The Dark Side of the Network Case
We have written about our attitude to the Network case and related contradictions before. Since then, nothing has changed for the better. Participants chose the role of typical victims of the regime, remaining indistinguishable from the rest of the same. This was more convenient for parents, human rights activists, and liberal circles shouting about the new 1937. The trial of the Penza group ended, and the defendants received huge sentences, from 6 to 18 years.
Worst of all, the public played along with the authorities. The FSB was trying to prove the crime of an anarchist conspiracy, while the public was passionately denying the very existence of an anarchist organization, not challenging its “criminality “. However, in this case, the very existence of the anarchist underground was of the greatest value, giving meaning to the cruel punishment that was taking place: at least someone dared to challenge this hated authority. Who knows, if the guys had taken an active position of the anarchist underground participants, the authorities might not have dared to popularize them with such huge terms.
Instead, they got another victim of the Russian repressive system, demonstratively punished to intimidate society. The authorities and the public didn’t care what ideology the guys had, anarchism remained a dead word without content. For the authorities, self-justification and non-violence seem to be aggravating features; the weak are always beaten and punished the more they assert their innocence. In this case, the maximum effect of intimidation is achieved, which has been widely picked up and spread by the public. We only have to regret this development.
We could have ended up here if the situation had not been even worse. There are dark sides to the matter that have been persistently silenced by the solidarity group and others. Back in autumn 2019, several girls accused Arman Sagynbayev of sadism, rape and betrayal. It turned out that participants in the Penza group, as well as a number of other anarchists, knew these facts to some extent. The Penza group even discharged Sagynbayev “for his unacceptable attitude towards women,” but somehow remained in contact with him. However, Sagynbayev was not the biggest bastard of them all.
Initially, it was known that Kulkov and Ivankin were accused of drug trafficking. It seemed to be just some private insignificant episode. Over time, from the materials of the case, from Chernov’s found correspondence, the true scale of this “private episode” became known. At least seven (!) people from the Penza bunch were involved in the production and trade of drugs on a large scale, led by Pchelintsev. Probably only Shakursky and Kuksov, who stood a bit apart from the others, were unaware of what was going on. This alone is enough to turn our backs on these people with resentment, and to have a public discussion about this situation. So, how can this “Penza drug cartel” be considered revolutionaries and heroes?
The facts were even more shocking. Caught on the drug drop, Kulkov, Ivankin and Poltavtsev decided to escape. Along with them went two more participants in the drug business, who later decided to return home. Instead of returning, they were simply killed as unwanted witnesses. We do not consider it fundamental who exactly from that small circle killed them, these are the typical consequences of turning the collective into a gang of drug traffickers.
The support group was afraid that such information would damage the reputations of other defendants in the Network case. Since February 2019, the support group has continued to shape a positive image of Penza defendants by manipulating the feelings and solidarity of all those who believed in them in Russia and around the world. As can be seen, covering up scoundrels, even with good intentions, can only lead to the worst consequences for everyone. Due to such kind of attitude towards anarchist movement, it is impossible to trust ABC Moscow anymore, we can’t be sure they are not hiding such kind of information again. Actually, they don’t regret about that and continue to prove they have right.
We want to especially emphasize to anarchists all over the world that the members of the Network’s autonomous groups from Petersburg and other cities have nothing to do with the shameful events in Penza.
We call for solidarity with Ilya Romanov, Viktor Filinkov, Julian Boyarshinov, Azat Miftakhov, Evgeny Karakashev.
we wouldn’t write that terrible text without being sure this is true. We feel ourselves really betrayed by those “comrades”, who had access to investigation materials, because not comrades, but some fucking mass media told us about that!
We understand that from now there will be no trust to russian movement at all, however, we don’t want to be a part of that machine of lie, which was growing last two years.
We, as well as comrades from other groups, have suspected many things much earlier. However, Rupression decided to hide details of investigation materials from their regular court reports. We already know that most activists of the solidarity group have already skipped from all the case, or just from Penza case, but kept silence. Well, let’s be happy for them, for their right to access information and possibility to skip from solidarity because of possessing that information.
