Happy birthday to Alexey Markov of Ghost Brigade Volunteer Communist Detachment!

By Greg Butterfield

February 11: Today we celebrate the birthday of comrade Alexey Markov, a deputy commander of the Ghost Brigade of Novorossiya and political commissar of the Volunteer Communist Detachment (DKO).

It’s impossible to overstate the historic role of Markov and Pyotr Birukov, the DKO’s military commander, who established an organized, multi-tendency, international communist presence on the front lines of defending Donbass from Ukrainian-fascist forces.

DKO leaders Alexey Markov (center) and Pyotr Birukov (left) during the Debaltsevo campaign.
Markov and other DKO comrades won the political and military trust of Commander Alexei Mozgovoi, founder of the Ghost Brigade, and had a profound influence on his thinking and political development before his tragic death last May. Mozgovi demonstrated this confidence through the leading role he awarded to the DKO during last year’s campaign to liberate Debaltsevo. Since Mozgovoi’s assassination, Markov has played a key role within the Ghost Brigade command in holding together and strengthening this ideological anti-fascist unit.

Markov and Ghost Brigade founder Alexei Mozgovoi during the Donbass International Solidarity Forum “Antifascism, Internationalism, Solidarity” in Alchevsk, Lugansk, May 2015.

Comrade Markov is also a humble, thoughtful, and kind human being — as testified by the callsign he was given by his soldiers, “Good.” Despite the incredible demands on him, he never hesitates to express international solidarity with comrades around the world.

With internationalist comrades in May 2015.
At the Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Berlin last month, Markov said: “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.
Alexey Markov speaks to the Rosa Luxemburg Conference in Berlin, January 2016.
This must be a bittersweet week for Alexey, as his birthday falls just a few days after the first anniversary of the deaths of three DKO comrades who fell in combat during the Debaltsevo campaign. I am convinced that when the history of the liberation of Novorossiya is written, Alexey Markov, like those fallen comrades, will hold a place of honor.

Here is an interview I conducted with him last year: 

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