7 Months of War, 7 Months of Hate*
* Please note this piece was written in September 2022 and so reflects the situation at that time.

To feel more hate because of the impossibility to change anything is one of the worst feelings that you can have. You will hate your enemy that brought death and suffering to others while being unable to stop it; like you are tied to a chair and your mouth is gagged. This is clearly torturous but at the same time only going on in your head.

This is the reality of war and, in my case, the Russo-Ukrainian war. I have not chosen to kill or help the Russian state with its evil inhuman desires. The only right choice that I had was to prevent it from continuing. So I tried to act as any anarchist would do: to self-organize with comrades and build an anti-war resistance together. Sadly, it led to nothing…

While we tried to at least form a collective, thousands of Russian anti-war protesters were detained, every political movement was torn apart by the police, the first criminal cases launched and everybody was trying to flee the country. We had no resources to continue and felt defeated already seeing Russia going scorched earth.

It’s not only me who is completely doomed, everybody feels the same. Because it is impossible to oppose the system that only desires blood and honor. It is us, warm-hearted people filled with utopias and humanism against thousands of sadists on the battlefields, inside police stations and filling the cabinets. And it is hard to be hopeful for the future while witnessing their brutality.

A conscience had me asking the same question to myself: what should I do next? I have a position and motives but don’t have actions. I wanted to start from small things to bigger things. Well, I’ve accepted everything: my own failure as an individual, the failure of the group I was a part of, the fact that I’m (kind of) in exile kilometers away from my home, the fate of my friends who deal with regular army and criminal cases… and everything can’t be changed permanently.

The state destroyed our future, so we will create a new one. The state launched a lot of criminal cases against everybody who disagreed with its decisions and made a lot of people flee, so we will rise from ashes and fight the power. The ones that should be doomed are the oligarchs, their police and the bureaucrats. Every day of the war moves them closer to their final days of power.

A new turning point

As you may have heard, on September 21st, Putin launched a partial military mobilization and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed a total of 300,000 reservists would be called up into service. So far it generated even more social discontent than the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Because regular people realized that their friends or family members could actually die. It is not a news spectacle on their TVs anymore, now their loved ones might play the actors.

Another tendency is a major discussion about protesting methods and violence inside a Russian Internet field. People have finally woken up after liberal opposition hegemony has failed. Past protest leaders made everybody believe that standing still and shouting a slogan can change anything. They also made nonviolence and nonresistance a dogma that allowed police to act how they want.

Now people consider such “tactics” irrelevant and ineffective, they don’t even understand why they followed it in the first place! We are finally talking to each other about all the failures and new ideas. It makes us unite in endless discussions and take next steps. This is a big process that is finally starting in Russian society.

We were blinded about the state’s primary goal: they divided us so thoroughly that we couldn’t see it as a problem. The key is in connections. The regime has succeeded because their inner bounds were stronger than ours. Oligarchs used our own secret weapon: solidarity and cooperation. It is hard to even believe how they have exploited it to keep the power and make us unable to do the same.

For the anarchists, it’s a great opportunity to fill the society with new ideas. There is still a great need for alternatives, and people do seek them. We should start with reshaping human relations and go for more cooperation. And anarchists should guide the people to a better way rather than manipulating them like an average politician.

It’s an age of collective hope and an end to each individual’s hopelessness. The dictatorship will collapse when the people’s solidarity prevails. Their power means nothing compared to what we have. And we have a future and new challenges that Putin’s regime brought. Bringing changes to Russia will cost a lot, but in the end the dictatorship will become nightmares of the past.

Solidarity is a weapon of the people and victory is near!

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