Yesterday evening Monday 16th, 26 years old Ivan Khutorskoy aka Vanya-kostolom was shot dead at the entrance of his house. This name is not well-known among general public, but he was a colossal figure among Russian antifascists and left activists. First of all he is known as one of informal leaders of youth antifascist movement, and one of founders of R.A.S.H. (Red and Anarchist skinheads) – community of skinheads-antifascists adhering to the left political views. It’s obvious for the most of his friends that the murder has been committed by Russian neo-nazi.
Ivan’t initials, photos and home address, as well as ones of many other antifascists like Fedor Filatov and Timour Dzhaparidze were repeatedly published on nazi-websites in order to call nazi-bastards for his destruction. It was the 4th attempt on Ivan’s life. First he was assaulted by nazi in 2005. This incident was fixed by a camera and was shown in a documental program “Ordinary antifascism”. Then attackers waited for Ivan in the entrance of his house, stubbed him in the neck with a screwdriver, and inflicted several blows by a baseball bat — he miraculously survived. The third attack was carried out on January, 2009 – Ivan was stubbed in the stomach during a street fight, this wound was also almost lethal but he survived again. And now, when everything else had failed, Nazis decided to try guns.
It was a kind-hearted and responsive man, he was always ready to help his friends in any situation. Ivan was an example of indomitable will and courage for all of us. He remained faithful to his convictions till the end. With Ivan, any such claims post-mortem would be a misrepresentation any way around, as every clique and crew in the scene considered him as one of them, and he was respected and loved by absolutely everyone. Ivan considered himself a RASH skinhead, which did not bothered apolitical and patriotic Moscow Troyan Skinheads to consider him as one of them. And anarchists of course considered Ivan one of the anarchists, and it is true that Ivan had anti-authoritarian and social positions and was always ready to provide security for anarchists events. But he did not lived for activism – he lived for the streets and for the punk rock.
Perpetrators will be prosecuted – we will do all our best for it. Our duty is to continue activities started by him.
This isn’t the first time that anti-fascists have been murdered in russia by right-wing extremists. The anarchists and anti-fascists have put up with a lot and keep going. Food Not Bombs in St. Petersburg was bombed. Neo-nazis attacked an anti-nuclear protest camp, leaving multiple people wounded and one dead. And in Moscow, an anti-fascist lawyer and an anarchist where gunned down.
I have no rousing conclusion to this post. I’m sad, mostly. My love goes out for the anti-fa who keep it up where it isn’t safe, where it can get them killed.