Yesterday, February 21, there was an extraordinary meeting of the Russian Security Council. As part of this theatrical action, Putin forced his closest servants to publicly “ask” him to recognize the independence of the so-called “people’s republics” of the LPR and DNR in eastern Ukraine.
Clearly, this is a step towards further annexation of these territories by Russia – no matter how it is legally formalized (or not). In fact, the Kremlin no longer considers the LNR and DNR to be part of Ukraine and finally makes them its protectorate. “First recognition of independence, then annexation”: this scenario has already been practiced on Crimea in 2014. This is also obvious with Naryshkin’s stupid reservations at the SB meeting (“yes, I support the integration of these territories into the Russian Federation”). Since the meeting, as it turned out, was recorded and these “reservations” were not cut out, but left in, the hint is clear.
In an “address to the people” that same evening, Putin “agreed” to these requests and declared the recognition of LNR and DNR as independent states. In fact, he said the following: “we are reclaiming Donbass, and if Ukraine tries to do so, let it blame itself, we don’t consider it a state at all, so we will reclaim even more.” According to Putin’s decree, Russian troops are already being sent into LNR and DNR. This is a clear threatening sign to the rest of Ukraine and especially to the parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions that are still under Ukrainian control. This is a de facto occupation.
We don’t want to stand up for any nations. We are anarchists, and we are against any borders between peoples. But we are against this annexation, because it only establishes new borders, and the decision to do so is made solely by the authoritarian leader Vladimir Putin. This is an act of imperialist aggression by Russia. We have no illusions about the Ukrainian state, but it is clear to us that it is not the main aggressor in this story-it is not a confrontation between two equal evils. First and foremost, it is an attempt by the Russian authoritarian government to solve its internal problems at the expense of a “small victorious land-grabbing war.”
It is likely that the Kremlin regime will stage some kind of spectacle called “referendum” on the annexed areas. The DPR and LPR already had such a spectacle in 2014, but even Moscow did not recognize its results. Now, apparently, Putin has decided to change that. Of course, there can be no question of “free and secret ballots” in these territories – they are under the control of militarized gangs that are completely dependent on Moscow. Those who were against those gangs and against integration with Russia were either killed or forced to leave. Thus, any “referendum on the return of Donbass to its native soil” would be a propaganda lie. The residents of Donbass will be able to formulate their decision only when the troops of any state – and first and foremost the Russian Federation – leave these territories.
Recognition and annexation of DNR and LNR will not do any good for the people of Russia itself. First, it will in any case lead to militarization of all spheres of life, even stronger international isolation of the country, sanctions, and a drop in prosperity. Restoration of the destroyed infrastructure and taking the “people’s republics” to the budget will not be free either – these are billions of rubles that could have gone to education and medicine. Don’t doubt: the yachts of the Russian oligarchs will not get smaller, but everyone else’s life will get worse. Second, the likely escalation of the armed confrontation with Ukraine will mean more dead and wounded soldiers and civilians, more ruined towns and villages, and more blood. Even if this conflict does not escalate into a world war, Putin’s imperial fantasies are not worth a single life. Third, there is a further expansion of the so-called “Russian world”: a crazy combination of neoliberal oligarchy, rigid centralized power, and patriarchal imperial propaganda. This consequence is not as pronounced as the rise in the price of food and restrictions on smartphones, in the long run it is even more dangerous.
We call to oppose the Kremlin’s aggression by whatever means you think are appropriate. Against the seizure of territories on any pretext, against sending the Russian army to Donbass, against militarization. And in the end, against war. Take to the streets, spread the word, talk to the people around you – you know what to do. Don’t stay silent. Take action. Even a small screw can jam the gears of the death machine.
Against all borders, against all empires, against all wars!
Autonomous Action (Avtonom)
Russia, february 22, 2022