Hi everyone! Today is Sunday, 16 of October and we continue our weekly podcast “Trends of order and chaos” This is episode 76. So, what we saw and thought about this week?
1. The next stage of the war
For the past half year, it is difficult not to start the news bulletin with news about the war. It seems that, after the successful Ukrainian counter advance and the explosion of Crimea bridge, a new stage of this war has started. And it is far worse than the previous. Now, in reality, it’s an attempt to “bomb the enemy back in the stone age”. First and foremost, we are talking about Russia’s massive attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure – particularly on power stations. Electricity is the blood of human civilization of 21st century. Try to imagine your life without electricity. Well, residents of many Ukrainian cities now can visualize it. The destruction simple city infrastructure, just to make people’s lives worse, looks particularly cynical against Putin’s clams that he is going to “save those same Ukrainians from Nazism”. But, any war is an endless spiral of escalation and Ukrainian army answers back with the same coin. On Friday night, rockets landed on a power station in Belgorod – and this was not the first time. By the way, the day before, in the same oblast an ammunition storage was attacked – tree men of Rosgvardia (National Guard) died and some were severely wounded.
Could those hurray-patriots of 24th of February have imagined that already in October, on “Russian territory” itself, the running dogs of Putin’s regime will be dying from Ukrainian attacks? Probably not.
It’s interesting that there isn’t any reaction from Russian authorities on this. Apart from the head of Investigation Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, who ordered to open a criminal investigation into the shelling of Belgorod oblast by UAF. This of course looks quite cringy. Hey, Bastrykin, a war is going on, everyday somewhere, something gets shelled and someone gets killed. Then go ahead and start investigations on each dead and wounded soldier of Russian army. Maybe, that way the investigators will be destructed from political repressions inside the country. In general, Bastrykin gives the impression that for him to “open criminal case” is a reflexive reaction to any external irritants. Perhaps, even when he will be tried for crimes against humanity, he will order, there as well, to “open a criminal case” against himself.
2. Russia like a kamikaze drone
So, the bridge gets exploded, border areas are being shelled, and what Kremlin does? Kremlin doesn’t seem to call the public attention on this matter. The reason why basically is understood: the so-called “Russian Federation” is losing this war. Ukrainian army becomes stronger each week, as nearly the whole world supplies it and it’s highly motivated. Russian army gets weaker each week because it has no motivation, while it’s being supplied only by Belarus and Iran – but even they fear to openly admit it.
It’s quite symbolic, that Iran supplies RF’s army with combat kamikaze-drones under the code name “Shahed 136”. In Russia they rename it “Geranium 2”, probably because Shahed evokes some bad associations. So, the political regime of modern Russian resembles such kamikaze drone. After all, “drone” is a pilotless, uncontrolled flying machine. While the kamikaze drone is a drone that can execute only one task – to blow up something. In the process of execution of this task, it dies.
Putin’s regime currently is also “pilotless”. At this point, we doubt that Putin controls what is happening: the system works on its own, further and further immersing itself in destruction and chaos. This system consists of the almighty and corrupt FSB, paraziting on the state – the feeder of billionaires, cynical and stupid generals, but also, of indifferent citizens that “are not interested in politics”. It functions with its own logic, governed by short-term considerations of the sort “if only they don’t jail me today.” It seems obvious that we can’t expect a “victory” in the war with Ukraine, and that things will only deteriorate. But there’s no one in control of the system, while its screws are incapable of undertaking initiatives. Therefore, this kamikaze drone heads straight to its goal – self-destruction.
The desperate grasping at straws, under the name “partial mobilization” of course won’t help at all, but will only speed up the process. Mobilization of homeless and massive manhunts on young men in Moscow and Saint Petersburg don’t increase the trust to the government whatsoever. They only intensify those “trends of chaos”. The same goes for the recruitment of incarcerated men in prisons. By the way, it’s quite interesting that they intentionally don’t recruit those, convicted under “political” articles. The System doesn’t need cannon fodder that is too smart.
Yet, there are some pluses, around the events of this diving kamikaze drone. Just take as an example the wonderful story of Lavanov – an electric welder from Chelyabinsk. After his company’s administration send 12 workers to draft board for slaughter, Levanov understood that “in my eyes, my employer is my enemy”. And he resigned, writing “May you and your tsar Putin burn in hell” in his resignation letter.
3. The trip to Nuremberg
Will Putin and his sidekicks burn in hell and whether that hell exists at all we, as anarchist are atheists, therefore, can’t tell. But lately, people are increasingly talking about the “new Nuremberg tribunal” that unavoidably awaits those who initiated this aggression against Ukraine.
I mean, we obviously support a trial on all those monsters. The only question is who will be the judges?
On the first trial, 75 years ago, the judges were the winners - USSR, USA, UK etc. As we know today, those states had committed numerous crimes themselves as well, before and after the trial. Have our days become better? It’s doubtful. The hopes on international organizations like the UN are frail, while states and big corporations, even in wars and tribunals, pursue their own interests – hardly coinciding with the interests of the people.
