Copylefter: “They Killed Vanya”

The following text appeared yesterday in the LiveJournal blog of copylefter. According to several folks on our platform, it is the most thoughtful response to the murder in Moscow of Ivan Khutorskoi, an antifa activist. As such, it is less about that horrible event than about the growth of the neo-Nazi movement and the Kremlin’s attempts to control and manipulate elements of that movement for its own ends. It is also contains a very clear call for a mobilization of all normal people in Russia to face what is happening and unite to stop this double-headed menace. 

Although we have rendered the text into English as faithfully as possible, we have had to replace the links in the original with references to English-language sources and add a few explanatory links of our own. Our apologies to the author for this intervention.

Copylefter: “They Killed Vanya”

They killed Vanya. Now the Nazis don’t jump random punk-rock concertgoers — now they operate like professionals. And indeed, why else would they have trained so much at “patriot” camps and abandoned building sites if only to operate like a mob of disguised football hooligans who attack their victims with knives? If it goes on this way, then the right-wingers will simply gun down all the important actors in the antifascist network. Then they’ll finish off the “importunate” liberals like the folks at SOVA. Then probably they’ll go after artists: after all, they’re too visible, and besides, they already have practical experience with organizing pogroms at art exhibitions. And after that the selection of books at Falanster will arouse their displeasure… And so, without taking power directly, the fascists will quite palpably begin limiting the freedom of people who aren’t involved in political life. Meanwhile, the Kremlin will with one hand catch some “right-wing terrorist” or other, reporting to the west about the success of its operation, while with the other it will shake the hands of his comrades-in-arms, make them aides to Duma deputies, and shell out dough to organize right-wing resources — all exclusively within the conceptual framework of controlling the nationalists. What kind of fucking controllable Nazis are we talking about? How can you use training camps to “castrate” Nazis?

RNE (Russian National Unity), a 1000% police-controlled organization, was able to use the financing and resources of pro-Kremlin structures to recruit a staggering number of people to the right-wing movement: newspapers that were distributed amongst cops and the military, training camps… The story of the NSO (National-Socialist Society) and [Dmitry] Rumiantsev is also widely known, but who cares? Now there are new Nazis at the feeding trough — Russian Image (Russkiy Obraz). It’s total fucking nonsense: the guy under whose name [the organization’s] eponymous journal is registered is being prosecuted for a political murder to the accompaniment of the state-controlled media, while his comrades-in-arms write daring texts about “killer journalists,” and the Kremlin gives them permission to hold concerts by Kolovrat [a Russian Nazi skinhead band whose name is taken from the Slavic version of the swastika] in the middle of Moscow.

I will say it one more time: what kind of fucking controllable nationalists are we talking about? What, if you create a legal political buffer for them and feed them, they won’t kill people? Fuck that. Vanya’s murder is merely the latest tragic example of the idiocy of this idea. It’s clearly revenge for [the arrests] of [Nikita] Tikhonov and [Evgenia] Khasis, and the legality of the Russian Marches couldn’t stop it in any way.

Meanwhile, posts and comments have already appeared in LiveJournal in which people who “do not approve” of fascists talk about how the antifa are the same kind of shaven-headed extremists —just look at what a big guy [Ivan Khutorskoi] was, and he’s wearing a Lonsdale shirt. This is such a convenient way to distance yourself from the problem. It’s in the style of the late nineties: all politics is sansara, and the best way to deal with it is to consciously keep aloof. But keeping aloof is possible only if and when all participants in an event are equally losers. If you recognize that at least one of them has truth and honesty on his side, then keeping aloof is tantamount to treachery. And that is why the flywheel of collective therapy — “they’re just like the Nazis, they’re just like the Nazis…” — will start spinning again.

It is time to put a stop to it.  What is happening has long ago stopped corresponding to the favorite theory of office clerks made wise by their benefits packages (about turf battles between neighborhood teenage gangs) — this is genuine political terrorism. And the policy of the authorities vis-à-vis the right-wingers — this de-marginalization of Nazis in the teeth of a constant stream of murders — unties the hands of the “Aryan warriors” and enables them to recruit 100 people for every one that gets sent to prison.

Moreover, there is no need at all for any kind of “centers for extremism prevention” or passing harsher laws. As it is, they already forbid practically everything you can think of, but for some reason the Nazis aren’t becoming fewer. We need a decisive mobilization on the part of all people who don’t fancy ending up to their ears in fascist shit, despite the fact that we’re unaccustomed to traditional political actions.

We need to put an end to very possibility that the authorities could support the right-wingers. For the sake of this goal we can even forget about political differences, about our traditional fussiness and the fear of being deceived by “politicos.” Otherwise we’ll soon find ourselves in a country where the Nazis have grown so strong and made themselves so at home that it won’t even be possible to think about autonomy and personal freedom.


Filed under anti-racism, anti-fascism, political repression, racism, nationalism, fascism, Russian society

2 responses to “Copylefter: “They Killed Vanya”

  1. Pingback: » Arkiv » Moscow: Ivan Khutorskoy murdered by Nazis

  2. Pingback: Antifa and Leftist Activist Ivan Khutorskoi Murdered in Moscow « Comrade Vader's Blog

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