Volume 5, No. 12, December 2023
Editor: Rashed Rahman
The hostilities that have flared up on the matter of Ukraine must be treated with great concern. The present situation in the impending days may or may not lead to war between Russia and Ukraine, the latter having backing from the US, Europe, NATO, and western-affiliated Eastern European states. It is however a grave situation and only time will tell what actually transpires. However, the western press is now replete with reports of what they consider an imminent invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The full force of their propaganda machine has been activated to shape the perception of Russia as the aggressor state bullying a smaller one. The reality of this situation is very different.
The reality is that these current events are nothing other than the use of Ukraine as a pawn by the US and NATO to continue their Cold War mission of completely subjugating Russia. The downfall of the USSR, their chief Communist adversary, was not enough because present-day Russia continues to be a highly influential state in opposing the destructive role of US imperialism around the globe.
The first thing to understand is that the conflict over Ukraine is not just about Ukraine. This matter should never be viewed in isolation from the big picture, with disregard for the sequence of events by which we have arrived at this juncture. It is but one of many arenas of conflict between the US, NATO and Europe on the one hand, and Russia on the other, which have occurred over the years. Therefore, before we consider the situation of Ukraine specifically, let us quickly provide the broad context within which the issue of Ukraine fits.
The current Democrat President Joe Biden has not forgotten the role of Russia in the ‘Arab Spring’ period in totally thwarting the Obama administration’s efforts to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s secular government in Syria. Having just before gotten away with the aerial bombing of Libya (the so-called ‘No-Fly Zone’), propping up Islamist terrorist groups, and having the leader of Libya Muammar Gaddafi murdered, the US prepared to do that with Syria as well. The Obama administration had drawn up its ‘red lines’, created all sorts of fake propaganda about chemical weapons, and was ready to launch its ‘humanitarian offensive’. It was only thanks to the skilful diplomacy and tactics of Russia that this threat was averted. It was thus that the door was shut permanently on the direct overthrow of the Syrian government by the US. Russia had ensured the failure of US imperialism to impose its will on Syria.
Russia frustrates the US and NATO further by maintaining friendly relations with many other countries that they have sanctioned and targeted many times for ‘regime change’. These include Cuba, Iran and Venezuela. Russia also supports Palestinian sovereignty and considers it a state, whereas all the ‘free democracies’ and ‘humanitarian’ states of Europe continue to disregard the right to statehood of the Palestinian people, emboldening Israel to continue its massacre of the Palestinians.
In short, because of its role in preventing US and European imperialism from utterly demolishing all obstacles in their path and turning weaker states into their vassals through the imposition of neo-liberal capitalism, Russia is, alongside China, their greatest adversary. It is in that context that the sharpening of the conflict in Ukraine must be understood.
The US and NATO are following a strategy to subjugate Russia by using states on its borders and turning them into hostile forces. They supported the anti-Russian so-called ‘colour revolutions’ beginning in the late 1990s and gradually co-opted many of the nearby or bordering states into NATO. Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia were all accepted into NATO and thus have become launch pads with missile systems and bases with which to gang up on Russia. On the southern flank of Russia is Georgia, another state that the US hopes to add to NATO to choke off Russia.
The story of the large neighbour bullying the smaller one, denying it its sovereignty, which has been spun by the western press at the behest of their respective NATO governments, will appeal only to those who are ignorant of this history. The blow to Ukraine’s sovereignty came not from Russia but from the US-assisted overthrow of the pro-Russian President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, who had wanted to join Russia’s Customs Union whereas US-led European imperialism had wanted Ukraine to join their European Association Agreement.
Thus the current escalation of hostilities over Ukraine is simply the next step in the strategy of the US and NATO to continue the offensive against Russia. If Russia invades Ukraine to stop this offensive, NATO will supply the necessary arsenal to Ukrainian forces to possibly mire Russia in a long, costly and deadly war and attempt to secure international condemnation and an economic embargo. If Russia backs down, the western press will portray Russia as weak, the west will expedite Ukraine’s entry into NATO, and embolden the fascists currently occupying a prominent place in Ukrainian politics.
The long-term solution to this problem lies in the Russian Federation emerging successful in combating US imperialism on its borders. The closure of bases encircling Russia is the prerequisite for a sincere peace and détente effort.
(This article was written before hostilities broke out in Ukraine – Ed.)