A year ago, the Russian Federal Security Service—the FSB—initiated a wave of repression, arresting and brutally torturing anarchists in order to force them to sign false statements admitting to participating in a supposed terrorist group invented by the Russian authorities. The ensuing crackdowns put tremendous pressure on anarchists around Russia; you can learn more about the cases and solidarity efforts here. Today, a young Russian anarchist died in an attack on the FSB headquarters in Arkhangelsk. The FSB has gotten its wish, bullying young Russians into carrying out bombings rather than engaging in public organizing. Below, we present a rough translation of the initial report from Russian anarchists, including the young man’s personal claim of responsibility.
The deceased, Zhlobitsky Mikhail Vasilyevich, also known as Valerian Panov, was a student at the Arkhangelsk Polytechnic University. He was 17 years old.
As we have previously emphasized, we don’t believe that individual attacks on specific authority figures will suffice to abolish the institutional power of the state and capitalism. But the Russian state has left precious few alternatives for those who desire a means of bringing about positive change. At the conclusion of a week that has seen a tremendous upswing in authoritarian repression and fascist violence around the world, from Pittsburgh to Brazil, it is time for us to discuss how we can collectively respond to the escalating violence of the state and its fascist supporters.
It also bears mentioning that the FSB is directly descended from the KGB, showing the continuity of oppression between state socialism and capitalism. Under Putin and Stalin, under Kennedy and Trump, the machinery of state tyranny remains the same.
We respectfully bid farewell to this young man who took a stand against repression, torture, and deceit, doing the best he could with the few options that were available to him. Let’s organize together to give people like him a reason to live. Please go to the support page for those targeted by the FSB operation.
At 8:52 am, at the entrance to the FSB Directorate for the Arkhangelsk Region, an explosion took place. The anarchist rebel, Zhlobitsky Mikhail Vasilyevich, also known on the app Telegram as Valerian Panov, detonated a bomb and died in the explosion. This is the first case of anarchists carrying out such an attack on the FSB in 19 years; the previous attack was organized in 1999 at the reception of the FSB in Moscow by the New Revolutionary Alternative organization.
The comrade died as a result of the explosion, also causing injuries of varying severity to three officers of the FSB.
Seven minutes before the explosion, Valerian left a message in one of the anarchist chats via Telegram, in which he described the reasons for his action:
Comrades, now in the FSB building in Arkhangelsk there will be a terrorist attack, the responsibility for which I take upon myself. The reasons are clear to you. Since the FSB fabricates cases and tortures people, I decided to go for it. Most likely, I will die because of the explosion, because I have initiated the charge directly by pressing the button attached to the bomb cover. Therefore, you are requested to spread information about the terrorist attack: who committed it and what the reasons were.
Well, sort of like everything. I wish you to go unswervingly and uncompromisingly towards our goal. Light to you, the future of anarchist communism!
We bow our heads before the heroism of our comrade. We were not acquainted in person, but through communication, he left an impression of himself as an intelligent and well-prepared person who was not apathetic, who aspired to go beyond the swamp of the official opposition struggle that is now mainstream.
We are sorry that he had no other choice, no way to do more damage to the enemy with less harm to himself.
Yet be that as it may, he lived as he thought was right, and died as a hero in the struggle for our common ideals.
As the Kurds say—Şehid namirin! Heroes do not die!
This post is also available in: Русский (Russian)