Russian Union Leader Alexei Etmanov Attacked and Threatened with Death

The Fight Is Effective When the Fighters Know How to Defend Themselves


getfullOn the night of November 8, Alexei Etmanov, the chair of the trade union committee at the Ford-Vsevolozhsk plant, returned home from the second shift. He parked his car in a lot and headed for his house. On Heroes Street three men jumped in his path and without uttering a word attacked Alexei. They were armed with knuckledusters.

During the tussle, Alexei managed to pull a stun weapon from his pocket and get off a shot. The cloak-and-dagger types beat a hot retreat.

Etmanov told a police investigator that in his opinion the assailants were ordinary “yobs.” However, he turned out to be wrong.

The following day, Etmanov’s deputy, Vladimir Lesik got a call on his mobile phone. The caller warned him that the nighttime incident had nothing to do with robbery or mugging.

“You got a mild chewing-out. But if you keep getting in our way, you’ll part with your life,” the anonymous caller declared.

The combative trade union at Ford-Vsevolozhsk gets in a lot of people’s way—both employers and dealers. And, by establishing the Russian Interregional Trade Union of Autoworkers (ITUA), the young workers of Vsevolozhsk have also gotten in the way of employers in Taganrog and Togliatti, as well as those trade union organizations that the authorities use like an “engine whistle” to let off the steam of popular rage.

It is a matter for the police to find out which of these forces attacked a labor leader with knuckledusters.

For our part, we would like to remind our sons of Lenin’s statement that a revolution is worth its salt only when it knows how to defend itself.

Trade union activists are in the process of preparing an appeal to the police to open a criminal investigation.

From the editors:

This is not the first time that labor activists have been attacked in Russia. We have written many times that the bosses are trying to intimidate workers and crush the seedlings of the evolving class struggle. Threats and violence against labor movement activists have become an ordinary affair in our country. In this situation, all communist and labor organizations should band together and oppose the terror of discrete members of the bourgeoisie with class solidarity. All incidents of such pressure on workers should be as widely reported as possible, and the protest campaign against the current practice of conflict resolution should be as noisy as possible.

Along with the Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast Committee for Solidarity Actions (KSD), as well as socialist and trade union organizations, the Marxist Group Workers Action (MGRD) has begun a campaign of protest against the actions of the administration of the Taganrog Auto Plant (TagAZ), whose [unrecognized union] is affiliated with the ITUA that Alexei Etmanov co-chairs. (It cannot be ruled out that the attack on Etmanov and the attacks on and threats made to union leaders at TagAZ are links in the same chain.) We call on all socialist and labor activists to join in our campaign—to distribute information about the illegal actions of employers, participate in pickets planned both for Petersburg and other cities, to send protest letters to the e-mail addresses of the bosses, and so forth. You can find updates on our campaign on our website. If you are able to help us in any way, please write to us at:




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6 responses to “Russian Union Leader Alexei Etmanov Attacked and Threatened with Death

  1. You know, I have to tell you, I really enjoy this blog and the insight from everyone who participates. I find it to be refreshing and very informative. I wish there were more blogs like it. Anyway, I felt it was about time I posted, Ive spent most of my time here just lurking and reading, but today for some reason I just felt compelled to say this.

  2. Pingback: Knuckledusters as an Instrument of “Social Dialogue”: More on the Attack on Russian Union Leader Alexei Etmanov « chtodelat news

  3. Pingback: Russian Union Leader Alexei Etmanov Attacked and Threatened with Death « I Am Junius

  4. Pingback: The Anti-Activist Terror Continues: Another Attack on Alexei Etmanov « chtodelat news

  5. Pingback: Russian Unionists and Activists Attacked : Sean’s Russia Blog

  6. Pingback: “Greetings from the Trade Union!”: GM Petersburg Union Leader Yevgeny Ivanov Assaulted « chtodelat news

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