Bob Marley Volunteer Defense Squad is Jammin’ in Kyiv

Bob Marley Volunteer Defense Squad is Jammin’ in Kyiv

Rise of the Bob Marley Volunteer Defense Squad in Ukraine.


So much trouble in the world and a natural mystic blowin’ through the air.

Ukrainian veterans of Aidar Battalion have formed a unit called the Bob Marley Volunteer Defense Squad this week, with a blue and yellow cannabis leaf as its official symbol. The unit’s motto: “The stoned one cannot be turned into the stone.”

In their inaugural announcement this week, the unit noted:

“Bob Marley Volunteer Defense Squad [is] composed of the Aidar Battalion veterans who during peacetime work in public institution sphere, IT, marketing, banking and science. In alliance with the Kyiv civilians, they joined the 112th independent brigade of the territorial defense of Kyiv.”

The unit in a March 8 post marking International Women’s Day. The post caption reads: “Dear ladies, on behalf of Bob Marley squad we congratulate you on the Day of your rights and freedoms! Each and every one of you and all together are the unbeatable power and love that leads us to victory.”

Aidar Battalion has participated in the War in Donbass since 2014 and is comprised of some of Ukraine’s most seasoned veterans. It has also been tied to numerous war crimes, however. In September 2014, Amnesty International released a report linking Aidar Battalion to “abductions, unlawful detention, ill-treatment, theft, extortion, and possible executions.” A later report from Amnesty International also claimed the unit blocked humanitarian aid from entering separatist-occupied areas. Whether the jammers of the Bob Marley Defense Squad participated in these actions is unconfirmed at this time.

The unit shortly after forming in Kyiv.

Will they eat the bread of sorrow, will they keep-a-ridin’ as midnight ravers, will they drive out Russian forces with a musical stampede? Only time will tell. You can keep up with the Bob Marley Volunteer Defense Squad on their Instagram (@bobmarley_squad) and on their website.

The Renegade
The Renegade
California-based grassroots journalist and internationalist organizer.
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