Below is a recent message from our comrades at Не Сдавайся (“Never Surrender”), the Russian anti-fascist MMA league that spearheaded the recent Left martial arts/physical culture movement in Eastern Europe.
Ivan “Kostolom” Khutorskoy was a well-known Moscow anti-fascist and one of the founders of RASH (Red and Anarchist SkinHeads) in Russia. A sambo champion, he achieved the degree of Candidate for Master of Sports of Russia, trained anti-fascists and founded Не Сдавайся. He had completed law studies at the Russian State Social University with honours and hoped to be an activist lawyer much like Stanislav Markelov (Khutorskoy was in fact Markelov’s bodyguard before the latter was gunned down by fascists in January 2009).
The fascists had long tried to silence Khutorskoy in repeated, cowardly attacks. The enemy, who would never face the infamous anti-fascist warrior nicknamed “bonecrusher” in the ring or even in a one-on-one street fight, took to ambushing him with numbers and weapons. In 2005 he survived two such attacks; in the first he received knife wounds to his head, in the second he was beaten with a baseball bat and had his neck punctured six times with a sharpened screwdriver. It took more than half a year for Khutorskoy to fully recover, but he did, and resumed the struggle undaunted. In January 2009 he was stabbed in his stomach during a street fight with fascists. He recovered from the near-fatal wounds and kept fighting. Then on November 16, 2009, fascist assassins ambushed him as he left his home early one morning, taking his life with two gunshots to the back of his head. He was 26 years old.
Khutorskoy’s unwavering courage, his commitment to his ideals, his tireless work for social justice and his refusal to be intimidated by our enemies remains an inspiration to us all. He will not be forgotten.
Below is our translation of the original article from Не Сдавайся.
You can also read our article about the anti-fascist martial arts movement.
It was seven years ago, on November 16, 2009 that our friend, the founder of the anti-fascist mixed martial arts tournament Не Сдавайся, Ivan Khutorskoy, was murdered in Moscow.
What are we now, seven years later? Young people have been abandoned, are wasting their lives or hunting each other on the streets because of differences in appearance. Poverty and unemployment have increased dramatically in the country. Many people once active in our movement changed sides or left to live “adult life.” The ultra-right mood in society grew as well as the pressure from the state on anyone who is not willing to live their life according to its dictates.
All the good deeds and initiatives we brought fourth have not become massive, and passed without tremendous results. But they continue to unite all those who care, those who live for more than just themselves, and who slowly but surely change society for the better.
To remember means to fight. This phrase we have all heard more than once. I would like everyone reading this text to think about it every day: what does this mean for you? Is it the desire to not be like everyone else or the desire to think with your own brain? The desire to stand out from the “average Joes” or the desire to change the world around you?
Only by constantly looking for answers and working to achieve real change will we get ourselves to a brighter future. And only then will the deaths of all our Comrades have not been in vain.