In the early morning of 21st July, neo-nazi skinheads launched a vicious and unprovoked attack on an anti-nuclear protest camp in Angarsk, Siberia, Russia (see map). The nazis violently attacked activists in their sleeping bags and tents with iron rods, knives and air pressure guns. 21 year old Ilya Borodaenko from Nachodka suffered a head-fracture during the attack and later died in hospital from his injuries. At least nine others have been reported to be seriously injured, one of which has had both their legs broken. Tents were set on fire and several belongings were stolen.
Financial help and other forms of solidarity are urgently needed. See contact details in additions to this article.
The camp had started the week before and was aimed at protesting against a planned centre of uranium enrichment in Angarsk. Ever since the arrival of the activists, the police tried to intimidate them and have entered the camp in an attempt to gather information about planned actions. The organisation who planned the camp, the 'Ecological Wave of Baikal', had planned various rallies in the surronding area to inform locals about the plans and drum up support for the campaign.
Although the protesters knew about the planned attack and had organized night guards, they were much too few to stop the attack. Police said at least 15 assailants raided the camp at the Yelovskoye Reservoir near the city of Angarsk occupied by a group of 21 protesters against reprocessing of nuclear waste at a local plant. The attack on the camp happened at 5.10 am Moscow time (1.10 am GMT) on Saturday. Recent police statements have mentioned that two attackers have been arrested, and at least 13 others have been identified. An investigation was started and according to mainstream sources the police believe the reason for the attack was that they wanted to 'rob the activists', no political motive to be seen (because they found some things that belong to the activists when they arrested the attackers). One of the first contact with the police when people arrived to set up the camp was for them to illegally arrest ten people on 14 July. All of them were released after a few hours but faced intimidation and had their fingerprints taken. Various complaints have been made about the conduct of police earlier on in the week, who entered the camp in an attempt to gather information about planned actions.
Ros-Atom (the state agency for Russia’s nuclear industry) has plans to establish an International Uranium Enrichment Centre (IUEC) at the Angarsk uranium enrichment plant (AUEP) to supply fuel to Russian and other nuclear power stations. The site is within the boundaries of the town of Angarsk, 30 km. from Irkutsk and 100 km. from Lake Baikal, which is the world’s deepest lake and classed by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee as one of the World Natural Heritage Sites. With neither a buffer safety area nor radiation-control zone, campaigners say the new proposals pave the way for another nuclear disaster. One of the main points of debate is that of the storage of nuclear waste. As Russia will produce uranium fuel for a load of nations, it will be obligated to reclaim the spent nuclear fuel once it is burned in foreign reactors. Especially as many countries have no or little nuclear storage space of their own. According to the 'Ecological Wave of Baikal', at present, waste in the form of depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUH), produced as a result of uranium enrichment, is kept at the Angarsk plant in storage casks in the open. Ros-Atom fails to answer critical questions: How much depleted uranium has already been amassed at the plant? (they describe this information as being a “commercial secret”). How long is it planned to store DUH? What would be the possible consequences if all the containers were to become depressurized (as in the case of an accident or terrorist attack)? How much waste will be accumulated at the plant with the establishment of the International Centre?
The 'Ecological Wave of Baikal' is one of a few groups who continue to ask questions and in doing so have gathered an ever increasing number of supporters within the local community. “We declare a decisive no to Rosatom’s plans to build the International Uranium Enrichment Centre in Angarsk, no to illegal imports from abroad of radioactive waste in the form of uranium tailings to the Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Combine,” reads a resolution issued by the No to Chernobyl at Baikal assembly which took place in Irkutsk last December, drawing some 150 people. Eight thousand signatures have already been collected in support of the movement. Read the full articles.
The G8 Deal
The international centre at Angarsk will give access to atomic technology to a large number of countries which they have previously not possessed. How did the plans for this International Uranium Enrichment Centre (IUEC) become about? Suprise, surprise, it has come to light that the first agreement about the creation of a network of international centres for the enrichment of uranium (ICEUs) was reached at last summer’s meeting of the G8 in St Petersburgh. See G8 2006 page. On Putin’s initiative, it was decided that the first such centre would be built in Russia on the site of the Angarsk uranium enrichment plant (AECC), which produces enriched uranium hexafluoride - which is put to further use for producing nuclear fuel. In fact, the creation of the centre gives the AECC a whole new status. What kind of uranium is going to be enriched at the centre is unknown. Presently, Ros-Atom only has a single partner in Kazakhstan. In 1996 Russian and Kazakhstan created the joint uranium mining venture “Zarechnoe,” and it is assumed that uranium from there will be enriched in Angarsk. Other potential partners in the International Centre are Japan, India, Iran, and African nations said Vladimir Servetnik, deputy general director of Tenex, Russia’s nuclear fuel monopoly. He also said that “productive negotiations” were underway with South Korea. As the deal has been made at the G8 summit last year, it is no surprise that the United States gave their mark of approval to the Russian-Kazakh initiative ealier this year.
