This text is difficult for us to write. On April 19, there was a battle on the outskirts of Bakhmut where three of our comrades were killed. All of them were international volunteers. We will definitely tell about each of them. But at the moment the publicly known fact is the death of one of them, our close friend and convinced anarchist Dmytro Petrov, also known as Illia Leshyi.
Dmytro had a PhD in History and was an anthropologist. He was active in all protest events in Russia, particularly the protest on Bolotnaya Square. And in 2014, he supported the Maidan.
In 2017, Dmytro went to Kurdistan, where he spent half a year researching the Kurdish experience of self-organization and the struggle for free society. The result was a book and lectures on Rojava, which he continued to support even from the frontline in Donbas (and which was deemed “fake news”).
Dmytro realized that it was dangerous to stay in Russia, so he moved to Kyiv, and when the full-scale war began, he and other anarchists joined the Territorial Defense forces. He also became one of the founders of the Resistance Committee, an association of anti-authoritarian fighters, and participated in the creation of the volunteer movement which we are working on today. He gave many interviews in which he called on the left and anarchists from all over the world to support the Ukrainian people’s fight against the aggressor.
Leshyi always rejected any kind of nationalism, he based his actions solely on anti-authoritarian values and ideals. And his personal qualities immediately made everyone fall in love with him, even those who had nothing to do with anarchism. Lately Leshyi was forming a new anti-authoritarian unit, so it is a serious loss not just for us personally, it is a blow to our movement.
Today everyone is remembering Dmytro. He is really impossible to forget. But we also encourage you not to forget his legacy or the ideas he believed in. Never give in to the mainstream and always be on the side of the oppressed against the oppressors.