By David Sole
An additional $2.98 billion in military aid was announced August 24 by the Pentagon. It is said to include surface-to-air missile systems, armored personnel carriers, artillery and combat drones. Yahoo news reports that the Biden administration has now spent $13.5 billion going to Ukraine while tens of billions more has been authorized by Congress and the President.
This endless stream of military supplies, much of which ends up profiting corrupt Ukraine officials, ensures that the Ukraine-Russia conflict will not end soon. Chances of Ukraine sitting down with the Russian Federation to hammer out a negotiated settlement are, therefore, slim. A number of Ukrainian political and military officials who have been suspected of being “pro-Russian” have been assassinated over the past months.
For months past the Ukraine government has promised a “southern counteroffensive” to retake territory lost to Russian forces across eastern and southern Ukraine. A particular target mentioned repeatedly has been the provincial capital city of Kherson.
Ukrainian spokespersons announced in the past few days that the long-awaited counteroffensive had begun and had broken through Russian defenses. Western corporate media have jumped onto the bandwagon to announce in advance that Ukraine is having great success. MSN.com is quite giddy proclaiming “Russia on brink of humiliation as Ukraine advances towards Putin’s ‘prize’ achievement.”
CNN headlines are equally subservient to Biden’s proxy war in Ukraine proclaiming, without verifying any information “Ukraine claims early success in counteroffensive as Zelensky vows to ‘chase’ Russians to the border.”
The BBC is more cautious about the proclaimed offensive. Britain’s former head of its MI6 intelligence service, Sir Alex Younger, predicted “the long-term trend is the gradual weakening of the Russian military capability and the gradual strengthening of the Ukrainian capability with Western help.” This description is not of a forceful counteroffensive, but rather of a long drawn out conflict.
Younger sees the “offensive” as “all about the urge of Ukraine to demonstrate [to the U.S. and NATO?] they can get on the front foot and in turn underpin the resolve of Ukraine and its backers into what is going to be a difficult winter.
The Russian Federation Defense Ministry has released a very different picture of the Ukraine “counteroffensive.” An rt.com report called the actions a “botched operation” and claimed that 1200 Ukraine troops, along with scores of tanks, fighting vehicles and other armored vehicles were destroyed in the first day.
It won’t take much time to reveal the true state of affairs. Pushed into an offensive it does not succeed with will be a crippling blow to Ukraine President Zelinsky. It will be interesting to see if a Ukrainian movement is able to emerge pushing for a peace treaty.
But the United States has no incentive, at this time, to let Ukraine seek a negotiated solution. U.S. troops are not being bloodied in the field and the giant U.S. military defense contractors are making big profits. Only if a mass anti-imperialist, anti-war movement emerges here in the U.S. would pressure build up to stop the proxy war.