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Russia: New Video from Primorsky Krai Guerrillas

The story of the six young men – Andrey Sukhorada, Aleksandr Sladkikh, Vladimir Ilyutin, Maksim Kirilov, Aleksandr Kovtun, and Roman Savchenko – who were deliberately killing Russian policemen in Primorsky Krai [RUS], shocked the Russian society this summer. (Global Voices covered it in June.)

On October 9, a video entitled “The Last Interview of the Primorsky Krai Guerrillas” was released on YouTube. It was removed from the server several times, but people were re-posting it every time. Later on, it was distributed on other video hosting sites and was available for download.

This 13-minute video went viral on the Internet, and the Russian LiveJournal community is still debating its message.

Four young men holding guns provided a detailed description of their actions and underlying reasons for it. They informed that theirs was a deliberate attack against the police and not an intended robbery:

Мы честные люди, а вы отребье, поэтому мы будем воевать с вами до последнего, пока вы нас не убьете, или пока мы не победим […] скорее всего вы нас убьете. Но мы вас не боимся […] Народ будет на нашей стороне, по любому. Потому что справедливость на нашей стороне. Мы уже победили. Мы победили в себе страх и трусость, которые вы никогда не могли победить […] У нас и оружия нет, чтобы с вами воевать, но все равно мы вас не боимся и будем воевать с вами. И это не какое-то спонтанное происшествие […] нет, мы это целенаправленно и спланированно делали, чтобы конкретно убить вас, бандитов. Вы самые настоящие бандиты, по-другому вас не назовешь… Вы сами крышуете наркобизнес, проституцию, лес воруете […] все это знают прекрасно люди, и все вас боятся, потому что у вас есть все полномочия, чтобы этим заниматься… народ боится вас, но знайте, что остались еще люди, которые вас не боятся […] Все что вы можете, это терроризировать свой народ, беззащитный и безропотный, который привык к унижениям, и ваша могучая так называемая империя, Российская федерация, стоит целиком на алкоголизме, рабстве и трусости. Однажды она рухнет, и вы вместе с ней свалитесь в бездну.

We are honest people, and you are scum, so we will fight you till the end, until you kill us, or until we win […] most likely you will kill us. But we are not afraid of you […] People will be on our side, anyway, because justice is on our side. We have already won. We killed the fear and cowardice in ourselves, you could never do this […] We don’t have any weapons to fight you, but still we are not afraid of you and will fight. And this is not some spontaneous act […] no, we planned and did it on purpose in order to specifically kill you gangsters. You are the real criminals, you can’t be named in any other way […] You cover drug trafficking, prostitution, you steal the woods […] everyone perfectly knows about it and everyone is afraid of you because you have all the powers to do that […] People are afraid of you, but be aware that there are still people who are not afraid of you […] The only thing you can do is to terrorize helpless and submissive people, who are accustomed to indignity. [A]nd your mighty so-called empire, the Russian Federation, is entirely based on alcoholism, slavery and cowardice. One day it will collapse, and you will fall into the abyss together with it.

They also described how they broke down the police siege:

Утром мы вышли из окружения в котором находились трое суток. Нас хотели поймать милиционеры кировского РУВД им это не удалось. Они вызвали подкрепление: 300 ОМОНовцев, два вертолета. Мы их обвели вокруг пальца, как маленьких детей. 10 раз проходили мимо них, их собаки ничего не могли унюхать потому что мы шли по речке, проползали в 10-ти метрах от них. И в итоге мы сейчас здесь: поели, поспали, помылись, все нормально, в хорошем состоянии, бодрячком держимся.

This morning we broke down siege that we had been in for three days. Policemen from Kirov District RUVD [Regional Internal Affairs Directorate] wanted to catch us – they weren't successful. They requested reinforcement: 300 SWAT officers and two helicopters. We twisted them around the finger, as if they were little children. We passed them unheeded ten times, their dogs did not smell us out because we were going by the river; we crawled at a distance of 10 meters from them. Eventually we are here; we ate, slept, and took a shower. Everything is fine, we are in a good condition and keeping up.

Earlier, the media had released information accusing the guerrillas of a rape of a female taxi driver; namely, newspaper Kommersant wrote [RUS] about it on June 21, 2010. In the video, the guerrillas denounced this accusation, saying that this was not their method and they were interested in attacks on authorities, not on civilians:

Вы это делаете для того, чтобы отвернуть от нас народа, смуту посеять. Это подло, это ваши методы. Так никто не воюет. Вы 300 человек отправили, чтобы словить 6 пацанов. И вы хотите нас сейчас морально защемить, говоря, что мы кого-то изнасиловали. Но все нас хорошо знают и никто в этот бред не поверит.

