By David Sole
A number of indicators point to the real possibility of the Ukraine conflict expanding beyond the current scope of operations.
From the Russian Federation side we have already seen the call up of 300,000 military reservists following the NATO/Ukrainian counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region in September. It will take weeks, if not months, for these additional forces to be moved onto the front lines where they may either strengthen the current defenses or bolster any counteroffensive from the Russian side.
On October 16 it was announced that the first of 9,000 Russian Federation troops were arriving in Belarus and would be deployed along the Belarus border with Ukraine. This development was described as “purely defensive” by Belarus’ Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko announced “he was ‘warned through unofficial channels about [possible] strikes on Belarus’ from Ukraine.”
The globalization of the war was dramatically demonstrated when the Nord Stream I and 2 pipelines were blown up under the Baltic Sea on September 26. These pipelines are owned and operated by Russia and deliver natural gas to Germany. The U.S.-organized sanctions, joined by the European Union nations, have targeted Russian energy sales to Europe in response to the Russian Federation’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine beginning February 24, 2022.
It has not been determined who sabotaged the pipelines. Initial western media attempts to blame Russia for blowing up their own pipelines did not make any sense. Looking at who benefits one can conclude that the United States destroyed the pipelines to make sure that Europe will not slacken in their sanctions against Russia as the winter cold leaves much of their population without sufficient energy and even causes shutdowns of industrial facilities with accompanying mass layoffs.
The United States is already benefiting by selling liquid natural gas and heating oil to Europe at wildly inflated prices.
”Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habecck on Wednesday [October 5] criticized the ‘astronomical’ gas prices charged by ‘friendly’ supplier countries, such as the United States, suggesting they were profiting from the fallout of the Russia-Ukraine conflict….Germany … previously relied on Moscow for 55% of gas deliveries.”
Russia also soon announced that
“it was ready to quickly supply gas to Europe through an undamaged section of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline….’If the necessary legal decisions are made by European colleagues regarding certification…I think Russia in a short period of time could provide appropriate supplies through this gas pipeline’ Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak said on state television.”
Another major act of sabotage was carried out by Ukrainian saboteurs who blew up the important Kerch bridge rail and roadway linking southern Crimea and Russia on October 8. Crimea, with a majority ethnic Russian population, voted to join the Russian Federation after the 2014 C.I.A. organized right-wing coup overthrew the elected Ukrainian government.
In retaliation for the Kerch bridge bombing, the Russian Federation military launched widespread attacks, including 80 cruise missiles against many Ukrainian cities. These attacks on October 10 have been followed up with further bombings to degrade Ukraine’s power network.
On October 12 the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) announced the arrest of 8 people it believed were behind the bombing. The FSB placed the responsibility on Ukrainian military intelligence.
A meeting of the G7 western powers (U.S., Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan and the U.K. plus the European Union) issued a 13 point statement on October 11. The document continues to pledge massive military and political support for Ukraine’s government as it ignores the legitimate security concerns of the Russian Federation that led to the conflict. It is estimated that the United States has already authorized $80 billion to continue its proxy war, designed, in the words of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, “to weaken Russia.”
A European Union meeting on October 17 resolved to implement wide-scale training of Ukrainian troops as well as provide billions of euros more in heavy weaponry. According to yahoo.com
“The EU on Monday stepped up its military support for Kyiv by launching a mission to train 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers and providing 500 million euros more for weapons.”
“Several EU nations – including Germany and France – are already training Ukrainians to use the modern artillery systems, missile launchers and air defenses they are delivering to Kyiv…The United States, Canada and Britain have already been training thousands of [Ukrainian] troops.”
A number of EU countries, however, are not being paid back for the massive transfer of weapons and military supplies to Ukraine over the past months. According to Politico (October 14) the EU has only been able to come up with 46% to cover reimbursements.
“The EU fund to help member states replace weaponry they’ve sent to Ukraine will cover less than half of the requests for reimbursement submitted to Brussels….Shortly after the outbreak of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev in late February, the EU said it would reimburse its member states for providing arms to the Ukrainian government…. Poland was especially ‘angered’ by the development as it alone submitted €1.8 billion ($1.75 billion) in receipts, sources revealed…. ‘The waning payback scheme risks damaging the EU’s reputation as a reliable military partner’ amid increased calls for more weapons coming from Kiev, POLITICO pointed out.”
The stresses of strained military budgets and shortage of energy supplies in Europe, are of little concern to the United States ruling class centered in Wall Street. Profits are rolling in to the big energy corporations and the military industrial complex, mainstays of the modern capitalist system.
The goal of world imperialist domination continues to drive the U.S. behemoth no matter which party may temporarily gain ascendancy in Congress or the White House. A revealing document, President Biden’s National Security Strategy, was released October 12 by the office of the White House.
This 48 page analysis of U.S. strategy is dominated by a preoccupation to target Russia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). They are singled out in paragraph 11 and many pages that follow. While denouncing Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, Biden never explains why the U.S. war machine has hundreds of military bases around the world or why the U.S./NATO bases have been established surrounding and moving closer to Russia – long before the Ukraine war.
Socialist China clearly has the prominent place as an enemy of U.S. imperialism. The PRC is characterized as “the only competitor with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to advance that objective.” An entire section of the document is titled “Out-Competing China and Constraining Russia” (p23).
A Chinese Foreign Ministry official, Mao Ning, in a restrained statement on October 13, said
“Cold War thinking and zero-sum games, sensationalizing geopolitical conflicts and great power competition are unpopular and unconstructive.”
Weeks before Biden’s Security Strategy statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a sharp and timely answer. In his September 30 speech officially incorporating Russian ethnic provinces of Ukraine into the Russian Federation. Putin stated:
“The West is ready to cross every line to preserve the neo-colonial system which allows it to live off the world, to plunder it thanks to the domination of the dollar and technology, to collect an actual tribute from humanity, to extract its primary source of unearned prosperity, the rent paid to the hegemon. The preservation of this annuity is their main, real and absolutely self-serving motivation. This is why total de-sovereignisation is their interest. This explains their aggression towards independent states, traditional values and authentic cultures, their attempts to undermine international and integration processes, new global currencies and technological development centers they cannot control. It is critically important for them to force all countries to surrender their sovereignty to the United States.
“In certain countries, the ruling elites voluntarily agree to do this, voluntarily agree to become vassals; others are bribed or intimidated. And if this does not work, they destroy entire states, leaving behind humanitarian disasters, devastation, ruins, millions of wrecked and mangled human lives, terrorist enclaves, social disaster zones, protectorates, colonies and semi-colonies. They don’t care. All they care about is their own benefit.
“I want to underscore again that their insatiability and determination to preserve their unfettered dominance are the real causes of the hybrid war that the collective west is waging against Russia. They do not want us to be free; they want us to be a colony. They do not want equal cooperation; they want to loot. They do not want to see us a free society, but a mass of soulless slaves.”
It is the duty of the working class, poor and oppressed peoples in the west to expose, oppose and resist the imperialist war drive of the corporations and banks.