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From Russia....

Sian Glaessner | 18.05.2004 20:02 | World

Three English versions of stories that first appeared on the Russian Indymedia site

1) Girls Against Conscription

OK Now we’re once again looking East: Russia: where a new anti militarism initiative has been launched by girls sick of seeing their menfolk called up by the meat machine that is the Russian Army. The 9th May saw anti draft “happenings”at romantic haunts in towns and cities throughout Russia. The girls started their campaign after one by one their guys were called up. They proclaim that humanity cannot exist without love, that the draft is an exercise in freakish cruelty and that it requires the surrender of independent thought and action by those taken. Conscription is due to be abolished in Russia by 2007, but, these girls ask, how many more boys will be killed in training and action before then? For more information- go to but only if you can read Russian!

2) Critical mass in St Petersburg

On the banks of the river Neva, in a formerly uninhabitable swampland, Russia’s Enlightenment Capital: St Petersburg stands. For centuries the home of Radicals, Anarchists and Revolutionaries: it has maintained this radical tradition to the present day: Critical Mass. “po-Piter-ski” as they would say in Russia. 70 people turned out, braving the rain, and took to the streets on bicycles of all models and hues. Participants included sporty grandmas, “informal [alternative/hippie] youth”, punks, anarchists and keen cyclist making this one of the most diverse critical masses the east has seen. So successful was the event, that the 12th June will see Critical Mass protests in towns and cities across the Russian Federation. For more information go to but only if you can read Russian!

3) Protest against the Mixed Oxide Nuclear ReProcessing Plant in Tomsk, Siberia

Tomsk citizens refuse to allow their home town to be turned into a Nuclear Wash-house for the world, say protestors. Plans for Russia to start importing foreign nuclear waste- weapons grade- and convert it at specially built plants (MOX Plants) to “safe” nuclear fuel are underway, in spite of the region voting 90% against in a referendum three years ago that broke all previous turnout records. Pro nuclear protestors were paid by Seversk nuclear officials to attend in a delegation from the closed town that is home to the current nuclear facilities. Closed means passports are required for entry, and the town exists in a separate governmental authority from the surrounding Tomsk region: governed directly from Moscow: The Ministry of Atomic Energy. The protestors were happy with their action- which attracted widespread media coverage and positive reactions from passers by. If it’s all so safe, one woman said, why do countries like France have to send it all the way to Siberia? The protestors gathered in the towns main square and streets for a creative protest and picket of the authorities involved. Organisers say the support for the anti nuclear campaign is increasing week on week. Follow this one, folks, it’s an issue that will run and run: For more information go to but only if you can read Russian!

Sian Glaessner