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Mar 10, 22

After the Battle, no Landscape will Remain: EZLN Statement on the Russian Army’s Invasion of Ukraine

Statement from the Sixth Commission of the EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) denouncing Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.

To those who signed the Declaration for Life:
To the Sixth in Mexico and abroad:
Compañ[email protected], brothers and sisters:

These are our words and thoughts about what is occurring now in the geography called Europe:

First: There is an aggressor: the Russian army. Big capital’s interests are at play on both sides. It is the peoples of Russia and Ukraine (and soon, perhaps, the peoples of other geographies near or far) who are suffering because of the crazed delusions of some and the cunning economic calculations of others. As Zapatistas, we do not support either state but rather those who are struggling for life against the system.

During the multinational invasion of Iraq (nearly 19 years ago), headed by United States’ army, there were protests all over the world against that war. No one in their right mind thought that opposing the invasion meant supporting Saddam Hussein. The situation today is similar, though not the same. Neither Zelensky nor Putin. No to the war!

Second: Different governments have allied themselves with one side or the other based on economic calculations devoid any of humanist considerations. For these governments and their “ideologues” there are good and bad interventions, invasions and destructive acts. The good ones are those carried out by their allies and the bad ones are those perpetrated by their opponents. The applause for Putin’s criminal arguments justifying the military invasion of Ukraine will become laments when the same words are used to justify the invasion of other peoples whose destruction does not please big capital.

Other geographies will be invaded to save them from “neo-Nazi tyranny” or to eliminate neighboring “narco-states.” Putin’s words will then be repeated: “We are going to de-nazify” (or their equivalent) and there will be plenty of “reasons” why “the people are in danger.” And then, as our compañeras in Russia say, “As the Russian bombs, rockets, and bullets fly towards the Ukrainians, no one asks them about their political opinions or what language they speak.” Only the «nationality» of one side or the other will be different.

Third: Big capital and its “Western” governments sat down to contemplate and even to accelerate the deterioration of the situation. Once the invasion had begun they were anxious to see whether Ukraine would resist and to calculate what they could get out of each possible outcome. Now that Ukraine is resisting they eagerly extend offers of “help” for which they will expect payment later. Putin is not the only one surprised by the Ukrainian resistance.

The winners in this war are the large weapons manufacturers and big capital, who see the opportunity to conquer, destroy, and rebuild territories, that is, to create new markets for commodities and for consumption–of people.

Fourth: Instead of relying on what is being disseminated by both sides in the media and on social media which they call “news” or to the “analyses” made by the sudden proliferation of experts in geography and those nostalgic for the Warsaw Pact and NATO, we decided to look for and ask those who, like us, insist on the fight for life in Ukraine and Russia.

After several attempts, the Sixth Zapatista Commission managed to contact our allies in resistance and rebellion in the geographies called Russia and Ukraine.

Fifth: In short, our friends there, who raise the anarchist flag of freedom, stand firm: there are those in Donbas in Ukraine in resistance, and those who walk and work the streets and fields of Russia in rebellion. There are people in Russia who have been arrested and beaten up for protesting the war. There are people in Ukraine who have been murdered by the Russian army.

This unites them amongst themselves as well as with us, not just in saying NO to war, but also in the refusal to “align themselves” with governments that oppress their own people.

In the midst of the confusion and chaos on both sides, they remain firm in their convictions: their fight for freedom, their repudiation of borders and their Nation-States, and their respective oppressions that only differ in the color of their flags.

Our duty is to support them to the best of our ability. A word, an image, a tune, a dance, a raised fist, or a hug that even from distant geographies provide support that will lift their hearts.

To resist is to persevere and to prevail. We should support these allies in their resistance, which is to say in their fight for life. We owe it to them and they owe it to us.

Sixth: Therefore, we call on the national and international Sixth, those who haven’t already, to protest, according to their calendars, geographies, and modes, against the war and in support of the Ukrainian and Russian peoples who fight in their geographies for a world of freedom.

Additionally, we call for financial support for the resistance in Ukraine, to be sent to the accounts that they will share with us in due time.

For its part, the EZLN’s Sixth Commission is doing its part to send a little aid to those in Russia and Ukraine who resist the war. We have also initiated contact with our allies in SLUMIL K´AJXEMK´OP[i] to create a shared support fund for those resisting in Ukraine.

With no false pretenses, we shout and call on others to shout and demand: Russian Army out of Ukraine!

The war must be stopped now. If it continues, and escalates as can be expected, there may not be anyone left to give an account of the landscape after the battle.

From the mountains of Southeast Mexico,

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés.                                           SupGaleano.

Sixth Commission of the EZLN

March of 2022.

[i] See the EZLN’s renaming of Europe:

photo: Wikipedia Commons

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