Telegram-backed information outlet wages guerrilla warfare on Russia

With greater than 26,000 followers, Rospartizan embraces anybody who’s anti-Putin, no matter their political ideology — a bonus moderately than a fault, in line with Ponomarev, a former Communist Occasion member who describes himself as a “globalist socialist”.

“Proper now I not solely talk, I work together very actively not solely with my mates on the left facet of the political spectrum, but in addition with folks on the far proper, with whom we often battle,” he says.

enemy of my enemy

Roman Popkov The previous head of the Moscow department of the Nationwide Bolshevik Occasion, belongs to that excessive right-wing camp. Popkov was once a member of the influential Russian Nationwide Unity, a now-defunct neo-Nazi group liable for a sequence of racist crimes, earlier than becoming a member of the political occasion based and wanted by controversial Russian author, poet and dissident Eduard Limonov. Unite the intense left and much proper extremists on the identical platform.

In 2006, after years of harassment by Russian safety forces, Popkov was arrested and spent greater than two years in remand within the infamous Butyrka jail. The European Court docket of Human Rights dominated that his arrest was illegal, and it was extensively held that his arrest was motivated by his political activism.

Popkov, now primarily based in Ukraine, works as a journalist for various unbiased media, and is the pinnacle of a not too long ago launched media undertaking referred to as Poslezavtra, or “The Day After Tomorrow”. Popkov was an “outdated pal” of Ponomarev, appeared extensively on February morning applications and took part within the broadcasts that adopted the assassination of Dugina.

“We cowl direct actions concentrating on the navy and the Putin regime’s political repression equipment,” Popkov says by cellphone. “Initially, we attempt to encourage folks, to get them to behave, and secondly, we inform and report on what’s being executed.”

Popkov, like Ponomarev, emphasised that activists’ ideologies aren’t as essential as willingness to problem Putin’s regime and oppose warfare in Ukraine.

“Our group unites people who find themselves against the Putin regime, with completely different political beliefs and ideologies,” says Popkov. “In the meanwhile, it isn’t essential to be an anarchist, or a nationalist, or a liberal, as a result of Russia is just not a democracy, we do not need illustration in Parliament, and we can’t vote for our candidates.”

In response to Popkov, acts of sabotage in Russia are largely the work of small teams of the far proper and the far left, essentially the most well-known of which is the Anarcho-Communist Preventing Group, or BO-AK. The group got here to prominence after it sabotaged the railway to a Russian navy arsenal within the small city of Kerzach, 100 kilometers east of Moscow. The group shared images of the vandalism on their Telegram channel, which quickly unfold to different anti-Putin channels, together with Rospartizan, and shortly appeared on the February Morning broadcast.

Nevertheless, even loyal BO-AK anarchists acknowledge the necessity to attain out to the opposite facet of the political spectrum. “Most of our acquaintances are from our ideological camp, however not all of them,” an nameless consultant of the group informed WIRED. “We consider that alliances with completely different forces are important in our battle.”

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