It’s a bit weird to talk about Elon Musk in our podcast, but he’s a good example. As we know, his company SpaceX was strongly promoting itself for the fact that it was providing UAF with satellite internet (StarLink). Reliable internet connection helped significantly in their recent counter attack. But, the other day Musk announced that the free stuff is over, and now Ukraine or the Pentagon should pay him full price. Namely, the supply of StarLink to Ukraine is not a selfless act to “fight for freedom, against the empire”, but rather a thought out promotion act. Well, also a test in difficult combat conditions. Nothing surprising here – businessmen want profit. But, do you believe that the “elites” of USA or Europe care about the wellbeing of all living beings? Probably not. Their only concern is to consolidate their powers.
It’s important though, that in countries of notional West there are relatively more mechanisms, with the help of which people can somehow have an impact on the power. And even if capitalist democracies of the “golden billion” do not represent our political ideas, at least we can bring the Russian military criminals to a more objective trial. To make it, not an instrument for other criminals to consolidate their dominance, but on the contrary: so that it could give to people of other countries more mechanisms of controlling our own lives. Currently, it seems distant and highly unlikely, but anarchists should be getting prepared for these events from now, to develop our positions, our demands and means for the realization of those demands. This is called “political subjectness”. Eventually, our goal is for people themselves to become political subjects.
4. Horizontal connections in society
For the realization of this goal people have to be together. Just in time, the movement “Vesna” issued a call for Russians to massively create house and district chat groups. And what they write resonates with us: “Strong societies are organized local communities, solidarity and mutual aid. It’s the realization and solving of common problems. And chat rooms can help with this!”
Sounds quite anarchist. And basically that’s what it is – that’s Murray Bookchin’s libertarian municipalism or communalism in its pure form. They just don’t mention the word “anarchy”, but the meaning is the same.
Interact, create and support social ties, don’t close yourself in only reading telegram channels and news sites – don’t even listen to podcast, like this one. Only together we can win the power.
But don’t forget about safety. For large chart rooms, where not everyone knows each other, Telegram is suitable, because there you can hide your phone number behind a nickname. Such chats are analogues of public gatherings in squares. But if you’re about to discuss something sensitive or illegal in a narrow circle, then better use Signal. In contrast to Telegram, Signal has a normal end-to-end encryption. Therefore, even if the owners of Signal’s servers badly want to leak your correspondence, they won’t be able to do so technically. Owners of Telegram’s servers can leak it easily. And taking into account their Russian roots, it’s rather easy to pressure them. It is known that Telegarm has passed user’s information to the police in various countries.
Yes, In Signal you can’t hide your phone number, on which your account is registered. But if you trust the others in the group, then that’s not needed. Besides, you can still buy in Russia an anonymous sim card, register Signal on it and throw it away. Another possibility is to ask a friend from another country to register an account from a foreign number. In general, be careful!
5. Everything is going to be Belarus
In the past, a popular view had it that Belarus tests all the repressive mechanisms, that later are implemented in Russia. Well, the other day, Belarus announced a regime of counter terrorist operation or regime of high terrorist threat: officials are confused with the definitions. One is certain: it is in fact martial law. And it’s very likely that something similar soon could be expected, at least, for the bordering regions.
But one moment is also interesting. if you think about it: why Lukashenko didn’t simply call it “martial law” and keeps mumbling about “terrorism”? That’s because neither he, nor Putin came up with it. Terms like, “counter-terrorist operation”, “war against terrorism” and so forth, have been long used by other states as well (among them, the so-called “democratic” states). They are being used precisely in order not to call a war with its name, to attack civilian freedoms and human rights. This whole “anti-terrorism” thing is strongly related with massive surveillance, tortures, kidnappings and killings of innocent people. It’s very convenient not to call your enemies, enemies, but terrorists. Nazi authorities also called participants of armed resistance groups terrorists. So yes, Lukashenko talks about “counter-terrorist operation”, Putin’s generals talk about “Ukrainian fighters” (not “soldiers”). But they were not pioneers on this, they had good teachers.
As we speak about Belarus. Our comrade Ihar Alinevich, an anarcho-partisan who was sentenced for 20 years, for his participation in Belarusian uprising, announced hunger strike. He’s currently in a strict prison regime and additionally placed in solitary confinement. His support group writes: “There’s no communication with Ihar, but his mother and friends hope he’s not broken. For Ihar fighting is a norm and a necessity. It’d be rather worrying if he wasn’t trying to fight at all”
(By the way, the picture of this episode of “Trends of order and chaos” is a picture of Sergey Romanov, another Belarusian anarcho-partisan hostage).
At the same time, in Russia more details surface, regarding the arrests of anarchists and antifascists in Tyumen. As always, unnamed cops in masks, tortures by electroshock, humiliations, indifferent doctors and state-appointed lawyers. All six guys are still in prison. They are being accused of participation in a so-called terrorist organization.
We’d like to end the podcast with a phrase of Ihar’s support group. It’s applicable to political prisoners of both countries:
“How can you help? Overthrow the regime.”
Well, that was it for today! A reminder that in “Trends of order and chaos” members of “Autonomous Action” provide an anarchist assessments of current events. You can listen us on YouTube, SoundCloud, and other platforms, visit out site avtonom.org, subscribe to our email newsletter!
76th episode was written by Mani
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