Another Sign of Ukraine’s Failing Proxy War

US Transportation Command delivers tens of thousands of tons of military equipment to Ukraine for the proxy war against the Russian Federation
US Transportation Command delivers tens of thousands of tons of military equipment to Ukraine for the proxy war against the Russian Federation. | Photo: U.S. DoD

By David Sole

In another sign that Ukraine’s war on behalf of the U.S. and NATO is failing, President Volodymyr Zelensky “suspended” Ukraine’s top security officer and the Prosecutor General. Ivan Bakanov, a long-time friend of the Ukrainian president, was head of the Security Service (SBU) since 2019 before getting the ax on July 10. In addition, Iryna Venediktova lost her position as Prosecutor General of Ukraine. According to the BBC Zelensky cited “many cases of treason in the two powerful organizations….A total of 651 collaboration and treason cases had been opened against law enforcement officials.”

Since the beginning of the Russian Federation’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, a number of top Ukrainian military officers, security officials, politicians and diplomats have been fired or arrested for supposed treason and collaboration with the Russians.

These latest suspensions come as Ukraine’s military situation deteriorates. Despite vast amounts of advanced military hardware from the U.S. and European nations, Russian Federation forces, joined by Ukrainian militias from the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, have solidified their control over the Donbas region. This was a major goal announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the start of the hostilities.

Since the 2014 CIA engineered Ukraine coup ousted the elected president, the mainly ethnically Russian Donbas region had been under military attack. Over 14,000 people had been killed in the eight years prior to the Special Military Operation earlier this year.

Zelensky has proven to be determined to pursue the war and is counting on greater involvement by the U.S. and NATO to reverse his disastrous course. Blaming those around you for your own failure cannot reverse the situation and only exposes the growing weakness of the Ukrainian right-wing leaders.

The Ukrainian proxy war may also be turning into a direct U.S. war. A vast quantity of military hardware has been steadily pouring in to bolster Ukrainian forces. President Biden and the U.S. Congress have pledged  $50 billion in arms. It should also be remembered that the U.S. and NATO have been training and arming the Ukraine military since the 2014 coup, including helping to integrate pro-Nazi militias into the regular Ukraine army. The U.S. has also been providing intelligence and weapons to the Ukrainians that has allowed them to destroy several Russian battleships and assassinate Russian generals.

On July 3, 2022 the New York Times revealed some important information pointing to a deepening U.S. direction of the entire conflict. In an article titled “In Ukraine, U.S. Veterans Step In Where the Military Will Not” the Times gave details about U.S. “Special Operations veterans training Ukrainians near the front lines in the fight against Russia.”

Reporter Dave Philipps claims that these are “civilian volunteers…operating entirely on their own.” But he admits that “in some cases [they are] helping to plan combat missions.” These are not low ranking former soldiers. Philipps interviewed “Perry Blackburn Jr., a retired Army Special Forces lieutenant colonel” with 34 years of service” along with another “retired” Special Ops colonel.

The Pentagon claims to have pulled out 150 military trainers just before the war began. Yet there may be hundreds of U.S. citizens on the front lines. Philipps reports that 21 have been wounded in combat, two have been killed, two have been captured and one is missing in action. The Russian Defense Minister has estimated that there are 7,000 mercenaries from foreign countries fighting in the Ukraine war and that those from the United States are the third largest group.

Behind the scenes thousands of U.S. military personnel and military contractors are at work in a vast operation to supply weapons to the Ukraine forces. A key hub is Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. On July 3, 2022 John Ismay reported in the New York Times detailing the operation.

According to Ismay “several thousand logisticians from each branch of the armed forces work at the United States Transportation Command … a ‘combatant command’ … and takes its orders directly from the secretary of defense.” Interestingly this operation was functioning back in August of 2021, well before the Russian Federation took action this past February.

Also involved in the mechanics of sending tens of billions of dollars in weaponry is the U.S. military base in Stuttgart, Germany “where a coalition of more than 40 nations coordinates the aid.” Once a shipment is approved “the 618th Air Operations Center, where about 850 active-duty airmen, reservists and civilians” plan the details.

The Transportation Command “coordinates about 450 cargo flights” a day and “oversees about 20 cargo ships.” In the last year they have “delivered just over 19,000 tons of military aid to Ukraine.”

These shipments included 12 Russian built Mi-17 helicopters which had been obtained by the U.S. in Afghanistan before the U.S. was forced to evacuate that country in August 2021.

With Ukrainian ports closed off by Russian Federation naval vessels, the U.S. is delivering weapons and ammunition to a dozen European ports on the North Sea and the Baltic. They are thus involving many other countries in the military operation and proxy war in Ukraine. Ultimately the shipments must enter Ukraine by truck, rail or plane from its western borders. The Russian military has made it a priority to interdict these supplies, often bombing close to the borders. This creates a dangerous situation which could involve other NATO countries directly in the conflict.

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