaliation, she revealed she has been expelled from the diplomatic pool, which she has covered for more than 11 years, for “unprofessionalism”.

     Chernenko remains a strong critic of Ukraine’s policy toward the Donbas region, but said she could not justify the kind of military operation now unfolding.

     “There was nothing complicated about it for me,” Chernenko said of her letter. “It was a spontaneous reaction. My country has started a military operation against another … but we’re for diplomacy, we’re for the UN charter, moral values, brotherly nations, and all that. And I had the feeling that this is the wrong path.”

     Popular actors and musicians, some of whom are employed by the government, have also spoken out and appear to have been punished for their dissent.

     On Thursday, Ivan Urgant, the host of a popular talk show on state-run Channel One, posted a black square on Instagram with the caption “Fear and pain. No to war.” His show has not gone on air since. Channel One has claimed it is just a scheduling issue, although several reports in Russian media say that they have been blacklisted.

     Elena Kovalskaya, the director of the Meyerhold Center in Moscow, quit her job at the state-financed theatre in an act of protest over the war. “It’s impossible to work for a murderer and receive your salary from him,” she wrote of her decision.

     “Our future is being taken from us,” said Yuri Shevchuk, the frontman of classic Soviet rock band DDT and a veteran anti-war campaigner, who went to Chechnya in 1995 as part of a peace tour. “We’re being pulled like through an ice hole into the past, into the 19th, 18th, 17th centuries. And people refuse to accept it.”

     He pointed to those in show business who would usually avoid politics now coming out against the war. “Even those pop stars who never talked about politics, who were afraid to lose their shows, honorariums, and so on.”

     They include mainstream stars like Valery Meladze, as well as more politically minded artists like the rapper Oxxxymiron. He voluntarily cancelled six sold-out shows in Moscow and St Petersburg, writing: “I cannot entertain you when Russian missiles are falling on Ukraine.”

     Even the family members of some of Russia’s richest businessmen have gone public in their opposition to war. The daughter of Roman Abramovich posted an Instagram picture that read “Putin wants a war with Ukraine,” crossing out the word Russia. “The biggest and most successful lie of Kremlin’s propaganda is that most Russian stand with Putin.”

     And on Friday afternoon, Lisa Peskova, the daughter of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, took to Instagram to post a simple message on a black background: #Нетвойне, or “No to war.” So did Tatyana Yumasheva, the daughter of Boris Yeltsin.

     While the acts of dissent may not change Kremlin policy, they could point to significantly less public or elite support for the current military operation in Ukraine than the annexation of Crimea eight years ago.

     Hours after Putin announced the military operation, protests broke out on the streets of Moscow and St Petersburg and more than 50 other Russian cities on Thursday evening.

     They were not the largest protests that Moscow has ever seen. But they were remarkable as a show of defiance despite threats that the government would crack down harder than usual.

     “Not only did they go to war without us, they won’t even let you protest against a war,” said Zhanna, a young woman with her hair dyed green, pointing to police in riot helmets. “But war is never right. I need to be here because I feel ashamed.”

     One young man held up a sign that said “Fuck the war!” Within seconds, four police officers had fallen on top of him, dragging him roughly to a police van as media and photographers crowded around.

     That scene repeated itself dozens of times, as protesters mostly waited their turn for police to arrest them. As the protesters were pushed off the square, they began to march down the broad pavement of Tverskaya Street, chanting “No to war.”

     A number of protesters said that they wished more people had come out in opposition to the war, a remark echoed by political analysts.

     “The government can put down nearly any protest at this point,” said Tatyana Stanovaya, the founder of R.Politik. “And in order for the situation to become serious, many more people would have to come out than did so yesterday.”

     Despite the odds stacked against them, many Russians have said they feel it is their duty to speak out whatever the consequences.

     “They are all doing this without worrying about their own future and threats,” said Dmitry Muratov, the Nobel prize-winning editor of Novaya Gazeta. “These people have all spoken very clearly to say that they are against this bloodshed. And that is very inspiring for me.”

     Muratov released dual editions of his newspaper in both Russian and Ukrainian this week and has said that his newspaper would defy the Russian media watchdog’s rules that they only report official government information about the war, trusting reporting only from their own newsroom.

     He believes the war is an unpopular one for most Russians.

