By David Sole
On August 29 Ukraine launched a serious thrust along the southern front which the Russian Federation forces have occupied, including the city of Kherson. This area is key to a main aim of Russia to maintain a land bridge to the Crimean Peninsula which it had annexed after the U.S. organized the right-wing coup in Ukraine in 2014. Fierce fighting was reported with significant high casualties suffered by the Ukrainian forces fighting against well entrenched Russian military units.
The Ukrainians made no appreciable gains, although some fighting continues in that theater. But the Kherson offensive may likely have been a diversionary feint which had the intended result of Russia moving units from the northeast Kharkiv area to reinforce the Kherson lines.
Then, on September 6, Ukrainian military launched a major offensive against Russian forces occupying a large area of the eastern Kharkiv province. This area was identified by NATO intelligence as weakly held. Russian intelligence failed to detect the Ukrainian buildup or predict the attack. The assault utilized large quantities of U.S./NATO supplied weapons and armor and was clearly carried out with U.S./NATO planning, logistics and command over the Ukraine troops.
The Russian high command responded by apparently ordering the pull back of its overwhelmed forces. Large stocks of weapons and equipment were left behind, but Russian casualties appear to have been light. By September 20 the Ukrainians announced they had re-occupied over 800 square miles on the eastern front and Russian troops had been regrouping in the more heavily fortified Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.
The Russian thrust into the Kharkiv province had been to push back Ukrainian artillery that had been attacking the ethnic Russian population of the Donbas area since 2014 with over 14,000 reported casualties.
This Ukrainian victory can only encourage the Kyiv government to continue to depend on U.S./NATO direction and push the fighting into the Russian occupied Donbas region. One of the Russian Federation’s stated goals for its February 24 “Special Military Operation” was to secure the safety of the ethnic Ukrainian Russians when it became clear that Ukraine would never abide by the Minsk Agreements of 2015.
On September 20 it was reported that there would be a vote among the people of Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to determine if they wanted to become part of the Russian Federation.
At the same time Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the call up of 300,000 reservists to bolster the Russian Federation army’s numbers. Clearly the new situation in Kharkiv province has required the Russians to alter their strategy and tactics. The Ukraine army, bolstered by U.S./NATO weaponry and command, are a new factor in the war. Russia’s attempt to carry out its limited objectives in Ukraine as a “Special Military Operation” utilizing only 200,000 troops may have to change.
Another aim of Russia was to “demilitarize” Ukraine and prevent Ukraine from becoming part of NATO. The current situation completely overturns the earlier circumstances and will compel Russia to intensify the war as Ukraine falls more and more under NATO’s direction.
As tens of billions of dollars of military weapons flow into the expanding Ukraine fighting, the U.S. military contractors are celebrating their huge new profits. With the Kharkiv offensive success the war hawks in the U.S. and in Ukraine will continue to press forward with the war. No chance of peace talks will be heard. After all, U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin said openly the United States’ goal was to “weaken Russia.” The death and destruction in Ukraine is of no consequence to the U.S. war machine.
On September 21 anti-war activists from around Texas and across the U.S. protested outside the Austin Convention Center where the National Defense Industrial Association was meeting. The gathering of big military contractors and war profiteers were confronted with signs, banners and chants contrasting the massive funding by the Biden administration for its Ukraine proxy-war versus the suffering of people here at home due to inflation and lack of food, housing and healthcare.
Ukraine’s puppet President Zelensky along with some of his generals were scheduled to attend the convention in person or virtually.
The looming energy crisis in Europe, previously dependent on Russian energy supplies, has alarmed people in the European Union and England. Demonstrations have broken out in many western countries over the ballooning price of natural gas and heating oil. But the U.S. oil giants are using the looming energy shortages to hike prices at the same time they corner a larger share of the market.
Only a mass movement in the U.S. and Europe will be able to stop this deepening crisis of war and destruction driven by the oil industry, the military-industrial complex and the military hawks.