You are doing this in order to turn away ordinary people from us, to cry havoc. This is dirty and these are your methods. No one fights like this: you sent 300 people in order to catch six dudes. You want to pinch us morally, claiming that we had raped someone. Everyone knows us well and no one will believe this.

Apparently, the video was recorded before the guerrillas got arrested, because they wondered why they hadn't been caught yet. In the meantime, they admitted that if this video was released, they might be dead by that time.

The same day, the girlfriend of Andrei Sukhorada (one of the guerrillas) posted [RUS] a video link on her LJ profile saying that she didn't know where this video came from and that she was thankful for a good present for her birthday. She received more than 150 comments with birthday wishes and expressed support for the imprisoned partisans.

Newspaper Kommersant informed [RUS] that the father of Roman Savchenko (another ‘partizan’) believed that this video was released by one of the policemen. The guerrillas were shooting a lot of videos on a digital camera, which was withdrawn upon their arrest. He said other videos would be released soon.

Vladimir Golyshev [RUS], a political analyst and a journalist, compared [RUS] the guerrillas to the terrorist Said Buryatsky [RUS]:

[…] шестеро парней реально воевали с ментовской армией и готовились к смерти […]. Можно составить ясное представление об их “идеологии” и психотипе. Больше всего они похожи на Саида Бурятского, его неподражаемый стиль, никакого национализма, державничества и прочей шелухи, есть ясно выраженная религиозная компонента; 100-процентные разрушители, морально готовые принять мученическую смерть.

[…] Six guys really fought with an army of cops and were preparing to die […]. You can make a clear picture of their “ideology” and their psychological type. Most of all they resemble Said Buryatsky and his inimitable style: no nationalism, imperialism, and other husk; there is a notable religious component. They are 100 percent destroyers, mentally prepared to accept martyrdom.

Despite the fact that the guerrillas did not talk about nationalist ideas, their video was posted on the official website [RUS] of the National Bolshevik Party, a radical political group.

At the end of the video, Andrei Sukhorada said the following:

Мы не признаем ни федеральные законы, ни местные. Мы передаем привет всем тем, кто состоит в сопротивлении на Северном Кавказе, другим благородным честным людям.

We do not recognize neither federal laws, nor local ones. We send our greetings to everyone who is in the resistance in North Caucasus, to other noble and honest people.

This message was picked up on the Internet and received many controversial comments. For example, LJ user danilia commented [RUS] on the article at the Caucasian Knot website:

Все вам мерещится, что кто-то другой виноват в том, что происходит, то это Европа, то это Америка. Слушайте, раскройте глаза, виноват тот ужас, который происходит в нашей стране, беспощадный режим, страшая коррупция, нищета населения, беспредел и вседозволенность силовиков, вон обсуждается закон о полиции, а параллельно продолжаются пытки в милиции, подростку отбили половые органы в Нижнем Новгороде, ужас, раскройте пошире глаза граждане, неужели вы не видите бревна в своем глазу, а не нам говорить о Европе, мы даже не можем защитить свои права.

You keep imagining that someone else is to blame for what is happening: Europe, America. Listen, open your eyes, we should blame the horror that is happening in our country, the ruthless regime, horrible corruption, poverty, lawlessness and the impunity of the security services. The Police Act is being discussed, while torture by the police continues. A teenager had his genitals beaten off in Nizhny Novgorod, horror, open your eyes. Citizens, don't you notice a beam in your eye, we should not talk about Europe when we can't even protect our rights.

The website partyzani.info [RUS] was created by some enthusiasts to cover the actions of the guerrillas. There you can find information about the six participants, their actions and the ways one could help them, particularly by spreading the information about them. At the same time, it says that this web site does not encourage any kind of violence, but it also says that people should be ready to protect themselves and start collecting weapons and stockpile food. Surprisingly, partyzani.info does not provide any information regarding the latest video; it has not been updated since July 26.

“Thugs” [отморозок] and “a group of bandits” – that is how the Vladivostok news channel PTR (TV and Radio of Primorye) has called the six guerrillas. This article has received some angry comments from people who were implying that it was a planted article expressing a biased opinion. In the meantime, this June the city of Vladivostok was covered with graffiti expressing support for the guerrillas. The slogan “Guerrillas, your act of bravery is not forgotten” [RUS] is one of them; you can also find some videos on YouTube with pictures of these graffiti and nationalist music on the background.

These examples highlight an alarming trend in the society, when people express their support for this sort of “punishment.” Still, the reaction of the Russian authorities to this entire story leaves the region's population dissatisfied, and the Internet gives them a floor to express their views. The problem with the police is still there, and people's distrust has not gone away.

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