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special police track

At least half and hour earlier than midnight on the 13th of October a group of armed, masked men wearing spotty camouflage uniforms broke into the territory of Vyborgsky Pulp and Paper Mill in the small town Sovetsky situated near the Finland frontier. They were led by one of the former security officers of the mill. Having taken a round-about way, they smashed a glass door with a dust bin and forced two officers and four workers volunteers onto the floor. Then they entered the first floor of the administration block with its trade union office, canteen and finance department via the mill premises. The night shift workers who turned to have gone upstairs were fired at point blank. Valery Komov was seriously wounded in the shoulder and another paper mill worker, Alexander Ogurtzov, got a wound in the hand. They were taken hostages together with other seven people by the terrorists who barricaded themselves on the floor. But were they terrorists? Quite on the contrary, they were members of a special prison riot squad called "Typhoon“.

The most striking feature of the entire "action“ undertaken by the legal bodies was merciless, unjustified violence. The court bailiff Tamara Veselova took direct lead of the whole bacchanalia. It was she who gave the riot squad officers the order of shooting and it was she who threatened the hostages with execution. She herself stuffed a gun into one of the women hostages' mouth! Pomp rifles, guns and truncheons were used. A wounded worker was beaten mercilessly. A young guy was hosed with cold water on and thrusted into a froze chamber. The trade union canteen was completely destroyed. The furniture was smashed and partly thrown out of the window, the window glass broken to smithereens and, and for no clear reason, the riot officers managed to smash through one of the walls. At the same time the legal actions of the bailiffs were rather imitated. Instead of confiscation of the documents the law enforcers came to pilfering sausages and coffee from the canteen! The only trophy they took hold of was the trade union committee stamp. The doors were first to be sealed but later they were simply smashed. The so much hated trade union committee and its facilities were given a short shift in revenge: the fax machine was burned down and the photos of the July attack were removed from the album. It is absolutely obvious that the attackers did not believe that they would be able to stay in the premises for a long time. After the local internal affairs bodies washed off their hands and refused to support legally the hand-over of the mill to the possession of the "lawful“ owner a decision was taken to use the inner reserves of the legal system.

The previous attack on the mill which had taken place in July, 9, showed clearly that the "Typhoon“ squad could do nothing essential without the police support. But whom the local policemen would support in the scuffle is clear — they are the mill workers' sons and brothers. What is more the workers were enraged by the fact that the local militia (police) had not openly sided with the people and not shot the Typhoon attackers. As one of the policemen who had participated in the operation said later: "If not for the my kids there I would not have contained myself. I would have shot at the scum!“

Having been faced by two thousands enraged workers forced out of beds at night by a train siren the squad officers suppressed their fright with vodka and outright violence, and the "lawful“ owner, Sabodash, who had not dared enter the premises together with his eight body guards came to treating himself to cocaine for courage. First, a police reinforcement from the nearby Primorsk came, then a van with a special police (OMON) squad from Saint-Petersburg turned up, and, at last a "commission“ arrived authorized by the Leningrad Region government to hold negotiations after a long wait. You can imagine how the time was wearing on for the workers-hostages captured and incessantly tortured by the anti-riot thugs (only two of the captives having been severely hurt were released). The said commission was led by Vice-Governor of the Leningrad region Dvas. Some other high ranking officials came including Prokhorov, the regional Prosecutor Deputy Maltsev, the local Prosecutor Novikov, Kashin from the regional Prosecutor's Office and a "full-time peace-keeper“ — police general Petoukhov. The latter was cursed and bashed by the "Typhoon“ thugs apparently for the absence of proper force support. A doctor was not let in to the hostages. But Novikov made up his mind to perform "legal actions“ against the battered hostages who were said to have obstructed the verdict of the Court. He brought an action against then on the ground of Article 315 of the Criminal Code. It is quite clear that the true criminals had provided him with a feasible support in investigating the "crime“. At the same time neither an official investigation nor a legal action were carried out against the attackers who trespassed and violated a good number of the Criminal Code articles including an unlawful arrest, battery, looting, malicious hooliganism. etc. Even the fact of their being drunk was negated!

