Russia has confirmed that it indeed has launched strikes into Ukraine, asserting that it is targeting “military infrastructure, air defense facilities, military airfields, and aviation [in Ukraine]”. As a result of Russia’s offensive, Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine severed diplomatic ties with Moscow. There has been a national call to arms in Ukraine. Ukraine’s defense minster, Oleksiy Reznikov, stated that anyone looking to take up arms against Russian troops should immediately enlist with the country’s territorial defense units. All that is required is a Ukrainian passport, Mr. Reznikov said. “The enemy is attacking, but our army is indestructible,” he said. “Ukraine is moving into all-out defense mode.” The New York Times reported:
“Ukrainian forces have shot down six Russian fighters and a helicopter in an increasingly intense battle to maintain control over key cities, a senior Ukrainian military official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to release information outside official channels. Ukrainian troops have also repelled, for the time being, Russian advances on two major cities: Chernihiv, in the north near Belarus, and Kharkiv, in the northeast close to Russia’s border, the official said.”
According to the Russian newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda:
“In Kiev, explosions took place near the Boryspil airport, where, according to intelligence data, there are warehouses with weapons brought to Ukraine from NATO countries. The mayor of Boryspil said that the explosions in the airport area are the work of Ukrainian air defense on unknown drones. But this did not calm the people of Kiev, and they massively rushed out of the city in their personal transport.”
It goes without saying that the fighting has been brutal, with thousands being killed since the outset of the conflict in 2014. And it continues to be so. Just under one thousand refugees were transported by train from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics to the Voronezh region, according to TASS. Deputy Chairman of the regional government Artem Verkhovtsev, stated that “910 people arrived, 358 of them are children”. The same publication also reported on how “the leaders of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics announced the evacuation of the republics’ inhabitants to Russia, citing the increasing threat of hostilities.” TASS also stated that both of the Republics reported some of the most intense shelling by Ukrainian forces within in recent months. Hence why these two self-proclaimed republics requested help from Russia. According to the New York Times, an advisor of President Zelensky “announced that more than 40 Ukrainian soldiers had died and dozens had been wounded” as a result of the Russian attack on Ukraine.
There is footage of shelling by Ukraine on pro-Russian Donetsk territory:
Footage of shelling in Donetsk:
But in the midst of this chaos there is the obvious thing that is occurring: the dwindling morale of the US in an international climate where regional powers are raising themselves up and seeking empire as Americans are returning to isolationism. Elbridge A. Colby, who served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development under the Trump administration, recently did an interview with t-online (Germany’s biggest news portal) in which he said:
“Realistically, Europe needs more military strength of its own. The USA must prioritize the Asian region. We will no longer be able to play the role of a dominant military power in NATO as we have in the past. That is why there must be a much greater effort on the part of Europe and especially Germany.”
This statement is a reflection of the US’s policy in regards to Russia: give the green light to the Germans and their European allies to reinvigorate themselves militarily so that they can keep the Russians in check. Colby went on to say that “the Europeans are going to stand up to Russia economically. Italy alone has a larger gross domestic product than Russia. But this economic strength must also be reflected in military capabilities. Only in this way will the Europeans really be taken seriously by Russia.” Germany has been seriously discussing increasing its military capacity and spending within recent years. Germany’s Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) said at the Munich Security Conference that “We will also continuously increase this defense spending”. Franz-Stefan Gady, a military strategy expert and a militia officer in the Austrian army, recently affirmed that the current war in Ukraine is “a wake-up call for Europe to invest in its own defense again.” He went on to say:
“The lessons for Europe are very clear to me: diplomacy without military strength is doomed to failure. Austria, Germany and all of Europe need a reinvestment in conventional defense. We need powerful armies and cannot sit back and wait for them like in the past that America defends Europe … Europe must take its defense into its own hands. That is the main lesson.”
