To All the “Antifascists” Out There, from Petrograd

work for russians-cropped

The sticker reads, in part, “Work for ethnic Russians.” Photographed by The Russian Reader in the Petersburg subway.

A young Petersburg leftist, A.N., made the following comment on his Facebook page earlier today. What he says here is obvious to anyone with a brain and elementary powers of observation who has been living in Russia the past five or ten years (if not longer), but it had to be said now. People outside Russia who don’t understand these “alphabetical truths” (home truths), as the Russians say, should refrain from commenting on “the situation” in Ukraine and Russia.

It’s been funny watching as people absolutely incapable of doing anything at home in Russia have been vigorously calling for the “restoration of order” in a neighboring country, Ukraine. Day and night, they have been seeking out “fascists,” provocateurs, and victims on Maidan and in Crimea, while paying no attention to what has been happening right under their own noses.

The only thing these latter-day “antifascists” want to avoid seeing is that there has been fascism here in Russia for a long time already. It has been manifested in assaults on migrants, in the ongoing homophobic hysteria, in flagrant censorship, in cutbacks to social services, in political show trials and folks sent to prison for political or trade union activism, in the implantation of right-wing reactionary views in society, in increasing social stratification, in insane laws passed with such speed we don’t have time to react to them, and in many other things.

But this is of no interest to anyone, because it’s not a YouTube video or a comment on Facebook, and basically we got used to all of it long ago. And it’s okay: life goes on. And now our neighbors in Ukraine can get used to it, too.

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