Although the winter cold in Ukraine is already coming to an end and the worst blackouts are behind us, our team still needs funds to work on this international column and offline volunteer activities. Welcome to join the fundraising if you haven’t already at this link. Many thanks everyone in advance!
In Murmansk, on the night of February 23, somebody tried to set fire to the city military commissariat on Captian Orlikova Street. Information was received by the firefighters around 04:45. A Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window. Only the window frame with an area of about half a square meter was burned:
At half-past eleven at night on February 23, a 9th grade student was detained in Tobolsk. Someone told the cops that he also was allegedly going to burn the enlistment office. During this, the guy was reportedly found with a lighter and a Molotov cocktail. He was arrested on suspicion of preparing for a terrorist attack. His father returned from the hostilities in Ukraine just the previous day. In a people’s war, parents and children are sometimes on opposite sides of the barricades!
On the morning of February 24, in St. Petersburg, 50-year-old Tigran Khachikyan took out two pump-action shotguns of 12 and 16 gauge, cartridges, two Molotov cocktails, prepared by him in advance, and an audio speaker, arriving with them at the Gostinyi Dvor station. On the spot, he took out a speaker and turned on “Arise, Great Country” (the anthem of the Great Patriotic War). When the Russian Guards approached him, he told them: “Run away!” One of the riot cops tried to detain Khachikyan, but the man took out a sawn-off shotgun and fired several shots at him. Doctors diagnosed the punisher with multiple open wounds of the abdomen, lower back and pelvis. The attack was caught on videosurvelliance footage.
The next day, Khachikyan was taken into custody, his apartment was searched. He appeared in court with multiple cuts and bruises. The investigation claims that during the arrest he was knocked down, because of which he “fell, receiving bruises.” He is charged with an article on encroachment on the life of a law enforcement officer, for this he faces a punishment of up to life.
Tigran called the motive a protest against the ban on protests. Told both about the people who are being robbed, and about the rallies that they cannot attend. Originally from the city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan, Tigran has been living in St. Petersburg since the 90s. He is not a rich man, in his biography there is also a service in the Ministry of Defense. From his words, he was not going to shoot the cop, but to set fire to the paddy wagon and had been preparing for a long time. When asked whether it was a protest against the war, Tigran answered that the war was only a consequence of what had been happening in the country for the past 10 years.
The condition of the policeman is assessed as serious. The 43-year-old ensign, driver of the Bastion special mobile squad, is being prepared to be presented for the award.
Late at night on February 25, in the Leningrad region, the enlistment center of Sosnovyi Bor was set on fire. Around 3 a.m., an unknown person in black clothes and in a balaclava approached the building, took out four glass bottles from the bag, threw two of them into the building and disappeared from the place. One of the cocktails flew into the window of the Social Fund, located in the same building. Another one did not catch fire, two more crashed against a metal window frame. Witnesses called emergency service. Firefighters arrived at the scene and extinguished the fire in 20 minutes. The ceiling burned out, the fire area was 10 square meters:
The plastic cladding of the ceiling of the Social Fund with an area of 2 square meters burned out, the military commissariat was not damaged. Arriving at the scene, cops found a fragment of the neck of a glass bottle and a lighter. They are now trying to identify the suspect. The issue of initiating a criminal case is being resolved.
Also on February 25, a resident of St. Petersburg was detained on suspicion of arsons of the Russian Guard facility and the police vehicles. This is the machine operator of the reinforced concrete products plant, 38-year-old Alexei B. According to investigators, on January 19, the man tried to set fire to the Private Security Office on Zanevsky Avenue, 59 (the attack was almost successful – as you can see in these frames, someone carefully drilled a hole in the window of the main Russian Guard’s warehouse of uniforms, poured kerosene inside, but for some reason could not set it on fire). On February 20, according to investigators, Alexey set fire to 2 traffic police cars in the parking lot on Tikhoretsky Avenue, 6. And on February 25, he allegedly was going to burn the parked cars of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on Severnyi Avenue, 26-B.
The suspect was searched, during which, according to the punishers, they seized 2 packets of saltpeter, a bag with an unknown white substance, kerosene, a solvent, and containers with pyrotechnics. The man was detained, during the interrogation he stated that he had committed these acts, speaking out against military operations in Ukraine.
On February 26 at 3 a.m. in the enlistment office for the Vyborgsky district of St. Petersburg, windows were broken and inscriptions were left on the walls: “Stop killing”, “No war” and “How much can you kill”. On the same day, was detained Vladimir Mironov – 25-year-old post-graduate student of St. Petersburg Academic University. Two criminal cases were initiated against the young man: under Part 1 of Art. 280.3 (“discrediting” the Russian army) and Part 2 of Art. 213 of the Russian Criminal Code (hooliganism).
Along with all of this, in the evening of February 23, railway tracks were blown up in Crimea to prevent the dispatch of military cargo. As a result, part of the railway was damaged 12 kilometers from the Simferopol station. Three trains were stopped: the passenger train “Sevastopol – St. Petersburg”, where there were 166 people, as well as two suburban electric trains.
Responsibility was taken by the pro-Ukrainian clandestine movement Atesh: “Our activists in Crimea have been making such improvised explosives since December 2022. It is worth noting that today’s operation did not fully satisfy us. It’s not over yet.”
Finally, some statistics of heroism. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, as has calculated the horizontal human rights group Solidarity Zone, 112 people have been prosecuted in Russia on charges of radical anti-war actions or preparations for them. Of these, 51 were for arsons of enlistment offices or other administrative buildings, 36 were for sabotaging the railway, 17 – for preparing some arsons, 7 – for setting fire to Z-cars, and one more for something else. Criminal cases were opened mainly under Article 205 of the Russian Criminal Code (“terrorist act”) and under its Article 167 (“deliberate destruction or damage to property”). There are 36 and 31 cases, respectively, plus cases on “hooliganism” and “sabotage”. Among those persecuted, 78 persons are in pre-trial detention, 5 received suspended sentences, 4 are serving prison sentences, one is under house arrest, another one with undertaking not to leave, and there is no information regarding 23 people. “Our data is incomplete because the authorities do not always report new criminal cases. And sometimes we only have a report about the detention of people without specifying their names and articles, which is extremely difficult to verify.”
According to 7×7, another opposition media, the inhabitants of Russia during the same period established at least 87 anti-war initiatives. These organizations and projects help:
– Ukrainian refugees who ended up on the RF territory and need medical, financial, legal and psychological aid;
– Ukrainians who stayed at home or fled the war to other countries;
– Russians who have been fined, arrested or imprisoned for their anti-war stance;
– Russian emigrants and those who stayed;
– women who resist what is happening;
– men who are fleeing from mobilization and do not want to fight;
– to the military who are trying to leave the army;
– animals whose owners were forced to leave Ukraine or Russia.
Let this carnage be disrupted from below. Long live direct action outside of any state framework! Long live international solidarity!
On the other side of the front, we recommend you to read our analysis concerning the results of 2022 for the economy of our frontline Kharkov and the prospects for its post-war reconstruction.
At the same time, you are welcome to learn from this recent material how the continuation of general mobilization in 2023 will strengthen social control and competition among the workers of Ukraine.