Draft:Revolutionary Confederation of Anarcho-Syndicalists

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Revolutionary Confederation of Anarcho-Syndicalists
Революційна Конфедерація Анархістів – Синдикалістів
Named afterNestor Makhno
FormationOctober 15, 1994 (1994-10-15)
DissolvedApril 6, 2014 (2014-04-06)
Membership (2000)
Secretary General
Sergei Shevchenko[1]
Main organ

The Revolutionary Confederation of Anarcho-Syndicalists (Ukrainian: Революційна Конфедерація Анархістів-Синдикалістів, РКАС) was a Ukrainian anarcho-syndicalist confederation. Sections and individual RKAS representatives existed in Ukraine, Georgia, Russia, and Bulgaria. The purpose of the confederation was to consolidate efforts aimed at catalyzing the anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist movement to promote the formation of libertarian communism.[1]


RKAS was established at a founding conference held on October 15–16, 1994 in Donetsk,[2] which was attended by representatives of the "Federation of Anarchists of Donbass" (FAD) from the cities of Donetsk, Makeyevka, Dobropillya, Lugansk, Kadyevka, Bryanka, Krasnodon, as well as some activists and groups from Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and others.

The Anarchy newspaper, founded in 1993 by the Federation of Anarchists of Donbass, became the central body of the RKAS.[2][3]

In 1998, RKAS activists established the first independent anarcho-syndicalist student union in a private university in Donetsk, the Independent Students' Union, to which RKAS members were elected. This union grew rapidly and by the spring of 1998 had several hundred members, covering the main faculties of universities. The anarcho-syndicalist leadership of the Independent Students' Union made attempts to unite with the "Independent Trade Union of Miners of Donbass" in order to strengthen trade union unity and effective struggle, but these efforts were not completed.[1] The union lasted only a year and a half and was destroyed by the administration's repression.

Despite temporary setbacks in student unionism, the RKAS continued its activities among the working groups of Eastern Ukraine. During a miners' strike in Western Donbass, members of the RKAS were members of the strike committee that led the last major action of miners.[3] The black-and-red flag of the RKAS fluttered next to the blue-and-black flag of the mining movement at the head of a column of Luhansk miners marching on foot to Kyiv.

In addition to the mining movement, RKAS activists worked among machine builders in Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv regions.[3] Attempts were made to agitate the inhabitants of rural areas, mainly in the East and South-East of Ukraine. At the end of the 1990s, RKAS sections appeared in Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, and Kyiv.

At the same time, the RKAS organized Ukraine's first antifascist movement to counter the emerging far-right scene. First of all it concerned Donbass, although early clashes with the right took place with members of the RKAS in the late 90's in Dnepropetrovsk. In 2000, the RKAS conducted an anti-fascist patrol on May 9, in response to threats from the far-right to stage terror in the streets of Donetsk. At the same time, the Black Guard of the RKAS was organized, and regular trainings and clashes are held in the streets, organized by anarcho-syndicalist Black Guards.[1] RKAS distributed anti-fascist leaflets, launching popular slogans: "Nazis - fuck off the beach!" and "We do not argue with the Nazis, we destroy the Nazis!"

At the end of 2009, RKAS members took an active part in the labor, student, environmental, and anti-fascist movements. They organized and supported protests and demonstrations, promoting the principles and methods of anarchism.[4] At the initiative of the members of the confederation, the "General Confederation of Labor of Anarcho-Syndicalists" (VKT AS) was created.[3][5] Also, with the direct participation of RKAS representatives, an independent student union "Direct Action" was established in Ukraine and Georgia. A number of cooperatives were also established in Donetsk and Kyiv by RKAS members.[1]

In 2011, tensions between the confederation's sections and the Organizing Bureau (OB) boiled over, as the sections from Israel, Latvia, Germany, Russia, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson all withdrew from the organization, citing centralism, elitism and a lack of rotation within the OB.[6][1]

In 2012, the Odessa section of the RKAS organized a demonstration against a fare increase for minibuses, attending alongside representatives from Borotba, the Left Opposition and the Kurdistan Workers' Party.[7]

The RKAS had a limited participation in the Euromaidan demonstrations, with the Odessa branch of the confederation declaring that "all power should be transferred to the Maidans", proposing they become the foundation for direct democracy in Ukraine.[8]

In 2014, in connection with the beginning of the war in Donbass, RKAS ceased to exist as a single organization.[1][9]

Principles and goals[edit]

Their main goal was to build a society on the principles of freedom, self-government, self-organization, solidarity and federalism. The association of people on such principles should become a solid foundation for the free and fullest development of each individual.[10] RKAS adhered to and promoted such principles as: lack of power, freedom from coercion, freedom of association, mutual aid, diversity, equality and fraternity.


  • Anarchy newspaper (published since 1993)[3]
  • body of the CPSU newspaper "Voice of Labor" (published since 2008)
  • information-theoretical magazine "Anarcho-syndicalist" (1994-2002)
  • youth magazine "Uprising Ukraine" (2001-2002)

In addition, the organization has published a number of brochures.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Schmidt, Michael (December 5, 2014). "The neo-Makhnovist revolutionary project in Ukraine". Anarkismo.net. Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Dubovik, A. (1 December 2014). "Анархический хронограф. Октябрь. ч.2" (in Russian). Ukrainian Anarchist Union. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Повстанцы-2" (in Russian). газета ГОРОЖАНИН. 10 March 2009. Archived from the original on March 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "Их Родина — СССР: 5,5 тыс. человек отметили Первомай в Донецке (ФОТО, ВИДЕО)" (in Russian). Новости Донбасса. 1 May 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Дальнобойщики-анархисты будут распространять листовки в Николаеве и Одессе? ФОТО" (in Russian). 31 May 2010. Archived from the original on June 3, 2010.
  6. ^ Anonymous (10 November 2011). "Выход из РКАС" (in Russian). Autonomous Action. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  7. ^ "В Одессе «новые левые» и курды митинговали против повышения цен на проезд в маршрутках". Dumskaya (in Russian). 7 November 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  8. ^ "Махновцы подняли черное знамя над одесским «Евромайданом»". Odessa-Media (in Russian). Odessa. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Anarchism in Makhno's homeland: adventures of the red-and-black flag". openDemocracy. September 30, 2015. Retrieved May 10, 2023.
  10. ^ Revolutionary Confederation of Anarcho-Syndicalists (20 December 2012). "Кто мы?". LiveJournal (in Russian). Retrieved 29 July 2021.

Further reading[edit]