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KOMBINATAS: Regional solidarity with Ukraine and anti-war resistance in Russia

This August’s Kombinatas festival brought dozens of leftist researchers and activists from the region to its camp in Saugus Atstumas (Lithuania). Predictably, Russia’s war on Ukraine was the most discussed topic and the festival’s organizers shared with us videos of two related panels.

Oppositional movements and anti-war resistance in Russia

Why did Putin start a war in Ukraine? Should we call Russia a “fascist state”? And what kind of resistance are Russian citizens waging against the war in Ukraine? The Lithuanian Left festival “Kombinatas” has invited Russian scholar Ilya Budraitskis and activist Lolja Nordic to discuss the pressing issues of “Putinism” and Russian oppositional movements. Ilya Budraitskis describes how, over 20 years, Putin’s ideology evolved from neoliberal de-politization into an open dictatorial regime, demanding complete adherence to the state politics of war. However, as Ilya comments, Russia’s case should be seen as one of the examples of global fascistic tendencies – Putin’s eclectic repertoire of ideological discourses are copied from US neo-conservative movements or visible in other European right-wing populists movements. Lolja Nordic, a Russian activist and member of Feminist Anti-War resistance organisation speaks about actions that Russian citizens take to resist the war in Ukraine. Lolja speaks about the different forms of violence that are present in Russian society, ranging from domestic violence to the prison and army systems. Lolja asks how violence and trauma experienced on the frontlines by Russian soldiers will be brought back home, and how it will raise the prominence of abuse to new levels.

Panel moderator – Gražina Bielousova. Camera work – Vika Petrikaitė, Tadas Janušauskas. Sound and editing – Tadas Janušauskas.

Q&A: Activism and regional solidarity in the context of the war in Ukraine

The panel is comprised of activist and political thinkers from Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania: Viktoriia Pigul (Ukrainian democratic socialists organisation Socialnyi Rukh), Nina Potarska (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom coordinator in Ukraine), Zofia Malisz (Polish left party Razem), Andrius Bielskis (member of Lithuanian organisation “Left alliance”) and Eglė Murauskaitė (Senior researcher on international security). The panel is moderated by Lithuanian scholar Jokūbas Salyga. The panel has been organised by Lithuanian left festival Kombinatas, which brings activists, scholars and union organisers from around the region. Check the festival site on facebook for next year’s program!

Panel moderator – Jokūbas Sąlyga. Camera work – Vika Petrikaitė, Tadas Janušauskas. Sound and editing – Tadas Janušauskas.