Kirill Butylin, one of the first Russians to protest against the war on Ukraine by firebombing a military recruitment centre, today marks his 22nd birthday in pre-trial detention.
Butylin made the protest at the centre in Lukhovitsy, near Moscow, on 28 February last year – three days after the all-out invasion, and one day after he turned 21. The building was empty and there were no casualties.
On 8 March last year, a short film of the blaze was posted anonymously on telegram, with this message:
A couple of days ago, I set fire to the military recruitment centre at Lukhovitsy, Moscow region, and recorded it on GoPro. I painted the entrance with the colours of the Ukrainian flag, and wrote, “I will not go to kill my brothers!” After that I crawled under the fence, poured petrol on the front of the building, broke some windows, and threw Molotov cocktails through them. The aim was to destroy the archive containing details of those eligible for conscription that is held there. This will obstruct mobilisation in the area. I hope that I will not see my old classmates taken prisoner, or in the lists of those killed at the front.
I believe that we should do this everywhere. Ukrainians will know, that people in Russia are fighting for them – that not everyone is scared and not everyone is indifferent. Those who are protesting here need to take courage and act more decisively. And this will surely help to break the spirit of the Russian army and the government. Let those fuckers know that their own people hate them and will snuff them out. The land will soon be burning under their feet, and hell awaits them at home, too.
Update: On 15 March 2023, Kirill Butylin was sentenced to 13 years in a maximum security prison, on charges of terrorism, public advocacy of terrorism, and vandalism. Solidarity Zone said: “We recall, that only the exterior of the military recruitment centre was on fire. The fire service estimated the damage at 12,000 rubles [130 pounds sterling].”
Butylin was detained on the day the on-line manifesto was published. After the arson attack, he had got rid of his phone and travelled to the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, according to press reports. But he was detained there and extradited to Russia.Read the rest of this entry »