On the morning of March 12, 2019, anarchists shot at the windows of the Goloseyevsky Court in Kiev, Ukraine in solidarity with the anarchist prisoner Azat Miftakhov. The following is from a statement written in justification of the action:
Among the commentaries on the attack, we’ve read more than once that some people don’t understand our motives. They don’t get how does Azat Miftakhov’s arrest in Moscow have anything to do with a courthouse in Kiev. We’ll try to explain, because it’s important to get this seemingly obvious message across.
Choosing the target: We decided to go for a government court building. A lot of us have a good idea of what exactly is a courthouse today. Who among us hasn’t been in court? Who’s never had a friend or acquaintance on trial? Everyone felt this utter disdain for judicial robes; those who are fainter of heart – even fear. Why do we have to respect and accept them? Someone gave them the right to take our freedom and our lives, so now they sit there, up high, when you are languishing underneath, behind bars, with a watchdog in uniform hovering over you.
Court, as every other body of legislative, executive or judicial power, is a tool in the hands of the State. A tool for suppression of any civilian activities that pose a threat to the government. All authoritarian states (and all states are) allow protest activities right up until the moment they become a real danger, or until the capitalist system can still sell this protest at a profit.
Minutes after you’ve crossed the line of legitimacy and harmlessness, all three branches of power will start isolating you, detaining, torturing and killing, all while covering for and supporting each other. Remember how in 1905 in St. Petersburg, hundreds of peaceful demonstrators were fired upon by soldiers of the imperial regime. How in June 1962 the Soviet power massacred striking labourers and citizens in Novocherkassk.
Ukrainian courts differ little from those in Russia. We saw Court easily giving a search warrant for an anarchist’s apartment in Lviv. It’s no secret that Nazis from the police and SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) have an enormous influence on judges. The same in Russia and Belarus – cops and security officials control everything. Throughout the ages, state judges have always been the enemies of freedom-fighters. Them against us - us against them.
In 2016, several Molotov cocktails were thrown by anarchists at the Holosiivskyi District Court. Following the fire, the authorities managed to find “The Russian connection,” and have put a net on their windows as a protection from new Molotovs. It’s so simple and trite – to blame every act of resistance on pro-Russian aggressors. But no, it has nothing to do with Russia or any criminal motives. Our attack – it’s an act of anarchist solidarity with our fellow rebel Azat Miftakhov. All States are prisons. Courts only constitute a cog in the governmental machinery that anarchists worldwide seek to destroy. Revolutionary struggle against state oppression knows no borders drawn by governments. We stand in solidarity with all our comrades throughout the world. Police, investigative, prosecutorial and judicial personnel – they are cut from the same cloth all around the globe. They are instruments of oppression in the hands of the State, which means that we have to target them regardless of place, wherever we can. Fight where you stand!
Anarchist Azat Miftakhov has become a captive to the enemy in Russia; we attacked a courthouse in Ukraine. Today the situation between those two countries is particularly curious. While showcasing hostility towards each other, the ruling cliques of both are in fact the best associates. They feed on the international incident that they themselves have created to maintain their royal position. Poroshenko and Putin - they are so alike.
Check out the list of present-day anarchist prisoners worldwide. Think about it: who handed down sentences and imprisoned these brave people?
In many other countries the use of firearms has been a common practice for anarchists for quite some time now. At the time, we were impressed by the shooting of a CEO of Italian nuclear engineering company Ansaldo Nucleare by FAI/IRF “Olga” cell (2012, Genoa), armed attack against the police patrol by FAI-M cell “Mariano Sanchez Añon” (2012, Chalco), attacks on PASOK offices and headquarters by “Revolutionary Struggle” (2014 and 2017, Athens) - there are numerous examples. But unfortunately, not in Russia, Ukraine or Belarus. It has all happened somewhere out there, over the border. That’s why we decided that the time has come to raise our resistance to an entirely new level. Struggle and solidarity are not just about stickers, graffiti, banners and picketing - there are also expropriations, sabotage, arsons, bombings and gunfire. For quite some time, we’ve sought ways of obtaining guns and ammunition; over time, we’ve managed to get all this. After a lot of training and preparations, we finally felt ready. We have demonstrated our commitment and determination, and also got an invaluable experience. Every such act gives us more strength, confidence and knowledge.
To avoid getting caught on cameras, we had to shoot from a distance of about 40 meters. It’s curious, that any damage to the windows was only discovered when judges arrived at their offices– so not until 9 a.m. It gave us a tremendous amount of time to get away safely. The increased police activity in Holosiivskyi district (probably owing to the presidential elections) have led us to await the immediate reaction. In the course of preparations we had to get down a couple of times and lay low until police Prius passed by.
To everyone who wishes to move beyond graffiti and banners:
For such cases we have bought ourselves a 9mm handgun that shoots 9×19mm Parabellum cartridges. When we finally got the gun, getting ammo was easy enough. We should probably elaborate on this point in greater detail, because all that is known to criminologists shouldn’t be a secret to anarchists. We used cartridges made by the Czech company “Sellier & Bellot” with FMJ type bullet. Police recovered 15 shell casings with S&B markings on he bottom. All 15 bullets they have dug out of the wall had brass jackets. So now, having this data, the police is going to learn a lot about the weapon by the marks left on those casings and bullets. Using the very same gun in the future means linking it to this attack. Most likely, we’ll get rid of this weapon for good. So it’s best to avoid leaving such evidence behind. A revolver or a brass catcher seem fit for that purpose. There’s always room for experiments: for example, incendiary/armor-piercing ammunition. It would be awesome to use some sort of silencing and flameless firing device or even subsonic ammunition.
Our goal is to transform modern society. There should be no governments, no states, no property, no nations, no gods, no cults. Our means – fire, guns, explosives.
Young anarchist hero Mikhail Zhlobitsky is in our hearts!
Our solidarity goes to all arrested and prisoners waiting to be released.
Our solidarity goes to all emigrants and fugitives, waiting for the revolution in their motherland.
Hurry up, comrade; shoot at a cop, a judge, a rich man, before the new police starts locking you in jail. Hurry up, arm yourself.