Free Boris Kagarlitsky!

Boris Kagarlitsky is one of thousands of political prisoners in Russia jailed for opposing Putin’s regime and the war in Ukraine. Support the international campaign to free him and his comrades.


Sign the petition to free Boris Kagarlitsky here.

Boris Kagarlitsky is a prominent Russian Marxist sociologist, critic of the Kremlin, and opponent of the war in Ukraine. Kargarlitsky was a left-wing dissident and political prisoner in the Soviet Union and in recent years has been an activist against Putin’s authoritarian rule. Kagarlitsky was arrested in July 2023 over a social media post commenting on the explosion of the Crimean Bridge in 2022. Kagarlitsky stated that the explosion was “understandable from the military point of view.” Russian authorities used the post to raise trumped-up charges of  “inciting terrorism.” These charges are part of a continuous attack on the Russian opposition antiwar movement. Although initially sentenced to pay a fine, a new court in February sentenced Kagarlitsky to serve five years in a prison colony. Kagarlitsky’s arrest has sparked an international campaign for his release.

On October 8, 2022, the Crimean Bridge erupted in fire as a result of a bomb explosion that was loaded onto a truck. The explosion happened six months after Russia launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. The bridge is the only route directly connecting the Crimean peninsula with mainland Russia. It became a strategic logistical route for the Russian military. Moreso, it became a symbol of imperialism and expansionism, as its construction began after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Currently, Kagarlitksy awaits his appeal at the detention facility, after his initial fine of 609,000 roubles (~$6,500) was replaced by a five-year prison sentence in a penal colony. He is now one of thousands of political prisoners who opposed Putin’s regime and the war in Ukraine. Unlike many of his colleagues and comrades, Kagarlitsky did not leave the country after the war broke out and the machine of repression kicked into a higher gear.

As socialists and internationalists, we oppose the war in Ukraine. Boris Kagarlitsky was integral in trying to build a domestic antiwar movement. Without one, it is hard to imagine an end to the bloodshed, death, and political repression. We must oppose war and oppression everywhere as we try and build a better world for the working class across the globe. That’s why we must not forget the motto of socialists and trade unionists: “An injury to one is an injury to all!”

An injury to Boris Kagarlitsky is an injury to all Russians and Ukrainians who are fighting to end the war and build a movement for real democracy, and to all socialists and workers around the world. Socialists have a rich history of standing in solidarity with political prisoners, activists, and organizers. When the forces of capitalism and state repression turn against us, we protect each other.

This is why, as part of an international solidarity effort, members of Bread & Roses are signing onto the petition calling for an immediate release of Boris Kagarlitsky. We call on other DSA and YDSA members to sign it and share it with their comrades, friends, and family. Share it with your DSA and YDSA chapters. Ask your socialists in office — our DSA electeds — to sign on and call for a public release of Kagarlitsky from Russian prison. Call on leaders in the labor movement to support this effort. We oppose political repression against all left-wing movement activists, in Russia, in Palestine, in the U.S., and everywhere else. Let us stand together, in solidarity, against the war and in the fight for a better world that works for working people and not the 1%.

Sign and share the petition here!

Daniil Sapunkov is a Moscow-born student organizer based in New York City. He is a member of NYC-DSA, Hunter College YDSA, and the Bread & Roses Caucus.