Russian saboteurs seek to hamper Putin’s war machine
Anti-Putin activists try to slow down Russia’s war in Ukraine and say they are willing to step up their violence.
On the night of January 4, a section of tracks along the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region was blown up. The rail line was used by the Russian army to transport supplies to Ukraine.
A photo and video clip of an explosion ripping through a railway bridge were posted on Telegram by an organisation calling itself BOAK, the Combat Organisation of Anarcho-Communists.
According to Ukrainian intelligence, this was the sixth such incident this year after 40 during all of 2022, suggesting that anti-war resistance in Russia is growing bolder.
Since the invasion of Ukraine in February, Russian-occupied territories there have experienced regular sabotage from the Ukrainian resistance. But in Russia and Belarus, a secret network of activists is also doing its best to slow down the Russian war machine.
“We are not only against Putin and the war but also against Russian imperialism and against the existing capitalist system of oppression in general,” a BOAK representative told Al Jazeera by email.
BOAK describes itself as anarcho-communist, meaning it seeks a decentralised society in harmony with nature with a focus shifted away from profit and onto the needs of the people. It rejects all forms of inequality and oppression.
This puts it at odds with Russia’s Communist Party, which embraces Stalinism and enthusiastically rallies behind President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We are disgusted by this fratricidal bloodbath, and we believe only by halting Putin’s aggression we can hope for this to stop and to never happen again,” the BOAK representative continued.
The government’s defeat in this imperialist war opens up opportunities for the revolutionary movement, giving people the chance to realise how oppressed they were, and what needs to change. We understand that these goals can only be achieved through revolutionary change, and in order to be implemented effectively, it is necessary to have an underground organisation operating using partisan and guerrilla methods.”
“A slave who not only eschews a striving for freedom but justifies and eulogises his slavery by calling for the throttling of the Ukraine as a defense of the fatherland of the Great Russians is a lickspittle and a boor, who arouses a legitimate feeling of indignation, contempt, and loathing.”
- Vladimir Lenin