Ukrainian anarchists are calling for international support

The resistance committee in Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February has left many people feeling powerless. More than 1.7 million Ukrainian people have been forced to flee the country. And the United Nations has recorded at least 1,123 civilian casualties since since the conflict began, although it admits that figures may actually be much higher. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service estimates that at least 2000 civilians have died.

Moreover, Belarusian troops are now backing up the Russian invading forces.

On 5 March, the UN reported that at least 19 children had been killed and 31 injured. One of those killed was a schoolgirl called Polina who was shot dead on 5 March by Russian forces. Polina was in her final year at primary school. She was killed when Russian forces opened fire on her family car as they fled Kyiv. The previous day, an 18-month-old baby was killed in Mariupol.

For more on the devastation and suffering caused by the Russian invasion, you can read this article by Tom Coburg for The Canary.

Supporting the resistance

Amid the destruction, people are busy organising resistance to the invasion as well as providing mutual aid to refugees, and they need our support. Anarchists in Ukraine are mobilising against the Russian invasion. They’re calling for international support and solidarity. An article published by Ukrainian anarchists on the CrimethInc website a few days before the Russian invasion started reads:

Anarchists are now trying to create horizontal grassroots ties in society, based on common interests, so that communities can address their own needs, including self-defense.

Ukrainian anarchists have now set-up their own international detachment to resist the Russian invasion.

Read on...

But this isn’t the first time anarchists in Ukraine have organised themselves militarily. During the revolutionary war that followed the overthrow of the Russian monarchy, Nestor Makhno and other anarchists set up an independent peasant army. It grew to as many as 100,000 people. An anarchist revolution based on “village assemblies, communes and free soviets” developed in Ukraine, until the Maknovist army was finally tragically defeated by the Bolshevik Red Army in 1921.

Operation Solidarity

Operation Solidarity is a new initiative supporting those displaced by the Russian attack. It’s also fundraising to support the armed resistance against the invasion. Support packs containing first aid kits and personal hygiene items – funded by international donations – are now ready to be sent to “comrades in the unit of the Territorial Defenсe Forces”.

The Operation Solidarity website – launched just after the invasion – reads:

We are supporters of horizontal society, solidarity and cooperation from different cities of Ukraine. Today we have united in the volunteer project [Operation Solidarity] in order to jointly help all healthy forces of society to counteract imperialist aggression against our country. We plan to collect humanitarian aid and fundraising in favor of territorial defense fighters and in support of all grassroots initiatives that unite people in confronting a common threat. We also plan to help refugees, host social events and spread the practices of equal decision-making and direct democracy.

Operation Solidarity is asking people to share information, organise demonstrations and events, and – importantly – donate funds.

Funds for tactical masks and radios

Anarchists in Ukraine are calling for international support to buy:

– Bulletproof vests of class 4 or higher (x30);

– Ballistic helmets (x30);

– Tourniquets and pouches (x15 + more);

– Military first aid kits and pouches (x30);

– IIFS (Individual Integrated Fighting Systems) (x30);

– Knee pads (x15 pairs);

– Walkie-talkies, headsets and pouches (x30);

– Tactical gloves (x30 pairs).

Operation Solidarity is managing donations.

International solidarity is our weapon

There are many ways that you can organise to support the anti-authoritarian struggle against Russian imperialism in Ukraine from the UK. This could be through organising a fundraiser or awareness-raising event wherever you are, or sharing news about the struggle. You could also donate to Operation Solidarity. The people of Ukraine need our support. We need to show them that they are not alone.

Featured image via Medium/BlackHeadquarter

Get involved

  • Check out this article by Ukrainian anarchists about the historical context of the invasion, and news about resistance to the invasion of Ukraine on the Autonomy News website.
  • Donate to Operation Solidarity (although check out this recent post about difficulties with donations). Black Mosquito are selling this fundraiser T-shirt to support Operation Solidarity.
  • Read more about anarchism here
  • Support Solidarity Apothecary’s work supporting people on the borders

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  • Show Comments
    1. Following a link in this piece takes you to the website of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Among the articles there is one calling for foreigners to join the fight against Russians (alongside the worlds only armed forces to have a neo-Nazi formation). In another you can read about the President recently receiving the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award.

    2. This is a highly irresponsible piece and should be withdrawn. As has been credibly reported beyond denial, there are many openly neo-Nazi and fascist forces acting in Ukraine, both officially supported and unofficial. The support that the writer is calling for is likely to go to these groups such as the Azov Battalion which uses the Hitler salute and the swastika.

    3. This article is so one-sided, it should have been published by The Daily Mail.

      Where are the details of the history of events since 1990? Why no mention of the thousands of fatalities and injuries caused when the Ukrainian military bombed the ethnic Russians living in the Donbas. This started in 2014 and never stopped. Why was there no mention of the Minsk peace agreement signed by Ukraine in 2014 and no mention of why the Ukrainian government failed to abide by it?

      The article also fails to mention that the Nazis function at every level in the Ukraine army or the Ukraine politicians are corrupt, or that the state has shut down television stations that challenged the government, journalists have ‘disappeared’ and more.

      Try this for some balanced reporting.

    4. IF these self-proclaimed “Anarchists” had formed in 2014, had opposed the puppet-regime installed then, and had fought to defend Donbass, you ***MIGHT*** have a point.

      Kurdish Rojava did not form when just Russia entered Syria to eliminate the CIA’s ISIS program.

      Frankly, I find it hard to believe a word of this. In fact, 95% chance its by the nazi media lolling mightily at extorting even Anarchists to support their militarism.

      And, FWIW, ANYONE calling for further arming of Ukraine is demanding nothing more than further Ukrainian deaths. The quicker it’s over, the less loss of life.

      Tom, you should be ashamed.

    5. I see the Canary has recently joined the mainstream media campaign to whitewash Ukrainian Nazis and pretend that Ukraine is some kind of democracy where left wing groups can operate freely. I wonder what kind of anarchists are prepared to fight alongside the Nazis who make up the bulk of Ukraine’s territorial defence units (Azov Brigades, Legion of Freedom, National Corps, Freikorps, etc.). The Ukrainian SBU has also been threatening journalists and there are widespread reports of reprisals against civilians suspected of pro-Russian sympathies. Everywhere that Western cameras look in Ukraine, a Nazi wanders into the frame, as in a recent scene filmed by Reuters and published by the Sun online:

      If the Canary continues to ignore the truth and continues to spread war propaganda, I’m going to stop my financial support, as I have no wish to bankroll war propaganda for Nazis (or anyone else but especially not Nazis). I will also withdraw my support if moderators decide to censor my comment.

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