Saturday, April 14, 2012

The FSB is expelling political activists from Russia

April 12, 2012 Avtonom

On the 29th of March the Federal Migration Service of Russia gave
Finnish citizen Antti Rautiainen, a member of Autonomous Action, an
order to leave the Russian Federation within 15 days. According to the
order, Rautiainen is suspected of "making statements for the violent
overthrow of the constitutional order." Migration authorities have
commented, that such decisions are made according to orders from the FSB.

Rautiainen wants to appeal the decision with help of lawyers from the
"Civic Action" NGO.

Antti Rautiainen is an activist in the anarchist movement, participant
in the prisoner support group "Anarchist Black Cross", anti-militarist
and conscientious objectors's groups, one of the editors of the journal
"Avtonom." He has participated in the opposition protests between
December 2011 and March 2012, and in many anarchist initiatives. He has
been detained by authorities several times, but has never been given a
misdemeanor or a felony sentence in Russia. Thus, the exile of
Rautiainen is a purely political decision.

Antti Rautiainen has been living in Russia since 1999. Between 1999 and
2000 he studied in a student exchange program at the Moscow State
University, and between 2000 and 2010 he studied at the Peoples
Friendship University of Russia, first in the department of
Physico-Mathematical and Natural sciences, and then in the Ph.D. Program
of the department of information technologies. For the past two years
Rautiainen has worked as an IT specialist.

The temporary residence permit of Rautiainen was annulled according to
statute 7.1.1. of the Federal law of the Russian Federation "On the
legal status of foreign citizens in th eRussian Federation", 25th of
July 2002, N115-FZ.

This statute states that "A temporary residence permit is not given to a
foreign citizen, and previously given permit is annulled, in the case
that the foreign citizen 1) Is making statements for the violent
overthrow of the fundamentals of the constitutional order of the Russian
Federation, or is by other means endangering security of Russian
Federation or citizens of the Russian Federation"


A personal account from Antti Rautiainen:


In the far North-West of a once mighty empire, there is a distant
province, mostly known due to the sluggishness of its inhabitants. They
have still not gotten rid of the statue of a czar, who ruled 150 years
ago, in the central square of their capital. Inhabitants of the province
have never won a single war, but they have a plenty of other reasons to
be proud - for example, a ski-jumper who achieved a lot in 1980, but has
since then struggled with a substance abuse problem.

This province is in a state of stagnation, but its inhabitants are
relieved from death by boredom, as they have the option to travel to St.
Petersburg on weekends and carouse. And to such distant and boring
provinces the Third section of His Imperial Majesty's Own Chancellery
used to exile youth, who got carried away by the many temptations of the
capital, and made toasts to the Decemberists. Now, the Federal Security
Service has exiled me there, for crimes just as outrageous.

How do I feel now? Soon I will be 33 years old, of these, I have lived
13 in Russia. How did I end up living in Moscow, I will write another
time, but now, my job, my flat, most of my friends, beloved person and
all my modest belongings are in Russia. I do not have a single
Finnish-speaking friend, or even an acquintance in Moscow. I only speak
Finnish when I visit my parents or old friends in Finland, 3-4 times a
year. I cannot even say, wether I think more often in the Russian or
Finnish language.

When Finland was my country of residence, I had no mobile phone, and I
did not pay with euros but with Finnish marks. I never searched for a
flat in Finland, nor a job, except summer-time student jobs, I never had
a bonus card at a chain store. I know how it is to be a kid or a teenager in Finland, but I do
not have the slightest idea about how grown-ups are living there.

My temporary residence permit was annulled, with a reference to the
following statutes of the migration law of Russian federation: "A
temporary residence permit is not given to a foreign citizen, and
previously given permit is annulled, in the case that the foreign
citizen 1) Is making statements for the violent overthrow of the
fundamentals of the constitutional order of the Russian Federation, or
is by other means endangering security of Russian Federation or citizens
of the Russian Federation"

Is that really what I am doing?

First, in the Russian Federation "order" and "constitution" are two
fundamentally different issues. Whoever is following what is happening
in this country, can easily point out plenty of chapters of the
constitution, which have nothing to do with the current order of things.
FSB did not bother to point out, if it is the "current order" or the
"constitition" I am making statements against.

However, it is not only the current order which is the problem, but the
constitution as well. For example, I have no idea what the point is in
having a president or a state duma. If we wanted a democracy, it would
be more consistent to realise it through direct democracy and imperative
mandates, which was the original meaning of the word "democracy". And
obviously, there can be no democracy in a situation, in which a small
part of the population owns billions, and others barely have a living
wage, or are living based on a subsistence economy in the first place.

Second, I definitely have never made any statements for the VIOLENT
overthrow of the constitutional order of the Russian Federation. For
sure, violence might be necessary, but I have nothing against a
relatively non-violent model of revolution through a general workers'

And am I really a "security threat to the Russian Federation"? I would
like to be, but honestly speaking, I doubt it.

