We have written about our attitude to the Network case and related contradictions before. Since then, nothing has changed for the better. Participants chose the role of typical victims of the regime, remaining indistinguishable from the rest of the same. This was more convenient for parents, human rights activists, and liberal circles shouting about the new 1937. The trial of the Penza group ended, and the defendants received huge sentences, from 6 to 18 years.
Worst of all, the public played along with the authorities. The FSB was trying to prove the crime of an anarchist conspiracy, while the public was passionately denying the very existence of an anarchist organization, not challenging its “criminality “. However, in this case, the very existence of the anarchist underground was of the greatest value, giving meaning to the cruel punishment that was taking place: at least someone dared to challenge this hated authority. Who knows, if the guys had taken an active position of the anarchist underground participants, the authorities might not have dared to popularize them with such huge terms.
Instead, they got another victim of the Russian repressive system, demonstratively punished to intimidate society. The authorities and the public didn’t care what ideology the guys had, anarchism remained a dead word without content. For the authorities, self-justification and non-violence seem to be aggravating features; the weak are always beaten and punished the more they assert their innocence. In this case, the maximum effect of intimidation is achieved, which has been widely picked up and spread by the public. We only have to regret this development.
We could have ended up here if the situation had not been even worse. There are dark sides to the matter that have been persistently silenced by the solidarity group and others. Back in autumn 2019, several girls accused Arman Sagynbayev of sadism, rape and betrayal. It turned out that participants in the Penza group, as well as a number of other anarchists, knew these facts to some extent. The Penza group even discharged Sagynbayev “for his unacceptable attitude towards women,” but somehow remained in contact with him. However, Sagynbayev was not the biggest bastard of them all.
Initially, it was known that Kulkov and Ivankin were accused of drug trafficking. It seemed to be just some private insignificant episode. Over time, from the materials of the case, from Chernov’s found correspondence, the true scale of this “private episode” became known. At least seven (!) people from the Penza bunch were involved in the production and trade of drugs on a large scale, led by Pchelintsev. Probably only Shakursky and Kuksov, who stood a bit apart from the others, were unaware of what was going on. This alone is enough to turn our backs on these people with resentment, and to have a public discussion about this situation. So, how can this “Penza drug cartel” be considered revolutionaries and heroes?
The facts were even more shocking. Caught on the drug drop, Kulkov, Ivankin and Poltavec decided to escape. Along with them went two more participants in the drug business, who later decided to return home. Instead of returning, they were simply killed as unwanted witnesses. We do not consider it fundamental who exactly killed them, these are the typical consequences of turning the collective into a gang of drug traffickers.
The support group was afraid that such information would damage the reputations of other defendants in the Network case. Since February 2019, the support group has continued to shape a positive image of Penza defendants by manipulating the feelings and solidarity of all those who believed in them in Russia and around the world. As can be seen, covering up scoundrels, even with good intentions, can only lead to the worst consequences for everyone. Due to such kind of attitude towards anarchist movement, it is impossible to trust ABC Moscow anymore, we can’t be sure they are not hiding such kind of information.
We want to especially emphasize to anarchists all over the world that the members of the Network’s autonomous groups from Petersburg and other cities have nothing to do with the shameful events in Penza.
We call for solidarity with Ilya Romanov, Viktor Filinkov, Julian Boyarshinov, Azat Miftakhov, Evgeny Karakashev.