More related articles: Germany: another 1,000 tonnes of nuclear waste headed to Russia - PROTESTS! | Anti-nuclear activists needle German power giant's annual general meeting | Cold Warriors Shift Ground on Nuclear Weapons | North Korean nuclear test opens up political divisions in South Korea | US steps up threats against Iran over nuclear programs | Multinational protest in Brussels against doubled nuclear spending | The Lasting Dangers of Unexploded Israeli Cluster Bombs | Depleted uranium all over Afghanistan? | Depleted Uranium munitions | No To Nuclear Power Protest - Derby | Anti Nuclear-Waste activist killed by train | Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station Blockaded For Ten Hours | Truckloads of seismic data for nuclear waste dumping destroyed in Germany
However we will forget nothing and we won't forgive Ilya Borodaenko's death to his murderers (irrespective of successes or failures of the official repressive system investigating the crime). We won't stop activity of our environmental protest camp, we won't stop our struggle against fascist plague and nuclear mafia, against authoritative ideas and racist dregs, against all that destroys both the nature and human life and dignity. Today we grieve. Tomorrow we will continue our struggle.
July, 21 2007
At the camp, just after the attack...
One man had both his legs broken
Here's a very basic translation:
Local police are saying they have identified 13 persons involved in the assault. Report says attackers were armed with baseball bats, iron bars and petrol bombs. The comrade Marina is saying that the nazis were shouting 'Antifa. ha, ha' as they attacked. The doctor is saying that there are 7 in hospital, 5 in a serious condition. Report says the attacks was on 'tourists' and that the motive was theft. No mention of protest by Rainbow Keepers/Autononous Action or it being a nuclear fuel processing facility.
Additional video from NTV 'Independent TV' (shows more of the camp itself):
Link to Autonomous Action website: http://avtonom.org/index.php
Coming to terms with what has happened, the campers are still there
Some burned and damaged possessions
Tents were ripped up and set alight
check out http://libcom.org/forums/news/nazis-kill-anarchist-siberia for further details.
Eurozone: by giro transfer to War Resisters’ International, in Euros to Bank of Ireland, IBAN IE91 BOFI 9000 9240 413547, SWIFT/BIC BOFIIE2D
Britain: by giro transfer to War Resisters’ International, in £ sterling to Unity Trust Bank, Account number 5072 7388 Sort code: 08-60-01 (IBAN GB11 CPBK 0800 5150 07 32 10, SWIFT CPBKGB22), or by sending a cheque payable to War Resisters' International to War Resisters' International, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX
USA: Send a cheque made out to War Resisters' International to: Ralph di Gia, c/o War Resisters League (WRL) 339 Lafayette Street, New York NY 10012
In any case, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with "help for Angarsk protest camp" in the subject line, stating the amount and where you sent the money to.
War Resisters' International will forward all donations to the Russian activists.
We would like to show solidarity with anti-nuclear activists in Russia.
So, if possible:
1. Give your individual or organisational support to the statement (it will be properly released to the media on Wednesday night) - just drop us a line ( email@example.com will do ..) before 6pm on Wednesday 25 July 2007.
2. Come to the Russian embassy at 7pm on Thursday 26 July (address below)
3. Send a donation (details below .. and actually above - see WRI posting)
4. Spread the word around your networks
Statement of solidarity by UK-based anti-nuclear groups and individuals
[for media release on 25 July 2007]
On 21 July, neo-nazis attacked an anti-nuclear protest camp at Angarsk, Siberia, Russia.
At 5am around 15 neo-nazis attacked the protesters, beating them with iron bars, knives, and air pistols. As a result of the attack, eight people were hospitalised – one, Ilya Borodaenko, later died of his injuries.
We condemn the murder of 21 year old Ilya Borodaenko during the neo-nazi attack on the anti-nuclear protest camp at Angarsk, Siberia, Russia on 21 July 2007.
We call on the Russian police to conduct a full and impartial investigation into the brutal and unprovoked attack.
We condemn the continued erosion of civil liberties in Russia, the repression of activists by agents of the state, and the rise of neo-nazi violence against activists.
We note that the protest camp was held outside the Angarsk Electrolytic Chemical Combine (AEKhK) plant, which is proposed to become an international centre for uranium enrichment. The plant currently exports up to 50% of its Enriched Uranium – including to the UK
We offer our solidarity and condolences to camp organisers - Ecological Wave of Baikal, Autonomous Action, and Rainbow Keepers.
A solidarity vigil is called for Thursday 26 July at 7pm, outside the Russian embassy in London: 5 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QS.
Ecological Wave of Baikal, Autonomous Action and Rainbow Keepers have requested financial donations to cover the costs of medical treatment for the activists injured in the attack, for the transportation of Ilya Borodaenko’s body and for his funeral.
Donations in the UK can be made via:
War Resisters’ International
by giro transfer to War Resisters’ International, in £ sterling to Unity Trust Bank
Account number 5072 7388 Sort code: 08-60-01
Or send cheques to War Resisters' International, 5 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9DX.
Mark any donation clearly as “Angarsk protest camp”.
