“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to build a socialist state in Europe”
"First of all, why did you come to the Donbass to fight against Poroshenko’s government?
We all agree that the Odessa massacre was the turning point for us. But there are many reasons why we have joined the struggle: to help build a socialist state in Europe, to help defend the people of Donbass from the Kiev army. This is a fight against fascism and we are in debt to those who joined the International Brigades in Spain in 1936 to fight against the coup.
Leaving your life, your friends and your family to go fight in a war in which you could die can’t be easy. Is Novorossiya worth such risks?
We are perfectly aware of the risks that come with the decision to go to war and we know what we left behind in Spain, but the cause is worth the risk. We are here to fight against fascism. For the first time in a very long time, there is a real chance to help build a socialist state in Europe. As communists, we could not let go of this opportunity.
You define yourselves as communists. What does it mean for you to fight for Novorossiya? What are your political and military goals?
Our main military task is to stop when we have liberated the future state of Novorossiya from the fascist scum. They are the ones who caused this war. And our main political task is to help build the socialist state of Novorossiya by being part of the revolutionary units of the armed forces along with other communists fighting here. The red flag will once again fly high in Europe.
As with Kurdistan or Palestine, the Donbass resistance is based on popular support and is politically diverse, so it stands out that one of the leaders of the Lugansk militia is Vitaly Victorovich, a known communist.
What is the real presence and influence of communists in the popular resistance?
Communists have a prominent presence in the resistance. There are two units formed exclusively of communists: one in the Vostok Battalion and another one here, in the Prizrak Brigade. There are communists in other units too. There is great Soviet nostalgia within the volunteers fighting in the Militia. Everything has deteriorated here since the collapse of the Soviet Union, everybody here can see it. We could not say exactly how many communists are in the resistance, but it is the predominant ideology in the Militia.
Communist ideology is present in the political arena too. Igor Plotnitsky, the leader of the LPR has a communist ideology. Communists are influential in both the Lugansk and the Donetsk militias. Many of the commanders are fighting for a Novorossiya free from fascists and oligarchs.
After a brief stay in other units and battalions, you have just joined the Red Squad 404 of the Prizrak Brigade. Why did you transfer here? Tell us about your new life in this unit.
Our life in this unit is similar to what it was in other units: the same discipline, same schedules and same rotations at the front. What really changes is the hierarchy. Everything here is more egalitarian, there are no commanders. There is a political commissar who is in charge of the discipline and morale of the soldiers. And we have two leaders: one in charge of military training back in the headquarters and one in charge of leading the comrades in battle.
We made the decision to change units for political reasons, even though there have always been communist commanders in our units. Political differences prevented us from feeling as comfortable as we would have liked. We feel fully comfortable with our new comrades here in unit 404.
Even though nationalists are a minority in the Militia, a part of the (Spanish) Left have used their presence as an excuse to whitewash Kiev’s and NATO’s crimes against the civilian population. Some have gone as far as calling you Nazis, not just you but the whole resistance. What do you have to say to that?
Any Left that justifies fascists killing civilians should rethink what their ideology really is. Some have called us Nazis, which is hilarious to us, dark-skinned half breeds (laughs). Those of you who have been here are the only ones who can judge, everybody else is just speculating three thousand kilometres away. And I want to make it clear [Sergio] that I am redder that the blood flowing through my veins. And that is not going to change, no matter what others may say.
What do you think is the main character of the Novorossiyan resistance: class struggle, the fight against fascism or national liberation?
Novorossiya is a fight against fascism, against the rule of the oligarchs and a national liberation movement. We are fighting against the Kiev fascists and the oligarchs who looted post-Soviet Ukraine. And it is a national liberation movement too, since they are defending their culture, their language and their people."