Aleksandr Podrabinek: The Violence Genie – a dangerous instrument of resistance can return to political struggle

20 April 2023

By Aleksandr Podrabinek

Source: Vot-Tak.TV

In Ukraine, the number of militarized formations made up of Russian citizens is rising. Soon a “Siberian Battalion” may be added to those already in existence. More and more in Russia itself, the response to police tyranny has taken far from peaceful forms.

As expected, the violence genie that flew out of the Russian bottle is going to be hard or impossible to put back. The Kremlin conceitedly thought it had the exclusive right to violence, at least inside Russian society. That pleasant thought prompted its aggression against Ukraine. The response was swift and unexpected. Not a murderously powerful response, but nonetheless one that ruined their plans for a blitzkrieg and for easily subjugating their neighbour state.

Another danger of any war, apart from all the obvious consequences, is that violence becomes a legitimate instrument for resolving any issue. When a state sets an example by solving its real or far-fetched political problems by force, society first closely considers the new possibilities and then starts to use that instrument to resolve its own quarrels with the regime. This is quite a natural and irrevocable process.

It is no accident that revolutionary upheavals often follow military events, especially drawn-out and failed ones.

The First Swallows Have Shown Up

In Ukraine, military subdivisions are forming that are made up of Russian citizens. These are not just principled supporters of democracy but also ordinary military men who have come to realize how ruinous the Kremlin’s current political course is for Russia. Fighting on Ukraine’s side now are subdivisions like the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps, which are made up largely of Russian citizens.

People are deserting Russian security structures, even such elite special services as the FSB [Federal Security Service] and FSO [Federal Protection Service]. Indicative is the intention of Vladislav Ammosov — a native of Yakutia and former employee of Russia’s GRU [Main Intelligence Administration] who went over to the side of the Ukrainian armed forces — to create the separate Siberian Battalion for military actions against the Russian army.

In the military respect, these events are probably not very significant and are unlikely to seriously affect the course of the war. But the very creation of these subdivisions speaks to the fact that opponents of the Russian regime have picked up the gauntlet thrown down and are prepared to give the Kremlin equivalent retaliation. On top of this are events inside the country that would have been unheard of in the last few decades: military enlistment offices set on fire, sabotage on railways, explosions and fires of unknown origin at Russian military and civilian sites.

The Idea of Violent Resistance

In society, the idea of violent resistance to the country’s authoritarian tyranny and militarization is slowly but steadily maturing. Looking back on Russian history, one can only sigh mournfully: the violent overthrow of a regime, always so tempting in its simplicity and accessibility, has sometimes led to victory over a despotic regime but has never brought about the reliable consolidation in Russia of humane, just, and fair principles for state life.

Violence is a dangerous and two-edged sword. It should be used with great caution, professionally and as little as possible. People in Russia aren’t accustomed to restraint. A power struggle with evil here can transform unusually easily into a new evil.

This has to be kept in mind by those who have taken up arms today and those who welcome violent resistance as the sole means of deliverance from tyranny.

Translated by Marian Schwartz

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