It is a matter of history that the Soviet modern revisionists from Khruschov to Gorbachov and Yeltsin had the illusion that, if the Soviet Union took the road of capitalist restoration, bourgeois populism and bourgeois pacifism, the Cold War and the threat of a nuclear war would end, Russia would go back to the European homeland, join the Council of Europe and enjoy the “dividends” of peace like the US and its NATO partners.
Thus, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine as the founders of the Soviet Union decided to co-sign the original Minsk Agreement in 1991 in order to dissolve the Soviet Union and form the ephemeral Commonwealth of Independent States in exchange for the assurances of the US, NATO and the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that the human rights and democratic rights of the former Soviet republics, their peoples, various nationalities, institutions, parties, organizations and individuals would be respected and that NATO would not recruit from the former Warsaw Pact members and expand to the borders of Russia.
So soon after the original Minsk Agreement, the US and NATO started war in Europe by destroying Yugoslavia, turning so many former Warsaw Pact member-states into NATO members, setting up missile and anti-missile bases to threaten Russia with nuclear obliteration in a matter of minutes from Eastern Europe, expanding the NATO to the borders of Russia and instigating violent incursions into Russian territory and emboldening so-called color revolutions to facilitate the spread of arms sales and capital from the US and Western Europe.
The US and NATO masterminded, engineered and openly funded from the US embassy in Kyiv the Maidan protests in 2013 and the bloody coup d’etat against the pro-Russian government in 2014 in order to bring to power the Russian-hating Bandera-type fascists (the National Socialists of Ukraine), the political descendants of Nazis, and a new breed of Zionist fascists, all servile to the US and West European monopoly capitalism and the NATO. Thus was institutionalized a Russophobic and neo-fascist regime in Ukraine in 2014.
Why the delay in the US and NATO in making trouble in Ukraine, from 1991 to 2013-14? Modern Ukraine was created by the Bolsheviks soon after the October Revolution and became one of three republics (together with Russia and Belarus) that founded the Soviet Union or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922. More than 22 per cent of the total Ukrainian population in 2014 was of Russian nationality, who have comprised the majority in the Donbass region since pre-Soviet times and were either a majority or significant minority in major cities because Russian engineers and industrial workers had migrated to Ukraine to help in its industrialization in the time of the Soviet Union.
Upon coming to power in 2014, the Russophobic, chauvinist and fascist rulers in Kyiv engaged in acts of discrimination (including prohibition of the Russian language in Russian communities) and violent attacks against Ukrainian citizens of Russian nationality, including military offensives against the Donbass region and vigilante attacks in a number of major cities. Since 2014, the Ukrainian fascists have been able to kill so many Russians and destroy their homes and workplaces and cause the reduction of the overall Russian population in Ukraine from more than 22 to 17 per cent (or by more than three million) by forcing them to seek refuge in Russia and other countries as refugees.
The predominant Russian people of the Donbass region have suffered the main brunt of fascist attacks. In unilateral acts of aggression, the Kyiv chauvinists and fascists have killed more than 14,000 people (mostly civilians) in the last eight years. Out of these, more than 7.5 thousand cases have been filed against the Kyiv authorities in the European Court of Human Rights. Homes, factories, schools, hospitals and other social infrastructure have been destroyed by artillery fire and bombs. And yet the US and EU imperialists deny and obscure these facts as they harp on the line that Russia is the aggressor to Ukraine.
Under the direction of the US and NATO, the purpose of the fascist attacks on the Russians in the Donbass region and other parts of Ukraine is not only to unleash anti-Russian chauvinism but to denigrate and insult Russia as impotent against the relentless NATO expansion. But the Russian people in the Donbass region have courageously resisted and established the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in accordance with the principle of national self-determination, despite US and fascist slander against them as “terrorists” and “fascists”.
As a consequence of the violent attacks of the Kyiv fascists on Russian citizens of Ukraine, the overwhelming Russian population in the Crimean Peninsula decided in a referendum to take it back from Ukraine to Russia. This peninsula was a gift of Krushchov to Ukraine in 1954 in order to let it have an outlet to the Black Sea. After all, the Soviet Union was still existent. Russia’s lawful recovery of the Crimean Peninsula became the reason for the US and its G-7 partners to remove Russia from the G-8 and impose sanctions on Russia.
Because of the heroic resistance of the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and because of the limited but highly potential support of Russia, the Ukrainian fascists and their US and NATO sponsors agreed to the Minsk II agreement of 2015 (Package of Measures for the Settlement of the Conflict) which recognized the autonomy of said people’s republics, provided for ceasefire and prohibited the Kyiv fascists from bringing heavy artillery and other weapons at a certain distance from the Donbass region.
But under the instigation of the US and NATO, the Kyiv fascists have constantly violated the ceasefire under Minsk II agreement and attacked the Donbass region, using weapons supplied by the US and NATO. In recent months and weeks before the current special military operation to destroy military facilities in Ukraine, the Kyiv fascists shelled daily the civilian communities of Donbass and used attack drones, heavy equipment, missiles, artillery and multiple launch rocket systems. The killing of civilians, the blockade, the abuse of people, including children, women and the elderly have not stopped.
Despite constant and repeated reminders of Russia to the US and NATO through the NATO-Russia Council and the OSCE, the US and NATO have aggressively accessed Ukraine to the NATO in practical terms and in brazen violation of the original Minsk Agreement and other related agreements. The US and NATO have integrated in the its command and control system the armed forces of Ukraine and have actually used Ukrainian airfields and other military bases close to the borders of Russia and Belarus to engage in military training and exercises and install equipment for surveilling and threatening the two neighbors of Ukraine deep within their own territories.