Me and few dozens of my friends have a tradition to run through the
streets of Moscow few times a year, wave red and black flags and yell
slogans against the regime. The content of this ritual varies, but the
form is always pretty much the same. In order to promote this concept,
we founded the Moscow group of the "Autonomous Action"-organisation more
than ten years ago. Back then, besides me and two friends of mine, with
whom we founded the group, in the city there were no more than five
other anarchists, interested in organising such actions. Even now, our
concept has still not gained the support of the movement as a whole. As
traditionally, Russian anarchists consider that "action" means stabbing
someone with a dagger, or at least blowing something up or burning it
down. If you don't have the guts for that, then write some wise
books and discuss them in the kitchen.

During the last ten years, several thousand people participated in our
actions. For the majority of them, one or two times was enough, and they
found some other interests. And now, 10 years after, we are not many
more. Of course I hope, that all those thousands now have some
experience of resistance, and if one day the authorities act far too
outrageously, they will join us. Something like that happened, when in
April of 2008 cops were brutally torturing youth in the Sokolniki police
station, and in Khimki almost two years ago it was the same. It is true,
that maybe half of the people at the Khimki
action were at their first demonstration ever, and many of the other
people there had nothing to do with the anarchist movement.

But if the FSB now, after all those years of following us, decided that
our concept has some perspective, it at least gives some hope that I did
not waste the best years of my life.

The first time I met with FSB operatives was 11 years ago. I already
wrote about the three people, with whom I founded Moscow group of
Autonomous Action. About the fourth one was an FSB agent, who
infiltrated our group. He presented
himself as Alexey Tushin, and only many years later we learned, that
apparently his real surname is Krutov.

Krutov had a dull, pale and flegmatic face, under his nose - a blonde
moustache. He had some similar features to a mouse. Back then, normal
anarchists always came half an hour or an hour late to meetings, whereas
he came 15 minutes beforehand - already from this I should have drawn
the conclusion that he was scum. Due to lacking any talent whatsoever,
career as an infiltrator came to a swift end, and apparently he has not
made any progress with it since. Eleven years have passed, and he is
working with the same issues. I feel offended, that we are monitored
exclusively by the most miserable and hopeless secret service
operatives. But obviously, every FSB academy graduate with any amount of
intelligence, has long
made it into the economic crimes department and is living well off with
the bribe money made there.

Why did Krutov decide to infiltrate our group? Perhaps because back
then, we supported some of the arrested members of the "New
Revolutionary Alternative", an underground group which made various
actions, such as the night-time bombing
of the Moscow FSB reception in Kuznetski Most.

The political program of the NRA was vague, some of their actions rather
stupid - I supported them mostly because they were friends of my
friends. Now I understand their motivations better, but back then,
Krutov drew the conclusion that we were not about to continue on the NRA
path. Perhaps, due to his reports, the FSB considered that I posed no
security risk for the ten years that followed. Shortly before Krutov was
uncovered, one comrade of mine ended up at an interrogation with another
FSB operative, which also had the pale face of a mouse. The officer was
straightforward, agreeing that action of my friend was just some drunken
stupidity, but he promised 3 or 4 years in prison, if my friend was not
ready to cooperate. This "cooperation" would mean hinting to the FSB
about any planned unsanctioned actions, and also reporting on the
activities of all the foreign activists in Moscow - "with the exception
of Antti Rautiainen, as he is not a dangerous type - he is in Russia
exclusively in order to evade military service in Finland".

If they changed their minds about us, maybe it is because after a break
of almost ten years, now Moscow anarchists are once against blowing
things up and burning things down. And once again - some of these
actions are stupid, I do not think it makes any sense to declare an
individual war and to burn police cars and police stations just because
they are police cars and stations. But some other actions, such as the
arsons against the construction machinery in the Khimki forest - well,
they are right on target.

Maybe this is happening because after ten years of stubborn organising,
the Moscow anarchist movement has finally reached a scale, where it is
no longer obvious, who should be nicked after such actions. Or perhaps
these actions have nothing to do with the activism of "Autonomous
Action",which does not result in anything more serious than misdemeanor

But in any case, after the FSB and the "Center to Counteractact
Extremism" failed dismally in their search for "insurrectionist
anarchists", they decided to start the harrassment of the Autonomous
Action of Moscow. And why not -
money has been wasted, results are zero, but they need to write an
account. And maybe it is not such a bad thing after all - let them spy
out who to fine 500 roubles for organising an unsanctioned
demonstration, while in some other place, someone is planning more
radical actions.

But maybe the most likely explanation is that there are no special plans
against me or against Autonomous Action of Moscow, and this has nothing
to do with an increase of repression after elections. When my
application for a permanent residence permit was passed from the Federal
Migration Service to the FSB, it may have ended up on the desk of some
22-year old idiot, who just finished his studies - or maybe some loser
just a few years away from a pension. The bureaucrat checked my file,
and just for some change in his boring work, put a red stamp on my
papers. Just as some other bureaucratic nobody decided to give a green
light just two years ago, when they were handling my appeal for a
temporary residence permit. I do not think my file has changed a lot
during these last two years. In Russia, many things depend on a
completely random course of events and on the feelings of bureaucrats,
and it is completely possible that this time too, it was enough to wreck
a multitude of
human relations, and to completely change the course of my life.

My texts in website, written with pseudonym “S2W”:

Antifa in the Wild East - internet warrior sets the record straight:

My text archive with older texts:

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