Ex-prisoner anarchist Alexey Polichovich, member of solidarity group, wrote:
“Why didn’t i write before, knowing about dead and missing persons? There is no simple answer. We couldn’t get to one decision. But, personally, i believe in this story. Anyway, i feel guilty for keeping silence. We were not prepared for such ethical collisions. Then we were fucked up because our unconsciously built image of heroes started to crash. Network case morally ruined us.”
Right now Rupression “lobby” promotes vision that rapes, drug trading, murders and whatever are “personal problems” and movement must continue to act “politically”, without connection to personal. This argument is the most strong one for great amount of anarchists, including NS (Narodnaya Samooborona, their member Slava Rechkalov escaped to France after repressions).
For another big amount of anarchists such information spoils all the “positive image” for human right watchers and liberal society, and they prefer to keep silence or deny accusations with formula “not enough facts”.
Alexandra Aksenova – wife of defendant Viktor Filinkov from Petersburg – she succeeded to escape to Finland. She is also accused in being member of Network as one of the “leaders”. She explained her participation in investigation: “Nobody from Petersburg comrades, including Filinkov, Boarshinov and us suspected this bloody story before”
Poltavtsev, who was arrested with Ivanking and Kulkov during drugs drop, succeeded to escape to Ukraine and finally started to speak after first dead body was found.
Raw facts without assumptions
1) All the Network case started from drug trading failures.
In 31 of March 2017 (half a year before official “Network case” ), Ivankin, Kulkov and Poltavtsev were arrested during making drug drops ( 31 doses of PVP drug ).
After that they escaped from Penza together with two more people from their drug business, Katarina and Artiom.
Poltavtsev, 16 years old, was not from Penza. He came few months before to take part in activity of group.
Another one, Zorin, was arrested because of drugs twice and gave testimonies on others.
2) Correspondence of Chernov, with information about their house for drugs (wheat, mushrooms) production.
3) Ivankin took his hunting guns with him. He denied this fact, but people, who gave them shelter, saw 2 hunting guns in their disposal.
4) Dead body of Artiom was identified in February 2019. Body had smashed face and cut throat.
5) Correspondence of Chernov with Poltavtsev in October 2017
Poltavtsev: “…then i solve the problem they [Katarina and Artiom] don’t snitch anybody”
Chernov: “…with new person becomes clear either it is in “Network”, either erased ”
Poltavtsev: “Cause they knew all us, what was the sense to deal about them just on myself? Generally, only [Ivankin], and also [Pchelintsev] were dealing about them. I haven’t choice anymore, i have to live somewhere.” (Poltavtsev wasn’t from that region, he was depended on apartments which Kulkov and Ivankin could found.)
6) According to testimonies of Poltavtsev
Katarina and Artion wanted to come back home.
In April 2017 Pchelintsev, in name of all Penza group, sent order to eliminate them.
It was done by Ivankin, he shot into face of Artiom and then cut the artery.
7) In the investigation material Shakurskiy had claim to Pchelintsev regarding disappear of Katarina.
We can’t rely on particularities in testimonies of Poltavtsev, however, it is clear:
– main part of Penza group, headed by Pchelintsev, were involved into drug production & trading.
– Artiom and Katarina were killed as unwanted witnesses inside the circle of 4 persons (by some of them or all together)
– Rupression group, including ABC Moscow, was hiding this information and purposefully distort general view.
– Petersburg groups and others were not aware of Penza stuff. This investigation became possible thanks to persecuted figurant of “Network case” Alexandra Aksenova, who doesn’t have any profits except being honest with ethic principles.
It is a shame of very big amount of russian anarchists, because they don’t see big problem in drug trading, and because they act in way of despicable politicians, for whom “good image” and efficiency in public campaign is more important then honesty and decency with comrades in Russia and all over the world.