Saturday, August 25, 2007

On August 13th a bomb exploded on the rail line from Moscow to St. Petersburg, the Nevskiy Express, near Novgorod. Sixty people were injured, six of them seriously, and 800 meters of track was destroyed. The response of the Russian authorities was chaotic. At first they blamed Chechen groups, then Russian nationalists (ie fascists). Eventually they arrested a key suspect, a Chechen named Khasan Didigov, but their confusion didn't end there. They reviewed who this man had been in contact with and found that he had visited anarchists in the St. Petersburg area. Two St. Petersburg anarchists, Andrei Kalyonov and Denis Zelenyuk, were arrested on August 16th and accused of participation in the attack. One of the accused, Kalyonov, has been on hunger strike since his arrest to protest the unjust accusation. The pair are being held in jail in Novgorod.
The Anarchist Initiatives of St. Petersburg group have issued a statement categorically denying any anarchist involvement in the bombing. They say that, "anarchist views do not allow violence against innocent people" and they provide witnesses who state that the two comrades were elsewhere when the bombing occurred. The Russian comrades suggest that the police may have planted items that could be incriminating in Kolyonov's home, and they also suggest that there may be other suspects in the bombing ie the Russian security force, the FSB. As in many other situations, both in Russia and elsewhere (here in Canada, for instance, at Montebello), the secret police of a country have either encouraged or actually carried out violent acts for political purposes. The story was old when the first vertebrates crawled onto land in the Devonian Age. The full statement of the St. Petersburg anarchists can be read at the link above. This has been published in the English language section of the Russian anarchist website Avtonom. Stay tuned there for further developments.
This incident is particularly relevant as it comes at the time of an anniversary of another famous frame-up, the Sacco and Vanzetti case (see yesterday in this blog). The potential involvement of the Russian security forces is something that will never be mentioned in the "official press" in Russia unless there is 1)overwhelming proof and 2)the providers of such proof are not murdered before they can make it public. If you want to read a mass media account of the bombing see and also . As mentioned above the statement of the St. Petersburg anarchists can be seen on Avtonom. For an informative information piece on the situation see the Australian anarchist blog Slackbastard. This blog gives further information about the case.
There are a couple of A-infos items about the arrests. One from today, August 25th, tells of an initiative to set up an Anarchist Black Cross of St. Petersburg for the expenses of their defense. It also announces a picket that will occur tomorrow in downtown St. Petersburg. Another one from yesterday tells more about the circumstances of the arrests. From reading this Molly has formed an opinion that the only thing the two anarchists were guilty of when they were approached by the police was arrogance and showing off. Molly is, of course, very much against such play-acting, but it is hardly a criminal offense. The "connect the dots" method of police "investigation" often leads to a wildly wrong conclusion if you merely follow the lines. It is entirely possible to implicate a large majority of the world's population if you follow simple chance meetings. But sometimes such diversion is exactly what is wanted by the powers that be. stay tuned to Avtonom and A-infos for further news.

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