     “The memory of the [second world] war, and that people have relatives in Ukraine, and that Ukraine is a dear country to us, it holds back even the most rabid supporters of the current leadership,” said Muratov. “There is no enthusiasm for this.”

     And in an article in The Guardian written by Pjotr Sauer and Andrew Roth the previous day entitled Thousands join anti-war protests in Russia after Ukraine invasion; “Vladimir Putin has said there is broad public support for the invasion of Ukraine that he announced just before dawn on Thursday morning. But by evening, thousands of people in cities across Russia had defied police threats to take to central squares and protest against the military campaign.

     Police had made at least 1,702 arrest in 53 Russian cities as of Thursday evening, according to the OVD-Info monitor, as they cracked down on the unsanctioned protests. Most of the arrests were made in Moscow and St Petersburg, where the crowds were largest.

     The protesters chanted: “No to war!” as they exchanged shocked reactions to the attack on Ukraine.

     In Moscow, Alexander Belov said he thought that Putin had “lost his mind”. “I thought that we would never see a war like this in the 21st century,” said Belov, who arrived early at Moscow’s Pushkinskaya Square to find it surrounded by police vans. “It turns out we live in the Middle Ages.”

     The mood in Moscow was dark and sombre hours after Putin had announced that he was launching a broad military offensive targeting Ukraine.

     “I am embarrassed for my country. To be honest with you, I am speechless. War is always scary. We don’t want this,” said Nikita Golubev, a 30-year-old teacher. “Why are we doing this?”

     His anger and hopelessness were shared by many commuting to work down central Arbat Street. At the Ukrainian culture centre just down the road, the mood was even grimmer.

     The Ukrainian administrator said the centre, which aims to promote the language, traditions and identity of a country Vladimir Putin denied the legitimacy of as a modern state in his speech on Monday, would be shut for the “coming period”.

     “We are being bombed as we speak. Of course we are closed! Jesus, what is happening?” the administrator, who did not want to give his name, shouted.

     There were already signs that Russians were uncomfortable with Putin’s initial decision to recognise the two self-proclaimed republics in Donbas.

     On Tuesday, Yuri Dudt, one of Russia’s most popular media personalities, said he “did not vote for this regime” and its need for an empire, and felt ashamed, in a post that received almost a million likes in 24 hours.

     A fresh poll by the independent Levada Center released on Thursday showed that only 45% of Russians stood in favour of the recognition move that preceded Thursday morning’s dramatic events.

     “I didn’t think Putin would be willing to go all the way. How can we bomb Ukraine? Our countries have their disagreements, but this is not a way to solve them,” said Muscovite Ksenia.

     But outcries of anger were not only felt on the streets of Moscow, where the Guardian did not encounter support for the military assault.

     Russia’s cultural and sporting elite, usually firmly behind Putin and often called upon by the president during election campaigns to gather popular support, also expressed their deep worries about Russia’s invasion.

      Valery Meladze, arguable the country’s most beloved singer, posted an emotional video in which he “begged” Russia to stop the war. “Today something happened that should have never happened. History will be the judge of these events. But today, I beg you, please stop the war.”

     Likewise, Russian football international Fyodor Smolov posted on his Instagram channel: “No to War!!!”

     US intelligence has for months warned that Russia would seek to fabricate a major pretext before launching an invasion of Ukraine. In the end, no major false flag came, and experts now believe that Putin decided to act without gathering the backing of his own electorate.

     “Putin seems totally indifferent to approval on the street. He’s acting not like a politician in need of public support, but like a figure from national history books who cares only about the approval of future historians and readers,” tweeted Alexander Baunov, a political analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center.

       Some risked arrest on Thursday evening in order to voice their opposition to the invasion. Zhargal Rinchinov from Buryatia arrived on the square in a jacket with the inscription: “No to war.” If he held up a sign, he said, he would be arrested.

     “Everyone is scared,” he said. “They know if they say something bad then they’ll be put in jail. So people pretend they don’t notice we have started a war, so they don’t have to speak up about it.”

     For Ukrainians, public messages of opposition to the war will come too late. The country has said that at least 40 soldiers have already been killed and many more civilians injured, as it is threatened with being overrun by a much larger military force.

