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By Sean — 11 years ago
New information has come out about the attack on a camp of antifa environmental activists on Saturday. The violent raid sent eight to the hospital, one of which, Ilya Borodayenko, 26, died of head injuries. Police have since issued eight arrest warrants and have detained 20 suspects. All of the perpetrators are under the age of 22, are students or are unemployed. Police are charging the suspects with “hooliganism” and “intentional grievous bodily harm resulting in death.”
Since news of the attack broke there has been speculation whether the attackers were Neo-nazis or local hooligans looking for “a bit of the old ultra-violence.” Witnesses say that the attackers raided the camp yelling nationalist and anti-Antifa slogans. At first, police firmly stated that there were no such nationalist or neo-fascist groups around Angarsk. According to RIA Novosti, police are now saying that the attack “was carried out by members of a local neo-Nazi group.” The motive for the attack also seems to more than your typical left-right violence. The Moscow Times says that prosecutors think the attack “was a revenge attack against anti-fascists who beat up a skinhead two weeks ago.” Others, like Vladimir Slivyak of the Russian environmental group Ecodefense, are distancing themselves from the antifa camp, claiming that the they had nothing to do with the protest, and that “This was a fight with anti-fascists, and it is very bad for us if now the media is reporting that fascists have been attacking environmentalists.” Yet the activists are from three different left wing groups–Autonomous Action, Rainbow Keepers, and Antifa–all of which are involved in the ecological protest at Angarsk.
But many, including the activists, see a connection between the attack and the protests against Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Plant. In a comment in Ezhednevnyi zhurnal, Galina Kozhevnikova of the SOVA Center, stated that
Personally I have a strong suspicion that the attack on the ecological camp in Angarsk is closely connected with the struggle around the Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Plant. It’s known that skinheads are very often employed in business turf wars (???????????? ????????). And if [such employment] is possible, why would it be hard to understand that such methods used against ecologists in an ecological camp protesting against the creation of an international nuclear center for the enrichment of uranium? Practically all of our radical ecologists are at the same time also Antifa. In the camp near Angarsk were the Rainbow Keepers and Autonomous Action. So there is nothing astonishing in the conflict itself.
Nevertheless, there is no evidence of a possible connection between the skinheads, the police, or those at Angarsk. So the speculation about the back story, if there is one, continues.
Thanks to mab for the translation of ???????????? ????????.Post Views: 132
By Sean — 9 years ago
I’ve never had much interest in Leon Trotsky or Trotskyism, but serious discussions by sensible people about his life, politics, rise and fall, and global impact are rare. Trotsky’s legacy has been hijacked by a myriad of kooks and cultists. This often bastardized and farcical legacy of one of the Russian Revolution’s most important figures, makes Christopher Hitchens, who identifies himself as a Trotskyist, and Robert Service talking Trotsky a gem in and of itself.Post Views: 126
By Sean — 5 years ago
My article, “The Shattered Self of Komsomol Civil War Memoirs,” has come out in the Fall 2012 issues of the Slavic Review. You can download it here. Here are the opening paragraphs:
Komsomol literature in the 1920s repeatedly evoked the memory of the civil war as a means to inspire young communists to sacrifice themselves for the construction of socialism. In the words of Alfred Kurella, “The heroic times of the civil war presently take on a great role in satisfying youth’s romantic proclivities.” The war, he explained, bound the Komsomol around a “single principle,” for it recalled a time when all “surrendered to one great purpose” and “individual identity was significant only as part of a large family. Everybody conformed to the principle that bestowed life or death.” Like other European nations, which used memories of World War I in the construction of national unity, the Komsomol recalled the civil war in order to unite youth around a common heroic memory. The civil war functioned as a “meaningful and sacred event,” providing “ever-present saints and martyrs, places of worship and a heritage to emulate.”
The desire to codify the civil war as a foundational event began with the creation of the Komsomol’s historical commission in December 1920: Istmol, or the Commission for the Study of the History of the Russian Youth Movement. Throughout the 1920s, Istmol collected documents and organized evenings of reminiscence and exhibitions to commemorate the participation in the civil war by members of the Komsomol. Istmol also solicited civil war veterans to write memoirs that would bring revolutionary heroism to life, adding color and depth to the official documents. Their publications varied in content and style, and recollections were often published with very few revisions. The result was a heterogeneous body of literature lacking a dominant narrative for civil war memory. The recollections constituted the main literary form of civil war commemoration since the obituaries, tributes to fallen Komsomol leaders, and articles highlighting the enthusiasm of and service provided by members of the Komsomol that were published during the war.
Komsomol civil war memoirs display an ambivalence toward the civil war. This contrasts with our broader understanding of the war’s memory as a heroic period in which communists sacrificed themselves wholeheartedly for the revolution. Alongside a narrative that framed the war as a “heroic epoch,” veterans voiced confusion, personal loss, hardship, physical suffering, and fear in the face of death. It is precisely because of these elements that Komsomol civil war narratives can be seen as part of the important phenomenon of war remembrance at the turn of the century. These narratives, like many of their European counterparts, are ultimately personal stories that attempt to come to terms with the personal transformations that war brought upon young soldiers and to render the strangeness of these experiences understandable to both the readers and the soldiers themselves.Post Views: 230