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Tributes paid after death of Ghost Brigade commander Alexey Markov in Donbass accident

TRIBUTES have been paid to socialist Alexey Markov, the commander of the anti-fascist international “Ghost Brigade,” who died in a car accident in Ukraine's breakaway Lugansk on Saturday.

Mr Markov described himself as an ordinary man who had no interest in weapons or war but felt he had “no choice” but to fight against fascist forces in Ukraine’s Donbass region following the 2014 Maidan coup in Kiev.

He played a pivotal role in co-ordinating a major international anti-fascist conference in Alchevsk in 2015, bringing together trade unionists, socialists and progressive forces after war had broken out in the region.

It followed a horrific attack by the EU-backed fascist forces in Ukraine in which a trade-union building in Odessa was torched. At least 46 people are known to have been burned alive and those who managed to escape the blaze were brutally beaten.

Speaking to RMT activist Eddie Dempsey about the attack, Mr Markov said: “After the slaughter in Odessa, seeing that joyful inhuman crowd photographed against a backdrop of charred bodies, I realised that ‘fascism,’ which I had read about in books and seen in movies, was here in front of me.

“The choice was whether to sit in Moscow and Omsk and watch the neonazis kill civilians or try to stop them. In fact, I had no choice.”

Mr Markov had studied nuclear physics at Novosibirsk University and worked as an IT executive prior to the war in Donbass. He initially organised humanitarian aid before deciding he needed to do more and went to the region along with other socialists.

His death has been described as “a huge loss to all progressive forces,” with sadness expressed at the loss of “a convinced socialist and anti-fascist.”

His funeral will take place today in Alchevsk.


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