     Yet, sensing that a genuine large-scale pushback against war might be Ukraine’s best bet, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine’s president, on Thursday morning urged Russians to speak up.

     “If the Russian authorities don’t want to sit down with us to discuss peace, maybe they will sit down with you.”

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2022/feb/25/anti-war-protests-across-russia-in-pictures

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/25/prominent-russians-join-protests-against-ukraine-war-amid-1800-arrests-putin

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/russia-arrests-anti-war-protesters_n_6217dc4be4b0f800ce1e2516

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/25/russian-guardian-readers-on-ukraine-invasion

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/24/we-dont-want-this-russians-react-to-the-ukraine-invasion

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/feb/24/ukraine-russia-vladimir-putin-kremlin

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/andrey-rublev-no-war-please-dubai-championships_n_62190ee9e4b0ef74d72f9663

May 8 2022 On this Victory Over Fascism Day, Let Us Liberate Russia From the Fourth Reich and the Tyranny of Putin’s Regime of War Criminals and Oligarchs, and Ukraine and All of Europe From Threat of Conquest and Dominion by Russia and the Fourth Reich

     Victory Europe Day, Victory Over Fascism Day; what do such holidays mean to us now, when fascism has once again seized and shaken us in its jaws with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the most recent of several theatres of World War Three which has engulfed the world and threatens the global subversion of democracy and the nuclear extinction of humankind?

    Putin and his puppet dictators Lukashenko and Our Clown of Terror, Traitor Trump, are figureheads of the Fourth Reich who have perpetrated vast war crimes and the Russian imperial conquest and dominion of the Middle East and the Mediterranean, as well as in central Asia, Africa, and Europe, and Poland knows it is next on Putin’s list of conquests along with Finland, Moldavia, Romania, and then all of Eastern Europe and finally Berlin. Putin has threatened to annihilate the British Isles and turn Warsaw into a city of ghosts and ruins like Mariupol. The theatres of the Third World War now include America, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Nagorno-Karabakh, and the whole region of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, and the Sahel.

      And yet we have not purged our destroyers and predators from among us.

     To a Wall Street Journal article about Russia bombing a school where children were sheltering I wrote this paragraph in commentary; Russia always bombs children first. This is a policy of terror, designed to manufacture helplessness, despair, and submission, but as in the Rape of Nanking actually creates resistance as a counterforce. The Calculus of Fear obeys Newton’s Third Law of Motion, and the people of Ukraine will resist beyond all reason, beyond hope of victory or survival, and while one Ukrainian yet lives and remembers who they are, are unconquerable. Who cannot be compelled is free; this too is a truth demonstrated by Mariupol, and a gift of those who die for the freedom of us all. This we must witness and remember until the end of the world, and one thing more; Resist! To fascism and tyranny, to imperial conquest and dominion, to subjugation and dehumanization there can be but one reply; Never Again! On this Victory Over Fascism Day, let us unite in solidarity and liberation struggle to free ourselves from those who would enslave us.

     What of those not killed but captured ? Of their fate Dean Kirby of Inews has written; “An investigation by i analysing Russian local news reports has identified 66 camps for Ukrainians in a network of former Soviet sanatoriums and other sites – and reveals how an underground network of Russians is helping people escape.

     Thousands of Ukrainians have been sent to remote camps up to 5,500 miles from their homes as Vladimir Putin’s officials follow Kremlin orders to disperse them across Russia, i can reveal.

     They include survivors from the besieged port city of Mariupol, where civilians remain trapped at the Azovstal steel plant as Russian forces make a final push to subdue to city’s last defenders.

     An investigation by i analysing Russian local news reports has identified 66 camps in a network of former Soviet sanatoriums and other sites in regions including Siberia, the Caucasus, the Arctic Circle and the Far East.

    i has also spoken to human rights activists in Russia who developed an underground grassroots network to help Ukrainians who want to leave the camps.

     The Russians are taking people into their own homes, buying train tickets, and directing them to other groups who can help them get to the border.

     One activist told i: “The state treats them as a labour force, as objects, moving them around without taking care of what they need. The state is unable to look after them. They are vulnerable and need help.”

     i‘s investigation marks the first evidence of a major operation to spread them across a country gripped by a historic post-Cold War population decline.

