The Izolyatsia makerspace in Donetsk, Ukraine, has been seized by armed, masked Russian separatists from the Donetsk People's Republic, who denounced it as "decadent" and accused it of being "an American-funded anti-Russian organisation which supports fascism and develops decadent kind of arts." Izolyatsia is the first hackerspace to be occupied by an armed militia.
In an e-mail, Izolyatsia's founding member Mykhailo Glubokyi told euronews that more than a dozen armed activists seized the building on Monday morning, "one of them was equipped with a sniper rifle, others with Kalashnikovs."
No blood was shed during the capture, because Izolyatsia wasn't hosting any exhibition or events at the time and "[the DPR] gave us a call on Sunday to let us know about their plans."
A day later, the situation around the captured building remains tense. "Most of the armed people left, only couple of people stayed to "control territory,"" Glubokyi told euronews. "Meanwhile DPR-loyal media have started a campaign saying that Izolyatsia is an American-funded anti-Russian organisation which supports fascism and develops decadent kind of arts."
The DPR said "the Red Cross is sending humanitarian aid especially for [them]" and thus they need storage space. But "one of the DPR leaders, Roman Lyagin, is an old friend of ours, he has been visiting our events, communicated with our employees a lot, so we think that there is some kind of ideological basis behind" this capture. For Glubokyi, there is little doubt they were being deliberately targeted, saying "Donetsk is an industrial place, it has lots of warehouses and factories located in more convenient places."
Armed pro-Russian separatists seize "decadent" cultural centre in Donetsk [Thomas Seymat/Euronews]
(via Beyond the Beyond)