Voices from Russia

Saturday, 2 June 2018

The Burning of Pirčiupiai… Lest We Forget What Rightwing Racism Leads To


On 3 June 1944, the fascist occupiers burned the village of Pirčiupiai in Lithuania, killing 119 people, burning them alive. Amongst the victims were 5 elderly persons over 65, 1 pregnant woman, 49 children under 15 years of age, 14 children under 5 years of age, and 4 nursing infants.

In 1960, the young Lithuanian sculptor Gediminas Jokūbonis created a memorial at the site of the tragedy, including the statue “Mother”, with a wall with decorated reliefs carved with names of the dead. The central monument portrays a tense image of a mother, the anger and sorrow of the old Lithuanian peasants, as well as severe generalised images, harmonising the architecture and memorial space with the surrounding countryside. In 1963, Jokūbonis received a Lenin Prize for creating the memorial. A Memorial Museum is also in Pirčiupiai.

In 1981, the Lithuanian cinema studio LKS filmed the movie Fakt (Fact) directed by Steponas Almantas Grikevičius, telling the story of the destruction of the village by the fascists. It won the main prize at the 14th all-Union Film Festival in Vilnius and represented the Soviet film industry in the competition at the Cannes International Film Festival, which it won the award for Best Supporting Female Role for actress E Ya Solovey.

2 June 2018

СССР. Прекрасная страна, в которой мы жили



Brother Ajamu On Phony-Baloney “Leftists”

I happen to be a religious believer, many left people are. This isn’t proselytism… it’s simply how I’d express this issue. If we disagree, let’s do so in a spirit of kamaradschaft and solidarity. I do daresay that we agree on opposing the Empire’s aggression wherever it occurs.


I got to the Left Forum 2018 only to run into some silly so-called leftists passing out flyers denouncing me as a supporter of Assad. Look imperial left, anti-US imperialism isn’t supposed to be selective based on whether or not you like the nation that’s in the crosshairs of empire. Moreover, some black revolutionaries reserve the right to see and relate to the world based on our own interests and experiences; we see US imperialism as the number one global contradiction. Now, you might have a different agenda and might even believe that the USA can be on the right side of history and a force for good… that isn’t our experience and the experience of millions globally.

2 June 2018

Ajamu Baraka



You run into them all the time… armchair leftists proclaiming that we shouldn’t aid the victims of the Empire because they’re not “pure” enough. The task imperative for our time is opposition to the Empire. Therefore, we should aid all those standing against it, even if they’re not “left”. The pressing objective is opposition to the Empire and the defeat of its neoliberal crapitalist agenda; all else is nought compared to that. If you bleat about how imperfect this or that Imperial victim is, you’re on the Empire’s side, and I, for one, won’t be silent. I confide that I’m not alone in thinking that way.


Ukrainian Jewish Committee Warns Kiev About Glorifying World War II Murderers of Jews


On Friday, Eduard Dolinsky, Director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, told golos.ua:

The veneration of World War II-era Nazi groups and surging anti-Semitism in the Ukraine will inevitably affect relations with Israel. Currently, both countries enjoy a good relationship. However, the Ukraine’s glorification of the murderers of the Jewish population will eventually come back to haunt Kiev in its relations with Israel. This’ll happen shortly. This’ll depend on how the Ukraine acts. For example, Poland, as you know, banned entry for (the director of the Institute of National Memory) Vyatrovich as well as some of his allies and nationalists. Israel may also take similar measures. Besides, ultra-right sentiment and extremist groups will grow in the Ukraine if the government remains idle. The whole world is witnessing mounting rightwing extremist sentiment and stepped-up activity by radical groups in social life. If they take no action to counter this, this’ll build up day by day. In addition, their numbers would increase, eventually making the fight against them more difficult.

According to the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, the number of anti-Semitic incidents doubled in the Ukraine in 2017 year-on-year, which comes against the backdrop of a glorification of nationalist leaders responsible for the murders and expulsion of Jews during World War II. It noted:

For a second successive year, the Ukraine saw the biggest number of anti-Semitic incidents among the former Soviet Union republics. There was anti-Semitic propaganda in politics, vandalism targeting Jewish cemeteries, buildings, and social centres, as well as monuments to Holocaust victims. However, they don’t take any effective action against vandals, with anti-Semitic incidents qualified as just hooliganism and not as hate crimes.

In May 2015, Ukrainian President P A Poroshenko signed a law glorifying the OUN (Ukrainian nationalists) and the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army), a terrorist group outlawed in Russia, labelling their activity as a struggle for the country’s independence. Statues to nationalist Nazi collaborators S A Bandera and R I Shukhevich arise across the Ukraine, memorial events and torchlight processions occur in their memory, and they name streets after them.

1 June 2018



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