Russian anti-fascists are struggling against a brutal wave of repression which has featured kidnappings, savage beatings, torture and fabricated court cases. Up to date, eleven antifascists are facing lengthy jail sentences. In response, a group of activists centred in London and with the shared goal of organising solidarity action and fundraise for the release of the antifascist political prisoners is calling on everybody opposed to racism, xenophobia, fascism and the upsurge of far-right populism sweeping the world to help raise funds in solidarity with Russian comrades. Please donate now at the link below. Solidarity is a weapon.
The repressions of antifascists in Russia began in Autumn 2017, when six anti-fascists were arrested in Penza and had weapons and explosives planted on them.
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) tortured the anti-fascists in the pre-trial detention facility by electrocuting them, beating them and hanging them upside down.
While torturing them, security chiefs forced the activists to memorise the testimony the FSB wanted them to give: that they were part of a fictional terrorist group called ‘The Network’. The FSB claims that the detainees planned to arrange explosions during the presidential elections and the World Cup to “further destabilise the political situation in the country”.
Two more anti-fascists were arrested in St. Petersburg at the end of January 2018 and were also beaten, electrocuted and forced to incriminate themselves by saying they were members of ‘The Network’.
A third person was accused in St. Petersburg and two more from Penza have also been arrested for supposed involvement in this make-believe organisation.
After knowledge of the fabricated court cases and horrific torture became widespread, solidarity actions started to take place, but this led to more repression. Some Russian activists who took part were detained, electrocuted and had criminal proceedings started against them – just for expressing solidarity.
This repression of anti-fascists comes at a time when the Russian state are working with gangs of far-right thugs to repress the whole of civil society.
One poignant example of this happened ten years ago when two Russian anti-fascists, journalist Anastasia Baburova and lawyer Stanislav Markelov, were murdered by fascists in broad daylight on 19 January 2009. Since then, each year on the 19th January, Russian anarchists and anti-fascists gather to remember them.
Please donate to the FireFund crowdfunding campaign. Money raised will help to fund legal costs, humanitarian support for the arrested and support of their relatives.
You are also invited to participate in a solidarity action with the imprisoned Russian antifascists, which will take place on 19th January 2019 in London.