By David Sole
The U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine against the Russian Federation has gone to a new level. The September Ukrainian offensive in the Kharkiv province has made the western powers and their subservient mass media giddy. It is true that the NATO trained, armed, logistically supplied and directed Ukrainian forces did push Russian forces back from a large area of Ukraine that they had occupied.
But the cost to Ukraine in personnel and armaments has been great and reports are now surfacing that their momentum has been stalled due to bad weather and “Russian resistance.”
The Russian tactic of taking out dams to flood large areas thus slowing the Ukrainian movements harkens back to a tactic used in the revolutionary struggle of the early Dutch republic. According to Matt Soniak, the Dutch made use of flooding “during their revolt against Spanish rule, the Eighty Years’ War.”
“From 1584 to 1586, rebel forces led by William of Orange breached seawalls at strategic points to cause large-scale floods, with the goal of driving Spanish armies out of the countryside and giving the Dutch an opportunity to relieve several towns that were under siege.”
Having re-established their defensive lines, the Russian Federation has expanded its goals beyond what were originally laid out in February. The “Special Military Operation” had limited Russian troops to 200,000 which had the limited goal of protecting the large ethnic Russian populations in Luhansk, Donetsk, and two southern provinces. Russia has now called up over 300,000 military reservists and will, no doubt, be greatly increasing its forces in Ukraine.
The 2015 Minsk Accords between Ukraine and Russia had promised autonomy for the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics. Ukraine, however, never honored these agreements and instead waged constant attacks, killing an estimated 14,000 people. In fact the buildup of a powerful army of Ukrainian troops had been moving in toward the People’s Republics which was a major reason for the Russian pre-emptive operation.
The Russian Federation therefore is moving to incorporate four ethnic Russian provinces into the Russian Federation following plebiscites recording widespread approval for this move. They are Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Russia had previously annexed Crimea following a plebiscite in 2014.
The U.S. puppet Ukrainian regime of Volodymyr Zelensky, for its part, asked for expedited admission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Of course NATO, dominated by the United States, has been calling the shots ever since the U.S. CIA organized a right-wing coup in Ukraine in 2014. The threat of Ukraine allowing NATO military bases along its 1200 mile border with Russia was another major factor driving the Russian Federation into this war.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stollenberg avoided reporters’ questions about Zelensky’s request. He emphasized
“Our focus now is on providing immediate support to Ukraine, to help Ukraine defend … and then that’s the main focus and the main effort of NATO Allies as we speak.”
Stollenberg avoided a direct answer. Admitting Ukraine into NATO would then require the 30 members of the alliance to go to war in Ukraine against the Russian Federation. Such an action would trigger a world war, probably including nuclear weapons. Neither the U.S. nor the other NATO members are prepared for that. They are quite content to keep Ukrainians fighting a proxy war that is intended to weaken Russia – a goal openly admitted by U.S. Secretary of Defense Austin.
Germany’s Foreign Minister was more blunt.
“We have made it clear from day one that we have a responsibility to ensure that the war does not spread to other countries, that NATO does not itself become a party in the war. And that remains true today” stated Annalena Baerblock on Oct. 1.
Meanwhile the western imperialist media spread the most outrageous stories without a shred of proof or credibility. On September 27 explosions destroyed the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines that carry Russian natural gas to Europe. The explosions occurred under the Baltic Sea not far from where U.S. naval vessels had been carrying out maneuvers. Back in February 2022 U.S. President Joe Biden had threatened to shut down the pipelines if Russia intervened in Ukraine.
Despite all logic, Russia is being blamed for blowing up its own pipelines. But Russia could have simply closed the valve to Europe’s supply lines. Why would they have destroyed them? On the other hand, the explosions ensure that Europe cannot reverse their boycott of Russian energy supplies as the continent’s people suffer and their economies shut down due to lack of fuel. And, of course, the United States oil companies will be the big winners as the price for natural gas and heating oil skyrocket both here and in Europe. Meanwhile, millions in Europe face deadly freezing temperatures in their homes as winter sets in.
The flow of U.S. weapons into Ukraine continues. On September 29 the Senate voted to supply another $12.5 billion in weapons as part of a bill that would continue funding the U.S. government until December 16. The bill then went to the House for a vote.
No such bipartisan agreement has been shown, however, in funding programs needed inside the U.S. to aid the millions of people suffering from lack of food, housing, education or equal rights.
The escalation by the U.S. and NATO in Ukraine, met now with the escalation by the Russian Federation in its military expansion and political absorption of over 15% of Ukraine’s territory, seems to end any chance of a negotiated settlement of the conflict at this time. Both sides are digging in, looking for a decisive victory over the other. Further escalation by the U.S./NATO side could unleash war across the whole of Europe.
Antiwar forces in the United States and Europe must step up our demonstrations for an end to sending weapons to Ukraine and demand that the Ukrainian puppet government negotiate an end to this bloody conflict. In the U.S, the United National Antiwar Coalition has announced plans for a national week of protests, from Oct. 15 to Oct. 22, across the country to oppose the devastating U.S. proxy war in Ukraine.