[For Dion] Shadowboxing (Petersburg Antifa) | chtodelat news

While local punk bands (like Perth’s The Homicides) are happy to play with neo-Nazis — and thereby encourage the re-emergence of boneheads in Perth — and other, Melbourne-based bands were happy to support a (formerly) fascist venue, I stumbled upon this article on antifa in Petersburg, young punks who take a somewhat different approach…

Punk Revival-Resistance

Shadowboxing
Anna Rudnitskaya
Russian Reporter 25 (55)
July 3, 2008

It is hard to believe that the war against fascism is once again being fought on the streets of Russia’s cities. This war is waged by young people who for some reason don’t like the sound of the slogan, “Beat the blacks [i.e., people from the Caucasus region and Central Asia]!” No one coordinates them, and they are in no hurry to emerge from the shadows. The antifascists are not asked to appear on TV, the Kremlin doesn’t give them medals, and they don’t go on state-sponsored trips to the famous [Nashi] summer camp on Lake Seliger. Generally, the powers that be and talking heads prefer not to mention them. Why? Is it because their struggle runs against the grain of the public mood, which has become more and more aggressive towards foreigners and non-Russians? Or is it because it is frightening to acknowledge the antifascists as a real force? For that would mean admitting that the evil they are fighting is already within us.

The words “skinhead” and “fascist” took root in the Russian language long ago. But we know almost nothing about the people known as antifa. Are they an incarnation of goodness, which (as we were taught in Soviet times) has to have fists to defend itself? Are they just street hooligans who enjoy fighting? Or are they a well-organized, deeply clandestine combat unit? No one knew much of anything about them before [their enemies] began to murder them.

The first murder to become nationwide news was that of the Petersburg professor Nikolai Girenko. This famous antifascist was shot in his own apartment. A year later, also in Petersburg, twenty-year-old Timur Kacharava perished: seven teenagers armed with knives attacked him after a [Food Not Bombs] action. Less than a year later, Moscow student Alexander Riukhin was killed as he made his way to a punk-rock concert. And this spring, Alexei Krylov was stabbed to death in downtown Moscow…

Anna in conversation with Katya, “an English-language instructor at a university… between thirty and forty… [with] a delicate figure and a dreamy gaze”:

We head to the metro through another park, next to the Forestry Academy. Katya tells me the story of her neighbor lady. This cultured elderly woman was walking down this same path one evening when she saw that two young men who looked like skinheads were stalking an African student. The woman didn’t lose her cool: she attacked them with her bag and shouted, “Get the hell out of here, fascists!” The young men obeyed her. “So it’s hard to say how many antifascists prepared for direct action there are in the city,” Katya laughs. “There [are] around a hundred people who regularly participate in actions.”

The article ends on a rather dramatic — rather than humourous — note, one concerning the possible fate of a twenty-two year old former student named Oleg Smirnov (‘Rash’):

Rash is an interesting guy to spend time with. He’s the genuine article, absolutely unpretentious despite his age and circumstances. What is more surprising is that there is nothing aggressive about him—not his words, not his eyes, not the way he talks with you. He is charming, almost a regular guy. Goddamn it, why didn’t he keep studying for his sociology degree!

“What,” I ask, “are you going to be doing in ten years?”

“In ten years?” he shrugs. “I imagine that by then they’ll have either put me in prison or killed me.”

Also of interest is a podcast by Christof Putzel called (what else?) ‘From Russia With Hate’, published in December last year and commencing with a look at events around Hitler’s birthday that April. At the same time, in Australia, local, Newcastle-based neo-Nazis Blood Red Eagle traveled to Wellington (Aotearoa/New Zealand) to wish Mr. Hitler a happy birthday. BRE also played the Ian Stuart Donaldson memorial gig in 2006 at The Birmingham Hotel, and is scheduled to play the upcoming ISD gig on September 13 (also in Melbourne), along with the band Ravenous (which once featured Joel of local oi! band Bulldog Spirit) and a band from parts unknown (weight unknown). In 2007, the ISD gig was held at the Melbourne Croatia Social Club, and featured Bail Up! (Melbourne), Fortress (Melbourne, in their last ever gig), The Quick & The Dead (mates of The Homicides from Perth, and featured in the latest # of Blood & Honour zine) and the US pop-neo-Nazi-punk band Final War.

See also :

[For Dion] Hooray for Everything!* (July 2, 2008)
[For Dion] OMG!Violence is real!LOL! (June 19, 2008)
[For Dion] Family identifies son in Russian beheading video (June 10, 2008)
[For Dion] “What’s a truck?” (April 9, 2008)
[For Dion] Love versus hate // Another antifa stabbed in Moscow (February 16, 2008)
[For Dion] Nothing to see here… (February 16, 2008)
[For Dion] “I Love Trash” (February 6, 2008)
Jan Kučera – Další oběť neonacistů (Czech antifa murdered by neo-Nazi) (January 23, 2008)
[For Dion] Hate Crimes on Rise in Russia // Big Ups from Down Under (January 1, 2008)

Naughty Russian neo-Nazi fined over execution video (November 23, 2007)
From Putin to Prague and back again (November 6, 2007)
Until someone gets killed… (October 31, 2007)
Student charged over Russian neo-Nazi execution video (October 22, 2007)
Nothing to see here, just murder, apathy, and collaboration (August 15, 2007)
Another neo-Nazi assault on FNB in Russia (July 27, 2007)
Who do they think they’re fooling? Angarsk, Ilya Borodaenko, and the IUEC (July 24, 2007)
Statement from survivors of fascist assault in Siberia (July 22, 2007)
Neo-Nazis attack environmental protest camp in Siberia; murder one, wound others (July 21, 2007)
Blame Canada? Limonov & National Bolshevism (July 6, 2007)
Fascists and the Russian nanny state (June 21, 2007)
Bombs, Knives & Batons, Not Food, in St. Petersburg (February 28, 2007)

Russia : Two more anarchists stabbed by fascists (December 12, 2006)
“White Terror” (July 19, 2006)
FCUK the G8! (July 16, 2006)

Timur Kacharava (21.08.1985 – 13.11.2005) (December 30, 2005)


Alexander Riukhin

Timur Kacharava

Nikolai Girenko

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2021 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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1 Response to [For Dion] Shadowboxing (Petersburg Antifa) | chtodelat news

  1. Dean T says:

    Great union clip above…must go and see the movie!

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