- Jul 2011
Russian nationalist activists today stormed a cinema in Moscow, which was showing a pro-Ukraine film about the Donbass War. Some took over the front stage, as you see. At one point, they allegedly scuffled with and pepper sprayed some staff members who attempted to stop them. Others forced their way into the control booth, and made the employee there turn off the projector.
Police eventually arrived in big force, some in riot gear
They detained a number of people connected to S.E.R.B.
The group has nothing to do with Serbia lol The name is an acronym. Stands for "South-Eastern Resistance Front" or something to that effect.
They originate from the Ukrainian city of Kharkov, another part of the Donbass.
In 2014, during the height of the hostilities, S.E.R.B. and other allied pro-Russian militants in Kharkov engaged in widespread street violence against Ukrainian nationalists and pro-Western Maidan activists
Group of S.E.R.B. members beating an enemy activist in Kharkov. They claimed, back then, that the new government in Kiev was sending nationalist radicals from Western Ukraine into Russian-speaking cities like Kharkov and they, their narrative went, were defending their city.
But, they were also seeking to overthrow the Ukrainian authorities and establish a "Kharkov People's Republic", much like the ones which rose in Donetsk and Lugansk
In Kharkov, however, the Ukrainian government was able to suppress the violence and maintain control. Most S.E.R.B. leaders then fled to Russia, to avoid arrest.
S.E.R.B. still controls numerous secret underground cells in the Kharkov region however, they have over the years released numerous videos online, calling themself the "Partizans (Guerillas) of Kharkov", posing with weapons and threatening Ukrainian nationalist groups and the Kiev government
They have been blamed for numerous attacks in and around the city, including the bombing of a bar popular with Ukrainian nationalists and volunteers who fought for Kiev in Donbass, resulting in at least one death, I believe, and almost two dozen injured; bombing of a nationalist demonstration/march, which killed a teenage boy; and a horrific (since removed everywhere) video, where two local men they claim had fought for Kiev in a nationalist militia are shown bound by hands and feet, and are beaten and tortured
I have read that both were murdered after, though their deaths were never shown on camera.
Thus, Kiev, of course, considers S.E.R.B. a terrorist organization now.
Over the years, the SBU, the Ukrainian national security service, have detained numerous people in Kharkov they claimed were S.E.R.B. operatives
Many though, online, say most of those were innocents arrested on trumped up charges, to make it look like SBU is doing something, and that SBU are actually unable to find most of their members, including because of lack of cooperation from plenty of pro-Russian residents in the area.
In Russia, they found lots of new allies within the greater Antimaidan movement, which aims to prevent any US-sponsored "color revolution" in Russia, as they feel happened in Kiev in 2014 and Georgia before that
They first manifested themselves that very year, when S.E.R.B. members and local rightwing sympathizers violently disrupted the annual far right "Russian March", in November, attacking other rightwing nationalists who supported Ukraine and carried Ukrainian flags along with Russian (basically, Russian far right is in two camps: the "imperialists" support Putin in his quest, in their minds, to reunite traditional Russian lands under Russian rule; while the "Pan Slavists" support Slavic brothers in Ukraine against what they see as a Jewish cabal running the Kremlin; there are Russian nationalists from both sides fighting in Donbass, ones for Kiev, others - for the seps), resulting in mass fist fights and a number of torn up Ukrainian flags, until police finally broke it up.
They've also attacked gay rights demonstrations and Russian Opposition activists. Russian police are accused of turning a blind eye to their activities. Even in this latest incident, the detained S.E.R.B. members have already been released. People from the Opposition detained in such situation can count on at least spending 15 days in jail. And an Opposition protester was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison just days ago, for allegedly resisting police at a demonstration. He happened to fall on an officer after he was pushed.
A S.E.R.B. guy who straight out punched a cop in the face at an altercation with some Oppositioners several months ago, he later said "by mistake", never did any time for that, and probably never will.