Russia and Belarus: more wars come with more repression

By Kazimierz Kryzhich

Lukashenko and Putin have been in power for decades. They have always been authoritarian, repressing labor strikes and democratic mobilizations with Stalinist mechanisms. Now Lukashenko wants to crush us. We carried out great mobilizations and shook the power. However, it was not enough. Repression grew with the violence towards our Ukrainian brothers. Authoritarianism wants to silence the generalized rejection towards war, but it is not completely achieving it. We are proud of the example set by the railway workers who, clandestinely, boycotted the shipment of Russian weapons, through our territory, to the war fronts of Ukraine.

They attack labor union liberties in Belarus

From the 19th to the 21st of April, they arrested 19 representatives of the union movement. These are the leaders and employees of the office of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP), as well as leaders and activists of the unions SPM (Free Trade Union of Steelworkers), SPB (Free Trade Union of Belarus), REP (Belarusian Radio and Electronic Industry Workers’ Union) that are part of the BKDP. Among them: Alexander Yaroshuk, Sergei Antusevich, Irina Bud-Gusaim, Nikolai Sharakh, Gennady Fedynich, Yana Malash, Vitaly Chichmarev, Mikhail Gromov, Vasily Beresnev, Dmitry Borodko, Alexander Evdokimchik, Miroslav Sobchuk remain behind bars. The leader of the SPM, Alexander Bukhvostov, 80 years of age, was hospitalized with a heart attack. After the interrogations, Igor Komlik, Elena Eskova, Anna Dus, Nikolai Gerasimenko, Vadim Payvin and Yuri Belyakov were released and are subjected to a confidentiality agreement.

Repressive violence grows in Russia

In Russia there is more repression too. Putin does not want the slightest display of opposition. We have already talked about the repression of the first protests that erupted immediately after the invasion. Putin’s the regime does not even tolerate the idea of a massive protest against the war. Thus, it has implemented dissuasion mechanisms that spread from the official media to the direct actions of the security forces. Not even the critical oligarchs are safe, because since the start of the war seven of them were found death in strange circumstances.

Anyone who is not with Putin is a “suspect”

Political parties of the opposition are being persecuted and their activities are being severely restricted. Activists are targeted at their homes or at any place, simply under the suspicion that they are preparing a protest. Also every time there are signs of failures of the army, the repression gets worse. In the meantime, every day we live in worse conditions. Putin gets his way by using repression and fear. Many artists, athletes and social activists are considered “suspects” and are forced to leave the country. In recent days, the opposing Maria Aliójina, leader of the band Pussy Riot, escaped from Russia without a passport disguised as a food delivery woman after the regime changed her house arrest to prison.

For a great movement that says “No” to war

We turn to the help of the workers of the world, to progressive people, democrats and leftists, to double their support to Ukrainian resistance from a perspective that rejects Russian imperialism, NATO and Western imperialism and pro-imperialist Zelenskyy. We salute the heroic Russian workers and activists who carry out actions against the war while they are being threatened and protest against the living conditions that are getting worse. We solidarize with the workers’ and popular organizations, like the Independent Mine Workers and the Independent Union of Belarus and others attacked.

Organizing is a life or death necessity The worsening of our living conditions, the war and the repression make organization an indispensable matter which, in these circumstances, can only be clandestine and independent from all the powerful oligarchs that exploit us and the fake bourgeois opposition. The conditions of imperialist capitalism take us through the wrong path. Today to defend ourselves and prepare for the path of an offensive for the government of the workers and socialism, without employers and Stalinist bureaucrats.