Statement supported by:
Aldermaston Women’s Peace Camp(aign), Andreas Speck, War Resisters' International, [your name/org here... full list for release Wednesday night]
The State Office of the Public Prosecutor of the Russian Federation
General Prosecutir - Chaika Juri Yakovlevich
125993, Russia, Moscow, B. Dmitrovka street, 15a
Fax +7 (495)692-77-90 or +7 (495) 692-17-25
Public Relations Department of Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation
117049, Moscow, Zhitnaya, 16
Fax: +7 (495) 239-57-68
Office of Public Prosecutor of Irkutsk Region
Prosecutor - Melnikov Igor Anatolievich
664011, Irkutsk, Volodarskogo street, 5
To the Media
Attack on the ecological protest camp in Angarsk on 21 July 2007
On 21st of July, 2007 a group of people attacked the ecological protest camp in the town of Angarsk, Irkutsk region. The protest camp opposed the atomic energy development policy of the Russian Government, unsafe storage of radioactive waste and expansion of the capacity of the Uranium Enrichment Plant – Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Complex (AEKhK). As a result one man is dead and two more are in hospital with serious wounds. One of them is still in a life-threatening condition.
The mass media reports that the investigating authorities work on several versions, among them armed assault related to robbery and an attack motivated by personal hostility. Besides journalists refer to the police report that police officers suspect that the camp participants belong to some political organizations and they “are going to find out” what kind of “ecologists” have gathered together “under the pretext” of an ecological camp in Angarsk.
We would like to draw your attention to the fact that ecological views are quite compatible with political convictions and moreover that the struggle for the protection of the environment supposes that one has an active life position and concerns for social problems, most of which are related to the ecological. We think that rejecting neo-nazi ideology is an absolutely natural position for anyone. It is impossible just to be an “ecologist”- it’s society who influences and forms attitudes to and the treatment of environment, not individual individuals. Hundreds of thousands people take part in ecological protests all over the world. Nobody tries to find out the “true” motives of their activity, organizational membership or suspects them of having selfish ends. We want to remind you that people have the right to form groups, organizations, coalitions - both long-term and aimed at the solution of one concrete problem. Equating the participants of the ecological camp with “youth groupings” (read – gangs) based on their age, informality and lack of any leader – we consider this as deliberate and unauthorized. Thus the attack on the camp is represented as a banal “clash” between youth groups. We ask you not to discredit the ecological camp in your public statements as well statements of you representatives.
According to camp participants it is known that the attackers shouted slogans, well describing their connection to the nazi-skinhead-movement. We ask you not to cover up and ignore the political aspect of the attack, we ask you to accept that there are neo-nazi associations in the Irkutsk region and to begin legal proceedings based on the clause of “extremism”.
We know that police officers of Angarsk constantly kept camp participants under pressure. On the 14th and 21st of July some activists had been arrested illegally. In both cases officers of the 3rd Angarsk Police station refused to make reports about the arrests and transfer to the station, but requested and took statements, finger-printed and photographed the arrested activists. On July 14th officers of the 3rd police station seized personal belongings of activists (books, leaflets, CDs) during their stay there and some of these things still have not been returned. Officers refuse to admit that anything was seized.
After the attack the investigating authorities have illegally taken for three days almost all the personal belongings from the place where they had been kept – this was done under the pretext of carrying out an investigation but actually it paralyzed the investigation itself. Most of the belongings have now been returned, but the Office of Public Prosecutor refuses to returned tents (including those stored in backpacks), rugs and ecological leaflets. Police officers tried to interfere with the dialogue between ecological activists and journalists, and tended to avoid any publicity about the event.
We want to remind you that citizens have the right to express their position. We ask you to provide safety to the camp participants after the camp will be set up again as well as not to hinder ecological actions carried out in Angarsk and Irkutsk.
Please note that the photographs are copyrighted.
The Russian state has attempted to hide the political nature of this outrage. Most offensively, it has implied that anarchism has nothing to do with environmentalism or anti-nuclear protest. With Autonomous Action and other Anarchist organisations we wish to state strongly that social and environmental crisis are intrinsically linked and that the causes of one can no longer be addressed in isolation from the other. The state has also portrayed the attack as nothing more than a skirmish between rival youth groupings. This was in fact a mobilisation of fascists from throughout the Irkutsk region in which the authorities are implicated.
Fascism stands for dictatorship, inequality, intolerance, and collaborates in the destruction of the natural world by capitalism. Anarchists celebrate freedom, equality and diversity, and fight to protect the planet we will all one day share.
We also honour the memory of Timur Kacharava & Alexander Ryuchin, & the African students Samba Lamsar & Kanhem Leon, who have died in the recent wave of neo-nazi violence in Russia. Anarchists in Britain and Ireland will remember the fallen with vigils, antifascist activity and environmental activism of our own this Summer. We send solidarity to the comrades continuing the camp at Angarsk.
Link to Autonomous Action website: http://avtonom.org/index.php
Vigil outside Russian Consulate in Sydney
Photos and full report on Sydney Indymedia
Takver - Sydney Indymedia