The US and NATO have obstinately designated Russia as their enemy despite Putin’s repeated offers of a new agreement to limit the strengthening of security by a state or international organization at the expense of the security of others. As late as December 2021, the Russian Federation handed over to its supposed Western partners a draft agreement between itself and the US on security guarantees as well as a draft agreement on security measures with NATO member states. But the US and NATO were already obsessed with a blitzkrieg to attack the Donbass region and provoke Russia. Since then or even earlier, Russian and the people’s republics have been forewarned of the aggressive plan of the US and NATO.
In the current time of the Biden presidency, the US and the UK have been the most aggressive in providing weapons and military training to the armed forces of the Kyiv regime, issuing provocative statements against Russia and accusing it of invading the Ukraine long before the current special military operation declared by Russia. In fact, the Russian military forces stayed within their own territory before the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and Putin took the long overdue step of recognizing the independence and sovereignty of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk on February 21, 2022 and ratifying the Treaties of Friendship and Mutual Assistance with said republics on the ground that the Ukrainian fascists and US and NATO sponsors have themselves wantonly violated and nullified the Minsk agreements.
Even as the US and all its NATO partners take a common posture of opposing Russia and supporting the fascist-ruled Ukraine, the US has its very own interests that only its British valet can best understand and agree with. It has been making the war provocations against Russia in Ukraine in order to assert and reinvigorate its hegemony over NATO and Europe, promote its own economic, political and military interests, favor its own oil and fracking interests, stop the Nord Stream 2 and prevent Germany and other West European countries from accessing gas from Russia and advance the geopolitical and hegemonic interests of the US in its inter-imperialist contradictions with Russia and China.
Many people are apprehensive that a direct inter-imperialist war can arise between Russia and the US-NATO combine as a result of hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, especially because the former has advantages over the latter in a war short of using nuclear weapons. But there are certain factors that are at work to determine calculated and measured steps by all sides. Among these factors are the contradictory interests of the US and the European Union in economic and political relations with Russia as well as with China and the still valid fear of mutually assured destruction in a nuclear war.
Short of a nuclear war, Russia has a clear advantage over the US and even NATO in fighting the Ukrainian fascists and supporting the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the people of Russian nationality within Ukraine in terms of conventional war, economic tit-for-tat and diplomacy. In the rivalry of two imperialist powers, Russia has been relatively more sober and calculating while the US has been more frantic, provocative and aggressive in matters pertaining to Russia and Ukraine.
Following its recognition of the sovereignty and independence of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and complying with the Treaties of Friendship and Mutual Assistance, Russia has declared a special military operation against the Ukrainian fascists, coalesced with the military forces of the aforesaid people’s republics and is now demonstrating the foolhardiness of the US-NATO and its Ukrainian fascist puppets in unleashing Russophobic attacks since 2014, drumming up war provocations and threatening to widen the scale of war to the borders and territory of Russia.
After all its arrogance and braggadocio that it can be at the head of NATO and fight Russia in Ukraine and thereabouts, the US has been totally exposed as impotent in the face of the coalition of the Russia and the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. It has responded by merely calling on all its NATO allies to be ready for attacking Russia on all borders. At the same time, the US, NATO and the Group of 7 are expected to impose further sanctions on Russia and further exacerbate inter-imperialist contradictions. But Russia like China has already prepared counter-sanctions which can have adverse effects on the US and the European Union.
I am most concerned that since 2014 the US and NATO have brought about in Ukraine a regime that is extremely oligarchic, chauvinist and fascist, oppressive and exploitative of the people of Ukraine, including those of Ukrainian, Russian and mixed Ukrainian-Russian nationalities. And yet this fact has been deliberately obscured by the US and NATO propaganda and overlooked by those who do not study and know the particularities of the Ukraine issue.
The people of Russian nationality within Ukraine have suffered the main brunt of fascist oppression and deserve the solidarity and support from all the peoples of the world and from all other possible forces supportive of their just cause. For supporting the Ukrainian people of Russian and other nationalities against the Ukrainian fascists, Russia proves itself in a better position than its US imperialist rival which has been prodding Ukraine to join the NATO in violation of the original Minsk agreement and supplying it with weapons and pushing it to make war provocations against Russia.
As a result of Russia’s special military operation in coalition with the people’s republics in the Donbass region, the offensive military capabilities of the Ukrainian fascists have been greatly degraded but these Russophobes are attacking Russian residential areas in Ukraine and misrepresenting the civilian victims in the press as Russian military troops. In the meantime, the US, NATO and the Group of 7 are reacting with vociferous statements and imposing further sanctions on Russia and further exacerbating inter-imperialist contradictions.
Nevertheless, it will take some more time and further developments before there can be an all-out war between US-NATO and Russia or the Russia-China tandem. Let us not forget that the US and its NATO allies have their own contradictions. For instance, it is not a small matter that the European Union gets 40 per cent of its energy supply from Russia. Germany and its ruling politicians will be taken to account by the German people for agreeing with the US to shut down the Nord Stream 2. The peoples in the other NATO member-countries in Western Europe will also complain that they are made to give up a cheaper source of energy than what the US wants to provide. This energy issue is only one of several major issues that put the EU in a disadvantageous position by the bellicosity and aggressiveness of the US.
The US will continue its strategic decline before it can plunge the world into an all-out war that can end the existence of humankind. It also remains to be seen how the European Union and people will assert their independence and attend to their own needs as the main protagonists in the new Cold War launched by US imperialism will adversely affect their respective interests in a world capitalist system that is already saturated by an excessive number of imperialist powers and whose multiple crises are rapidly worsening and driving the proletariat and people of the world to rise up in resistance.