Alexey Markov at Berlin Conference: ‘Genuine communist parties, not discussion clubs’ are necessary

By Claudia Wangerin, Junge Welt

January 9: Alexey Markov, founder and political commander of the communist detachment of the Ghost Brigade in Donbass, which are referred to in Western media mostly as a “pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine,” participated in a live video interview during the 2016 Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Berlin, giving insights into the everyday life of the fighters. 

Alexey Markov addresses the 2016 Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Berlin.
Photo: Christian Mang
On the front in the unrecognized Lugansk People’s Republic, there are volunteers from many different countries: “Our comrades from Italy and Spain are suffering of course from the fierce winter, which they aren’t used to. But it’s easier for our Finnish comrades,” he said during the interview with Susann Witt-Stahl. 

The editor in chief of the leftist Music and Culture magazine has traveled to the region several times, but now sat on the podium of the Rosa Luxembourg Conference in Berlin. She also asked Markov about direct confrontations with the right-wing volunteer battalions, which, unlike the regular Ukrainian army, he described as “real Nazis.” According to Markov, his brigade has repeatedly been involved in fights with them — and they have also frequently broken the ceasefire. 
Susann Witt-Stahl (center)
Photo: Gabriele Senft
“The regular Ukrainian troops are far milder,” said Markov. Incidentally, they too are sometimes bombarded by the fascist battalions, officially fighting on their side. “It appears that the real Nazis don’t care who they kill.”

The Kiev government, however, includes “open Nazis.” Thus Markov clearly distinguished between the government and the soldiers sent by it, which he refused to represent as monsters. He warned, however, against attempts to “make peace with open Nazis,” which in the 1930s led to a catastrophe.

He estimates the danger of fascism across Europe as very serious. He and his comrades are convinced that fascism is a genuine response to specific crises. “In the current historical phase, we are experiencing a new crisis that is not only economic, but a profound systemic and social crisis.” As a sign he pointed to “the inability to humanely deal with the flow of human migration and the lack of political sovereignty in Europe.” It was reasonable to assume “that governments will now rest on the back of right-wing radicalism and will deliberately promote these currents.” 

Recorded message from Alexey Markov and Pyotr Biryukov, leaders of the
Volunteer Communist Detachment of the Ghost Brigade.
Photo: Gabriele Senft
“And if the Nazis who achieved power in Ukraine can hold on to it and win, then that would be a bad model for all of Europe.”

For a victory against fascism, “genuine communist parties” are necessary — “not discussion clubs,” but parties whose members are “ready to defend humanity with guns in their hands in an emergency.”

“Together we will be able to defeat fascism,” Markov concluded to great applause.

Translated by Greg Butterfield

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