     It comes after i exclusively revealed last month that Moscow had ordered towns and cities across the Russian Federation to prepare for the arrival of nearly 100,000 “refugees”. Russia now claims it has “evacuated” one million people from the war zone.

     Tanya Lokshina, associate director for Europe and Central Asia at Human Rights Watch, told i: “There is ample evidence that thousands of Ukrainians were taken to Russia under duress.

     “When people are only given a choice to stay under increasingly heavy shelling or to enter the territory of an occupying power, it constitutes forced transfer under international humanitarian law.

     “We are extremely concerned this is happening. People who seek evacuation to safer areas in Ukraine are shuttled off to Russia instead – in some cases to remote areas very far from Ukrainian or European borders.

     “They are vulnerable, destitute, often without identification documents and find themselves at the mercy of the occupying power.”

     The sites identified by i by cross-checking local news reports with Russian mapping websites are known in Russia as Temporary Accommodation Points (TAP). They include dozens of sanatoriums and former children’s wilderness camps, at least one “patriotic education” centre and even a former chemical weapons dump.

     They stretch across the vast Russian Steppes and across 11 time zones over the Ural Mountains from Belgorod in the west to the remote Kamchatka Peninsula on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and Vladivostok at the end of the Trans-Siberian railroad.

     With names that belie the misery being suffered by their occupants after surviving two months of war, they include the Little Prince in Perm, the Santa in Tatarstan, the Friendly Guys in Omsk, the Forest Fairy Tale in Chuvashia, the Blue Lakes in Pskov and the Pine Forest in Ulyanovsk.

     i has identified 6,250 people in 38 of the camps, including 621 children. If full, the 66 camps could contain about 10,800 people, including 1,000 children, with more than a third of the camps containing citizens of Mariupol. Some are yet to house Ukrainians despite being prepared by local officials.

     With an average of 162 people in each, our analysis suggests Russia could need about 6,000 camps to house the total number of people it claims have crossed the border.

     While Ukrainians are able to walk out of the camps, their remoteness and a lack of money, phones or documentation means those wanting to leave the country face an almost impossible task.

     But Russian activists are trying to help.

     “There is an impressive grassroots organisation on several levels – people collecting money for train tickets, helping with clothes and toys for children, letting people stay in their homes for a few nights,” one activist told i on condition of anonymity.

     “They are sharing messages and passing people on to groups in other cities, who are helping them get to the border.”

     Some Ukrainians are known to have escaped to countries including Poland and Georgia, while there have been reports of others trying to escape through Kazakhstan. One Russian news report said Ukrainians being taken to one city south east of Moscow had failed to board the train.

     Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova accused Russia of genocide and of breaching the Geneva Convention, which prevents forced deportations during wartime.

     Calling for the UN to investigate reports that 200,000 children are among those that have been taken from Ukraine to Russia, she said: “They have been deported to all regions of Russia. The conditions of their stay and their health is currently unknown.”

     Putin’s camps revealed

i can reveal in detail how a vast network of former Soviet sanatoriums, children’s wilderness camps, hostels and orphanages is being used to move Ukrainian children and adults hundreds and thousands of miles from the border of their homeland.

     On the wild Kamchatka peninsula at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, 10 people including children from Kherson were placed in a dormitory of the Kamchatka Industrial College in Yelizovo on 26 April following an eight-hour flight. About 200 people are expected in the region.

     In Russia’s far eastern Maritime Territory, which is closer to Tokyo than it is to Moscow, a local newspaper reported in late April how 300 people, including 86 children, pregnant women and pensioners, arrived in Vladivostok after an exhausting seven-day journey on the Trans-Siberian Express from Taganrog.

     The new arrivals, including survivors of the Mariupol siege, were taken to the Vostok hotel complex on the coast near Nakhodka. It was the third train to arrive in a number of days, with one report saying 14 TAPs were being opened in four neighbouring cities to accommodate up 1,350 people.

     While Russian media claimed they had “chosen” to live in the Far East, adding that “almost everyone notes the beauty of the sea”, the advisor to the mayor of Mariupol said in a Telegram message seen by i he had learned they had no documents or money and were being promised only low paid jobs in the “arse of the world”.

