From Enough 14
A member of an anti-authoritarian platoon in Ukraine reflects critically on the platoon’s activity, their relationship to the traditional armed forces, and the wider political significance of the experience.
Originally published by Libcom.
*This article was written in the first part of July. Now the anti-authoritarian platoon has moved forward. It transferred to the new unit, where it will recover trainings, recruitment, and, after the required preparation, it is promised that it will be moved to battle. This is the moment for conclusions after the first phase of the existence of the platoon—in the frame of territorial defense of Kiev oblast.*
The anti-authoritarian platoon is the unofficial name for a unit in one of the brigades of the Territorial Defense Forces (TDF) of Ukraine in the Kiev oblast. It came into being when anarchists and leftists of different backgrounds and groups, including anti-fascists and football hooligans, came together during the earliest stages of the war to participate in a fight against the imperialist invasion carried out by Putin’s regime.
The unit has existed for more than four months now—since the first day of the war. This is a good time to reflect and offer some analysis on how it has been going.
A couple of months before the war, alarming rumors began to circulate. At that moment, in the libertarian community of Kiev, we started to discuss how anarchists should conduct themselves if the threat of full-scale war became reality. Very few people believed that it would really happen. In that period, we developed the idea that we would need both military and civilian branches. We had several meetings; we also reached agreement with a comrade from the TDF and had a couple of trainings with him. One comrade prepared social media accounts. All our preparations were rudimentary. However, on “day X” [the first day of the invasion], we just started to follow this framework, and it helped really a lot. Operation Solidarity, the anti-authoritarian platoon, and the Resistance Committee—perhaps the most visible examples of libertarian activity during this war—are all, to a great extent, the results of this preparation process. This shows the importance of planning and developing scenarios for how you will act in different possible situations.
Comrades have asked me, *What if we could rewind back to 2020 with knowledge about today’s situation? What would we do differently?* I think we would just spend more time, energy, and attention on forming more sustainable and more numerous groups, making connections and relationships, collecting money and preparing resources, education, skill-sharing, propaganda, and strategic analysis. But you will never have enough of any of those things. Your readiness for mobilization is equally important. From my current position, I would dare to advise comrades worldwide to plan, organize, and act as if it is already the final countdown and you will face a major historic challenge next month. In the current stage of history, this is always possible, so don’t be caught by surprise, ill-prepared.