Day 1: AIF in Donbass as part of the Anti-Fascist Caravan

As the Anti-Imperialist Front, we arrived in the birth place of socialism, the Soviet Union, now named Russia, to witness the reality of Donbass on the spot and to tell the truth against the disinformation of imperialism.

We will explain why we talk of Soviet Union in our following articles.

The first thing we did was to make plans to see the works of socialism and to experience the spirit of Red Square.  We had a short city tour with a friend accompanying us before settling in. Statues of Karl Marx and Lenin, theatres, Soviet buildings and monuments stand tall in Russia with all their majesty. They seemed to say look, I am here among the artefacts of distorted capitalism. History is not buried but still alive.

We will see Moscow one more day before travelling to Donbass with the Anti-Fascist Caravan.

When we leave the station on our way to Red Square, we are greeted by the red star on the towers of the Kremlin Palace. It is as if we are experiencing the red star being drawn to the bastions of fascism.

While experiencing the dry cold, Napoleon’s campaigns come to mind and we better understand why he was defeated in that cold.

We come across the vigil of Russian soldiers at the head of the victory flame. The flame that has not been extinguished for years warms us even though we can see it from a distance. The names of the Soviet capitals engraved on the marbles and the monumental Red Square in front of us. It feels like the heart of socialism.

With excitement we enter the square step by step, slowly, we step on the places where the partisans and Soviet revolutionaries and socialists stepped. And there is Lenin’s mausoleum. We can’t go in, it’s closed for some reason we don’t know. We can’t appear before the great commander. We cannot tell dear Lenin that we will shake the world once again. We say we will come again, commander, and we leave the square.

As we wander around the streets of Moscow, which are equipped with all the splendor and lights, we encounter the defeat of the brand companies of the capitalist monopolies. McDonald’s and Starbucks are no more. They stand under different names with emblems similar to their old emblems. Due to the sanctions of imperialism, those companies withdrew from Russia and Russian oligarchs bought all their branches. Although we cannot rejoice too much, we think that it will be a blow to the profit rate of the companies that poison our children with brands and reinforce the petty bourgeois culture.

In other words, they shot themselves in the foot. And our friend says that many companies like this have withdrawn and the remaining ones are preparing to withdraw.

On the way to a gigantic park, we are amazed by the visuals of the metro stations. It is like a gallery with an exhibition of works of art. The galleries, where you pay very expensive fees in the West, are built by the Komsomols and the people and are open to the public. Sculptures and paintings tell us about the Soviets.  A culture and a country that does not harm the artefacts from the Soviet period. A people who protect and preserve their values. Works that reinforce the longing for socialism. At the station, people rub their hands on the materials on the sculptures. We wonder what is going on. Even if the old aunty can hardly lift her hand, she reaches out to touch. She was making a wish. May your wish come true. We guess she wished for a free world and an end to exploitation.

We enter a huge park after leaving the art gallery. Buildings depicting the Soviets and representing the Soviet Republics. Lenin again. Looking at the horizon. Leading the way. The hammer sickle is everywhere. The squares where we fly our hammer sickle flag and the peoples seem to be together. Soviet achievements. The space museum. The museum of transport. History lies in the park.

Since we are running out of time and because of the preparations we have to make for the journey to Donbass, we leave with a salute to Lenin. As the saying goes, ‘a ghost is wandering’, that ghost is about to appear.  And our day in Moscow ends. We are ready. Our bags are on our backs. Both our needs and the supplies we bring to the people of Donbass do not hurt our backs at all.

We met at the airport with our friends who will take part in the Anti-Fascist Caravan. Our excitement is growing. We want to set off in a hurry to see what we will witness for nine days with old and new friends. The peoples of Italy, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Portugal and Turkey are united for Donbass. Before this moment, when we look around us, Kazakh, Azeri, Uzbek, Tatar, Dagestani, Chechen people of all nationalities are together. Finally, our vehicle arrives and the aid materials are carefully placed. Now we can go to give hope to the children of Donbass. To share what the people of Donbass are going through. To see and hear the truth.

Fifteen hours later we are at the border crossing. The People’s Republic of Lugansk welcomes us. We enter after the procedures. Then a search point, but it is short. Second search point. After everything is checked, we leave. We are welcomed in Lugansk. Our friends in the Anti-Fascist Caravan, who came in previous years, and the delegation welcoming us are catching up. They welcome each of us as if they have known us for years. We settled in our accommodation.

We ate our prepared meal. Everyone tells their good wishes. We socialise well. And we rest after making the plan for the next day.

And now our work has begun. We have all the tools to tell the truth. But the internet is so slow it’s almost non-existent where we are. We find a solution for that too. Patience. We risked waiting for hours to send the materials. Revolutionary stubbornness. We are not helpless in the face of imperialism’s attacks and black propaganda.

We leave the city with our vehicles and the protection team and quickly go to our first stop. The graves of the Lugansk people and the monument. The first clashes started in the region when the Ukrainian army bombed the Lugansk airport. Hundreds of civilians who died there were massacred beyond recognition. DNA tests were carried out to identify the identities of the people. People whose identities could not be determined until today are lying in the grave. Later, soldiers and people who were massacred in other regions were also buried here. And the first monument in their memory is erected at the entrance of the grave. We learnt this information from the soldier in charge and our Italian journalist friend in the region. After a moment of silence, we leave our flowers at the monument.

We are on the road again for our second stop. Alchevsk. Attacks in the area stopped a long time ago. We are in a hotel that was hit by a missile a month back. And it’s easy to see the severity of the explosion from the new windows and frames in the surrounding buildings. The building is still standing, but badly damaged.

We move on to another place. A student dormitory. It was hit by an American Himar missile, which has a range of three hundred kilometres. There were casualties in both buildings, of course. Stanakhov. The city named after the hero Stanakhov, symbol of socialist labour. After visiting the statue of Stanakhov, we set off again.

And we are in an orphanage in a nearby town. The orphanage, which the Anti-Fascist Caravan (AFC) has already visited, is silent and forlorn. There are no more children chirping. At the height of the attacks, the children were transported fifty kilometres away so that the Himars could not tear their tiny bodies apart. The school official explains with tears. The fifty years old orphanage has been orphaned. Aid materials and cash brought by AFC are delivered to the school official.

The programme of our first day is not over yet. We are on our way again for the press conference waiting for us in Lugansk Library. Those coming from thousands of kilometres away do not feel the intensity. We behave like children hungry for knowledge.

Alexy Kazyakin, chairman of the Lugansk Broadcasting Council, and Oleg Akimov, vice-president of the Union of Trade Unions of Russia, presented the press conference at which all delegates told the press about the purpose of their visit. We are here to express our support for the peoples resisting the attacks of the puppet and fascist Ukrainian regime and to tell the peoples of the world about the aggression initiated by disinformation methods together with the Russophobia presented by NATO but imposed by US imperialism. We state that we are here by taking all the risks to listen to the facts from the ground and from the mouths of the people. The participants express their satisfaction with applause.

The day is over for everyone, but it is not over for us yet. We meet with our friend and colleague Alexy Albu and after presenting our gifts, we make our interview.

This is how we ended our first day, we learnt so much. We can’t wait to tell them and to deliver our materials to the peoples of the world. We did our best to ensure that the materials reach their destination. We hope that what we have learnt and what we have witnessed will be conveyed to you by our friends. Four hours later, we put our heads on the pillow with a little bit of peace to reach the hunt for truth and knowledge.

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