     Twenty people have so far arrived in the far eastern islands of Sakhalin, which contain the Kuril Islands contested by Japan, despite officials expecting 600. One report said: “The Sakhalin region, as we can see, is not very popular with them. This is understandable.”

     Other reception points identified by i as housing survivors of the Mariupol siege include the Vanguard Patriotic Education Centre near Ivanovo in Ulyanovsk, a city beside the River Volga.

     The centre, which has a focus on “military-patriotic work” and promoting a “commitment to serving ones Motherland”, opened at the site of a former orphanage in February as part of a national “education” project instigated by Putin to create nearly 40 similar centres including one in Russia-controlled Crimea.

     It is one of two military-linked sites identified by i after this newspaper exclusively revealed last month that up to 600 Ukrainians including Mariupol survivors had been taken to a former chemical weapons dump at Leonidovka, near the Russian city of Penza, which played a former role in dismantling the country’s arsenal of nerve agents.

    In Murmansk, in the Arctic Circle, officials have set up 20 TAPs at venues including a hotel named the Northern Lights in the town of Nickel and the Lapland sanatorium in Murmashi.

     At a go-kart track in Belgorod, where people are staying in tents, a journalist reported having to go through two check points with armed men whose faces were covered with balaclavas.

     In Ufa, the location of the TAPs was described by officials as “classified information”, but one report of a site in a university hostel said it was fenced and access was only allowed with security passes “so people will be safe”.

     More than 530 people including 120 children from Mariupol have also been taken to the remote Tsaritsyno Lake boarding camp complex in the Leningrad Oblast, a three-hour drive from St Petersburg. A Russian archbishop who visited the site said several people told him they want to go home.

     He said: “There are people who have lost their documents. Without them, they cannot buy tickets for trains or buses.”

     In some places though, Ukrainians have already started to leave. At Nerekhta in Kostroma, numbers have dropped from 120 to 90, with reports of people travelling to Poland, while 15 have left a site in Narerezhnye Chelny.”

      Terrible though it is, this network of slave labor camps and hostages throughout Russia which contain both Russian dissidents and Ukrainian and other civilians captured as war plunder conceals crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Russian state as a key factor of its campaign of terror simply because it can. This includes a system of sex trafficking and military brothels where torture is sold in at least one known incident; also torture as a sporting event with betting in arenas which recall gladiatorial combat of the Roman Empire, spectacles of savagery wherein human beings are torn apart or devoured alive by wild animals with the betting being how long it takes and how many can be killed within the time limit. This has been reported both by our allies within the Russian Army and by the Underground Railroad operated by the Wolf of Mariupol, a network of Ukrainian women freedom fighters who infiltrate  groups of women captured by the Butterfly Collectors, set them free, and guide them out of Russia to safety. Some of the things the Wolf Maidens and those whom they rescue report are disturbing even beyond this.

     A friend and I had an interesting conversation the other day, among the commentary on a photo with the caption “Exactly 77 years ago, on April 30, 1945, Soviet soldiers hoisted the banner of Victory over the Reichstag! A victory for all humanity.”

      Writing in reaction to the first comment, by someone unknown to me, which misinterpreted the context of the post as referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and not the victory over the Nazis, which read; “I didn’t know this group was for supporters of fascism and genocidal dictators, ie Putin; not for me, this”, I replied with the following:

     I was at Mariupol, and escaped as the city was sealed off on the 18th. I have written many times of the war crimes I witnessed there, which include torture, organized rape and abduction for trafficking, executions, cannibalism using mobile factories and erasure of evidence of torture with mobile crematoriums. But do not confuse the Russian fascist oligarchy committing these crimes with the ordinary Russians now waging revolutionary struggle against this criminal regime, or with the Russian soldiers now engaged in peace resistance by mutiny and joining their Ukrainian brothers in solidarity to defeat the invasion, or with the Red Army which liberated Europe, and which I have fought alongside to liberate South Africa from Apartheid. Putin’s is no Red Army.

   “WTF? Cannibalism?”  Was the reply from a friend, not the author of the comment confusing Putin’s shameful imperial conquest today with the glorious Red Army of 1945.

