In July 2021, a writer from an assembly of anarchists based in Kharkov, Ukraine, published an article with us on local resistance to land-grabbing backed by American corporations. This assembly is committed libertarian communism and social revolution, and functions as a portal for local news and grassroots initiatives not covered by mainstream news outlets. Their work has covered wildcat strikes in Ukraine, resistance against land appropriation, and recent anarchist developments such as an eco anarchist camp based in the Carpathian Mountains, and a campaign celebrating the birthday of  famed Ukrainian anarchist revolutionary Nestor Makhno.

Action of our comrades in Kiev on the increase of fare in city transport. 19th November, 2021

Ukraine has been engulfed in social unrest for several months now. Protests have periodically subsided before flaring up again. The draconian gas prices, for which the average resident spends more as a proportion of their income than anywhere else in Europe, are shutting down a lot of enterprises, and leaving many of the 700–800 people, whose lives are daily plagued by the pandemic, weakened by their unheated homes. On October 25, a rally in Zhytomir against the increase in gas and heating prices grew into an assault on the office of Zhytomirgas JSC. When no one greeted the protesters who had gathered outside the building, they broke down the doors and burst inside. They finally found the chairman of the board on the upper floors who said that his company did not set tariffs. He was forced to go down to the street and give a report to the demonstrators, but the manager, having first agreed, then disappeared. The rally’s participants signed a statement containing, among other things, such demands as stopping the growth of gas tariffs, a ban on shutting off gas supplies during the heating season and returning gas networks to the ownership of urban and territorial communities. So, what we wrote about at the beginning of this autumn is gradually becoming a reality.

The Holocaust memorial Drobitsky Yar is visible behind for a reason. This location on the eastern edge of Kharkov was specially chosen to draw a parallel between the Nazi genocide in Kharkov at the end of 1941 and the tariff genocide exactly 80 years later

We in Kharkov share this rage. On October 16–17, after long-time shutdowns of  neighborhoods and villages had been arranged by Kharkivgas JSC to extort debt from residents, gas activist groups from all over the region blocked one of the entrances to Kharkov. Some of these activist groups have existed for several years, and during this time have managed to stop dozens of families from being disconnected from their electricity and gas by directly stopping gas brigade vehicles or company trials.. Last August, more activists appeared after the government lifted the ban on disconnecting households during quarantine. The protest covered by anarchist online journal made a wide resonance and led to the return of gas in the most affected settlement.

Several anarchist journalists and militants took part in what was maybe a new historical precedent for our city...

On November 7, the 133th birthday of Ukrainian anarchist leader Nestor Makhno, delegates of the gas movement gathered for a public meeting on the Kharkov central square and elected a working group to receive complaints from the population about such conflicts, and to help resolve it with energy companies. Unlike the action on Kharkov ring road, this time there were no national flags. This is intended to be an intermediate step on the way to the main goal: the transition of Kharkivgas JSC into municipal property under popular control from below in order to provide a supply at minimal prices (now 95,5% of its shares belong to private corporation DF Group with offshore accounts).

Moreover, we have not yet faced the consequences of the agricultural land market, which has been open since July 1, 2021. The region of Kharkov is now in the top 3 regions in the country for their rate of land sales.. You can only imagine what will happen when a whole stream of landless peasants fill the metropolis looking for a job!

Graffiti of our reader in the underpass near the square where the meeting took place

The intensification of travelling across the region and media activity inevitably requires some more resources. You are welcome to support the collective through our fundraiser in USD or EUR. Just follow the links to see an image of the bank details. Every cent will contribute to the development of our work!

Apart from the above, the biggest action  taken by the Kharkov anarchists at the moment is still the anti-police street intervention during the LGBTQ march on September 12, which was announced with more notice than the semi-spontaneous gas unrests. In the first half of the year, we were not capable of such acts, but now need to mobilize more actively. A new 1917 is on the doorstep!

Forward under black flags! Salud y Anarquía!

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