In fact the authorities' operation was reduced to the setting of the bailiffs and "Alcem“ officials including Sabodash free from the hands of the enraged union committee members and workers. Sabodash himself had been given a sound thrashing. His numerous "heavies“ had not managed to help him on being taken to hospital this respectable bourgeois found a way to avenge for the "care“ taken of him by the workers. The thugs from the security unit AFB arranged a hunt of the labour activists and two of them have been atrociously beaten. One from the them — Sokolov — is still in the reanimation ward. No wonder! The ALCEM company registered in Britain has been carrying out really diversified activities. It has been engaged in aluminium trade, production of vodka and security business or, simply speaking, in staging of showdowns. All these bizes provide quick and dirty money. The production of paper is a much more sophisticated business. If you are not skilled in it you can go bust. And, besides, you have to evade taxes. It is something more then distilling and bottling vodka! And it is unclear how to treat the workers — scabbing in the town is not possible (all the scum have already been found and taken on) and bringing them from outside is not worth it. So there is no prospect in becoming the "efficient owner“ for "ALCEM“. The only thing possible for "ALCEM“ is selling BDM (paper productivity machine) — a very expensive mechanism if they are not stopped by the workers. And all the scuffle has been waged for the sake of this. First, "Nimonor“ jumped at the idea. Then, having been disappointed they sold it to the mobsters from ALCEM thanks to the fact that Sabodash had the pull in the regional government.

Then consider the fact that Serdyukov took over the Governor's office in the Leningrad region recently. For the mill workers it turned into a real tragedy. Under the pressure of the executive power the old verdict of the Arbitration court on admission of "ALCEM“ as the owner of the enterprise, began to be implemented. Then the attack in July ensued, then the latest one did. And all this has been going on given the fact that the mill has been succeeding in getting it operate and the workers' receiving their salaries. The latter was a rare case under the "true“ owner. The workers were provided with cheap meals. This particular fact is significant! There is a regime of workers' democracy in the mill and town Sovetsky and its viability and economic expediency have been proven by the time and experience. In a case of selling the paper production machine the workers are likely to starve, but Subodash... He is said to have mortgaged it in a bank and spent the money, so there is nothing to lose for him.

The instigators of the attack in October, 13, set two goals: intimidating the workers and undermining the suppliers confidence to the enterprise and its collective and their elected director Vantorin. Those guys want to stop the mill's functioning, paralyze its work and plunge the workers back into misery and make them capitulate to the formal owners. But this goes against not only the mill worker's interests but against all the regional and local population's interests. A liquidation of a big and profitable enterprise is being spoken about. All the talk by the nowaday's media about inadmissibility of a revision of the privatisation results is an outrageous lie. The bourgeois politicians hate to accept that the workers are also able to manage the production processes. What is more they turned to do it even more efficient than both the newly born Russian bourgeoisie and the old party nomenclature. But now, when blood has been shed, the photos and TV pictures have been shown all over the world Serdyukov has gotten more vulnerable to the public pressure than before. It is necessary to continue and intensify our international solidarity campaign to back the collective of the paper mill in Sovetsky.

But the most important thing is the workers' confidence in their final victory. Next day after the total destruction of the first floor of the administration block renovation work began and everything worth reconstructing was reconstructed within the shortest time possible. Nobody of the people we have talked to admitted that ALCEM would get the mill. The people here have gotten accustomed to fight alone, or almost alone, against the capitalist system. The workers of the mill are confident of their strength and victory. To attain victory they possess the most important thing — unity and courage in their fight for their own mill.

You can send your protest or support letter to:

Address of Vyborg integrated pulp-and-paper-mill: 188918 Leningrad Region, Vyborg district, pos. Sovetskii, ul. Zavodskaya 4 phone of TU: (812-78)74-370 fax: (812-78)74-886

Address Leningrad Region government: St-Petersburg, Suvorovskii pr 67 fax: (812)271-56-27 phone: (812)315-86-65 e-mail: Этот e-mail адрес защищен от спам-ботов, для его просмотра у Вас должен быть включен Javascript vice-governor Serdukov V. P.

Address Vyborg district administration: fax: (812-78)231-63 phone: (812-78)222-27 Kirillov V. V.