By Andrei Nechayevsky
Translated from the Russian by The Russian Reader (original post)
“I would like to live in a province near the sea, but not in a place where ‘unreliable elements’ are purged.”
I am from Donetsk myself. My wife and I moved to Crimea ten years ago. We built a house outside of Kerch, in the backcountry. There isn’t a soul there in winter.
Suddenly, in February 2014, Russian choppers were flying over us every night. Then troops marched through Kerch. I saw it with my own eyes.
There was this fabulous thing: Russian religious pilgrims, columns of buses filled with people who were supposedly traveling en masse to worship Crimea’s Orthodox relics. I watched them change into army uniforms in a church yard.
Kerch was inundated with completely atypical characters: there were a huge number of Cossacks. I was getting hassled in town on the street, something that had never happened before. Drunken, fairly strong men would come up to me and ask, “Where you from, lad?” And this “lad” is fucking forty-five years old!
The frenzied world-wide front is expanding
Mercy to no one, no one, no one!
Stanza from 1989 Russian anarchists’ song Vintovka – eto prazdnik (The Rifle is a Holiday) by the Russian punk band Grazhdanskaya Oborona (Civil Defense)
By Aleksandr Volodarsky, originally published by Chetvyortaya Vlast’ and Translated by Michal Pszyk
The annexation of Crimea, the “Novorossiya” project, and the fight against the “Kyiv junta” are not supported in Russia alone. There are political forces around the world, both marginal and relatively respectable, which voice their support for the separatists in the Donbass. At times, activists themselves travel to the war zone as volunteers, but they mostly hold demonstrations in support of the separatist republics and pressure their governments to renounce their support for Ukraine and “stop the aggression against Russia.”Continue Reading
Transcribed from This is Hell! Radio’s 27 September 2014 episode and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the full interview here:
“There’s a lot of real old-fashioned class antagonism at the heart of this. When, on top of that class antagonism, you add an actual war with shooting, it becomes really ugly.”
Chuck Mertz: Our guest, live from New York City, is Keith Gessen, founding editor of n+1 magazine. Keith is co-editor of the new collection celebrating ten years of the cultural literary magazine n+1, Happiness: Ten Years of n+1. Keith also wrote the piece “Why Not Kill Them All?” on Ukraine for the London Review of Books. Good morning, Keith.
KG: Good morning.
CM: You start your story about a Mikhail Mishin, who grew up in a large town next to Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, for several years playing football, rising to the Ukrainian second league. Eventually, as you write, “his father helped him find work in the sports section of city government, where he lobbied for money for sports facilities and attended their opening ceremonies, where he always gave a short speech about the moral and physical benefits of sport. No scholar of languages, he was never able to master Ukrainian fully, which perhaps would have kept him from climbing higher in politics if things hadn’t taken a strange turn for him in the Donbas region earlier this year.”
I think this is a good place to start, because we hear so much about a Russian-Ukrainian divide in Ukraine. How would you describe that divide?
Von Laurent Moeri für Antidote, übersetzt von K. H. W.
“Wenn der Kampf vorbei ist und die Märtyrer schlafen, erheben sich die Feiglinge aus den Gassen, um uns von ihrem Heldentum zu erzählen” -Graffiti in Homs, Syrien
Vorwort – Mission Impossible
Was folgt, ist ein Versuch des Unmöglichen: eine kritische Überprüfung der Situation in der Ukraine, der Beteiligung von Putins Russland und der Fähigkeit (oder Unfähigkeit) der internationalen Linken auf soziale Aufstände ohne bereits vorgeschriebene Botschaften zu antworten. Ich schreibe auf Grundlage einer einzigen Prämisse: dass nämlich die Opfer einer möglichen militärischen Eskalation in der Ukraine überwiegend ethnische Minderheiten sein werden: die muslimischen Krimtataren, marginalisierte Gruppen wie die Sinti und Roma, sowie die Arbeiterklasse; während die Bürokraten in Brüssel und der Zar und sein Clan in Moskau ihre jeweiligen Interessen weiterverfolgen werden. Um die Wahrscheinlichkeit dieser Vorhersage zu unterstreichen, werde ich einen Vergleich zwischen den Ereignissen in Tschetschenien und denen auf der Krim anstellen.Continue Reading
Por Laurent Moeri de Antidote. Traducido al Español por un gato cualquiera.
IV. El eslabón faltante: Chechenia y Crimea
“Terek on his stones is fretting / With a troubled roar;
Wild Chechen, his dagger whetting, / Crawls along the shore.
But your father knows war’s riot, / Knows what he must do.
Sleep, my darling, sleep in quiet, / Bayushki-bayu.”
– popular Cossack lullaby written by the Russian Poet Lermontov
Llamar a alguien negro, en referencia a su color de piel, puede que sea un término políticamente aceptable en EE.UU. En Rusia, sin embargo, el término “negro” (en ruso: чурок, chyrock, chyrka) es usado de una manera muy peyorativa y racista, y fue utilizado a lo largo de la historia de la Unión Soviética para diferenciar entre los “eslavos étnicos leales” y los “rebeldes, incivilizados no-eslavos”. La maquinaria propagandística soviética declaraba que “los chechenos son animales salvajes que algún día morirán en la inmundicia y la pobreza si el Ejército Rojo no los civiliza”, y, con el fin de asimilarlos a la cultura soviética, debían ser “emancipados del islam y de sus tradiciones bárbaras” …y ser deportados a la fuerza.
Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
1: a remedy to counteract the effects of poison
2: something that relieves, prevents, or counteracts
The Antidote Writers Collective seeks to resist and counteract the poisons that course through the veins of our politics, our cultures, our movements, our relationships, ourselves.
We believe that a strong collective immune system is built through knowledge and understanding and that the struggle against division and repression requires building a new culture of discussion that goes beyond flat definitions, brittle ideologies, stubborn dogmas, idle preconceptions, and petty rivalries.
We will share knowledge with each other, aiming to build empathy, and in turn enable the emergence of genuine solidarity—one which does not demand uniformity across contexts, one which does not “include” you, but in which you include yourself.
In this spirit, we will provide a platform for a diverse set of voices, especially for those otherwise silenced or ignored in “mainstream” discussions. We want to hear from people engaged in radical struggles all over the world. We seek neither agreement nor conflict, but rather to identify issues at their roots, and to consider different radical approaches to their resolution. And though we at the Antidote Writers Collective have voices—and we will use them—we will not presume to speak for anybody.
On the contrary, we invite you to offer us new ways of thinking, new ways of seeing. It’s not about establishing a space for comfy ideological self-indulgence, but for questions, for a true diversity of voices and viewpoints, and for turning all of this into action.
"... in the midst of putative peace, you could, like me, be unfortunate enough to stumble on a silent war. The trouble is that once you see it, you can't unsee it. And once you've seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There's no innocence. Either way, you're accountable." - Arundhati Roy