    To this I wrote in answer; This was Russia’s solution to outrunning their supply lines; eat the killed in action. To be fair, they did this to their own fellow soldiers too, which caused an entire Russian unit to mutiny, kill their officers, and join the Ukrainian resistance, but its part of the terror campaign, like the Butterfly Collectors, the criminal syndicate of human traffickers within the Russian Army which kidnaps young girls and sometimes boys for use in Russian military brothels. The mobile factories for canning the dead as food for the soldiers operate with the crematorium trucks to erase evidence of torture.

     My guide in Mariupol was Oleksandr, a boy who had been chained to a post, his arm secured to a log, and a gun put in his hand pointing at another boy who had been surgically skinned, leaving the head and neck untouched so his agony could be conveyed by his expressions and screams and he would survive for hours or days in torment. After he shot his friend who was begging to die to end the pain the Russians just let him go, laughing; their idea of a joke. They didn’t even make bets on it, as has happened here when torture becomes a sporting event. His sister Kateryna we found hanging from a post; I believe she hanged herself after escaping her captors. She was eleven.

       And the reply to this was; “I am having a hard time believing this.”

      Here is my reply to him; I have difficulty with this also, and this too is a purpose of states which use atrocities beyond comprehension to subjugate us. I spent a day throwing up and working through the stages of shock a few days before leaving Mariupol, not from injury but because of something I witnessed. Not the torture or rapes, nor the feeding of the dead into the machines of the cannery while those filled with shrapnel or rotting were cremated, nor the usual burned and shredded bodies of aerial and artillery bombardment; all this I have seen before and will again, for with the exception of cannibalism among the horrors of war such crimes are normal. Have I mentioned that normality is deviant, and to be resisted? But some things are beyond the limits of the human, and for this there are no words.

      My friend’s final position in this conversation was this; “I am against wars, but for the soldiers who must fight them for the profit of others. All Russian soldiers cannot be this barbaric. Like the American soldiers who committed war crimes in Vietnam and Iraq, the criminals should be tried for their crimes and punished. But as a whole, those who send and command armies are the common enemy of those who are doomed to do the fighting.”

      My answer here follows; On this we agree; such acts are usually committed by elite units chosen and trained for loyalty and brutality, as were the death camp units of the SS. No normal person does such things, and most of Putin’s invasion force are conscripts and fellow victims of tyranny, many of whom are members of the peace movement which like the soldier’s strike that ended America’s war in Vietnam are the best real chance for peace. Most professional soldiers fight because if they do not, men who rely on them will die, regardless of the motives that brought them into battle.

     And as I’ve said, I have fought alongside Russian soldiers against Apartheid in South Africa and Angola, and other causes and places, in the eighties prior to the end of the Soviet Union, and they were not the same army as that in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, and elsewhere which serves no grand ideals, no vision of a united humankind free of the profit motive and of divisions of blood, faith, and soil, but its mirror image, an army of slaves sent by a tyrant to conquer a free people. 

     Many of those slaves unite in solidarity with those they were sent to conquer, and such heroes of solidarity and liberation must be welcomed and celebrated. This, and only this, will defeat war in the end.

    On this Victory Over Fascism Day, let us liberate Russia from the fascist tyranny of Putin’s regime of war criminals and oligarchs.

    Now as then, let us confront the would-be conqueror of Europe as a united front, and purge our destroyers from among us.

    To fascism there can be but one reply; Never Again!

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/explainer-why-victory-day-in-russia-is-different-this-year/ar-AAWWlnR?ocid=uxbndlbing

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/06/how-victory-day-became-central-to-putin-idea-of-russian-identity

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/07/putin-choices-are-filled-with-peril-on-the-eve-of-victory-day-parade-russia-ukraine?CMP=share_btn_link

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/08/ukraine-will-prevail-as-europe-did-in-1945-scholz-says-in-ve-day-speech?CMP=share_btn_link

https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/03/europe/russia-victory-day-explainer-intl/index.html

Here is the Wall Street Journal article on the Russian bombing of a school where children were sheltering

https://www.wsj.com/articles/russian-airstrike-kills-villagers-taking-shelter-at-school-ukraine-says-11651999227?fbclid=IwAR10eLnflERsJIU0gdMG4RQr8-wdzerrkNF02xDN8pDzuU8GeexvGxiN-Mg

This article reports on the network of 66 camps for abducted hostages, slave labor, and sex trafficking in Russia

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: