People's Self-Defense (Russia)

The People's Self-Defense (Russian: Народная самооборона; Narodnaya samooborona) is a Russian anarchist organisation.

People's Self-Defense
Народная самооборона
LeaderCollective leadership
FounderSvyatoslav Rechkalov
FoundedAugust 11, 2013; 9 years ago (2013-08-11)[1]
BannedSeptember 15, 2022; 6 months ago (2022-09-15)
Split fromAutonomous Action
HeadquartersMoscow, Russia
NewspaperPryamoe deystvie (Direct action)
Direct democracy
Left-wing radicalism
Political positionFar-left
Colours  Red
Slogan"Scientific progress, direct democracy and anarchism"
(Russian: "Научный прогресс, прямая демократия и анархизм")
Party flag
Anarchist flag.svg

The organization emerged in 2013 as a result of the split of Autonomous Action, the largest Russian anarchist organization at the time. At the beginning it was called Autonomous Action (Social Revolutionary) (AD-SR; Russian: Автономное действие (социал-революционное); АД-СР; Avtonomnoye deystviye (sotsial-revolyutsionnoye), AD-SR), and in 2015 it was renamed "People's Self-Defense".[2][3][4] One of its leaders was Svyatoslav Rechkalov.[4]

The organization positions itself as a "non-partisan socio-political organization" and an anarchist media platform that publishes articles on anarchism and news about actions. She was also involved in the protection of residents of the evicted hostels, the fight against employers who do not pay salaries to workers. Members of the organization were on duty in the apartments that the collectors tried to take away from the residents of Moscow.[5][4][6]

A report received by RIA Novosti from law enforcement agencies says that from December 2017 to December 2018, supporters of People's Self-Defense carried out 247 "actions of an extremist nature" in 40 cities of Russia, including one terrorist act in Arkhangelsk, one fact of public justifications for terrorist activities and five cases of hooliganism and vandalism.[7]

On March 14, 2018, Svyatoslav Rechkalov was detained for two days. According to him, he was beaten, tortured with electric shocks, demanding to reveal the names of other anarchists and to confess his involvement in their actions. After his release, Rechkalov received political asylum in France.[4]

In September 2022, the Chelyabinsk Regional Court recognized the People's Self-Defense as a terrorist organization.[8]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Заявление московской группы Автономного Действия по поводу сайта "автоном-инфо"" [Statement by the Moscow group of Autonomous Action regarding the website "autonomous-info"] (in Russian).
  2. ^ "ОРГАНИЗАЦИЯ" [ORGANIZATION] (in Russian).
  3. ^ "26-27 октября 2013 года прошел внеочередной XIII(I) съезд организации Автономное Действие" [On October 26-27, 2013, an extraordinary XIII (I) congress of the Autonomous Action organization was held] (in Russian).
  4. ^ a b c d "Любые попытки организоваться заканчиваются в подвале ФСБ" [Any attempts to organize end up in the basement of the FSB]. Svoboda (in Russian).
  5. ^ "На лучшее никаких надежд нет" [No hope for the best]. Meduza (in Russian).
  6. ^ "Разгром русских анархистов" [Defeat of Russian anarchists]. Meduza (in Russian).
  7. ^ "Анархисты провели в России почти 250 экстремистских акций в 2018 году" [Anarchists carried out almost 250 extremist actions in Russia in 2018] (in Russian).
  8. ^ "Суд в Челябинске запретил анархистское движение "Народная самооборона"". (in Russian). Retrieved 2022-09-15.