Alfons Mais, a Lieutenant General of the Bundeswehr and the Army Inspector, the highest military superior of the Army Branch of the German Armed Forces, declared in a speech in November of 2020 that German troops must be “assertive, ready for war and capable of winning”. And today, just hours after fighting between Russia and Ukraine commenced, Mais not only declared a similar statement, but expressed his remonstrance about the lack of strength in the German military. He stated:
“In my 41th year of peace-time service, I would not have thought that I would have to experience a war .. And the Bundeswehr, the army which I have the honour to command, is standing there more or less empty-handed. The options we can offer the government in support of the alliance are extremely limited. … We have all seen it coming but were not able to get through with our arguments to draw the consequences after (Russia’s) annexation of Crimea. This does not feel good. I am fed up with it”
As the situation in Ukraine worsens, the Germans will increasingly intensify their drive for military reinvigoration. In other words, the idea of Make Germany Great Again is becoming ever so popular and continues to be so. The Germans are pointing to the crises in Ukraine, and their lack of trust in the US for defense, as their reason for bolstering Germany’s military condition, and has been doing so for years, as shoebat.com has documented. So, as Russia as rises so will Germany return more and more to militarism, and this will set (obviously) a dangerous atmosphere, harking back to the Two World Wars. Speaking of which, in Putin’s speech addressing the beginning of the military operation to Ukraine, he announced one of Russia’s goals as “denazification”. Such a term goes back to right after the Second World War when the Allies conducted a program to denazify Germany. In the case of Russia and Ukraine, denazification is the policy of purging neo-Nazism in East Ukraine, which has become disturbingly prominent. According to the Russian publication, Fedpress, Putin “drew attention to the growth of neo-Nazi and anti-Russian sentiments in modern Ukraine.” For this, Russia is doing the righteous act of purging Ukraine of its nazis. In fact, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that Russian strikes are hitting military bases holding far-Right fighters of the neo-Nazi organizations, Azov Battalion and Right-sector:
“In Kharkiv, Kramatorsk, the vicinity of Mariupol, according to eyewitnesses, rocket strikes were carried out on military units in which the bases of radical neo-Bandera militants from Azov and the Right Sector are located.”
As Eduard Basurin, deputy head of the Donetsk People’s Republic police department, explained to Russia-24 TV channel, nationalist units from the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion have blocked Mariupol and are not letting civilians out of the city. “I appeal through you [to the Ukrainians], let them call their relatives and friends with weapons in their hands in the Donbass and ask them to lay down their arms. The more they resist, the more losses there will be,” Basurin said.
Ultimately, what is happening in Ukraine is a conflict between NATO and Russia over spheres of influence. The Washington Times reported that Putin recently “repeated his position that NATO expansion to include Ukraine was unacceptable”. The reason for this is simple: NATO wants Ukraine within its sphere of influence, but Russia, seeing Ukraine as historically a part of itself, wants to bring that country back into its fold. NATO has been expanding eastward and continued this direction with its support for the Euromaidan revolution against the Russian backed President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.
This proxy conflict sparked once Yanukovych rejected a deal by the EU that would have had Ukraine enjoying free trade with the European Union. Anti-government (and anti-Russian) riots commenced and dozens were killed. NATO supported the revolutionaries and Moscow stood behind Yanukovych who fled the country in February 2014 after days of protests. During the same time, Moscow was conducting military drills on its border with Ukraine and at Russia’s Black Sea base near the Crimean Peninsula. Armed men, with no uniforms and wearing head masks, began taking over government buildings in Crimea. These operatives were defined by Moscow as a part of a local movement. Pro-Russian forces took over the Crimean parliament in late February and a referendum was done with 95% voting in favor of joining Russia. On March 18th of 2014, Russia officially annexed Crimea.
Once Crimea went under Russian control, within that same month pro-Russian protests broke out in the streets of Donetsk and Luhansk. Pro-Russian protestors took over state institutions in the beginning of April and demanded that the regions become a part of Russia. War broke out between the Pro-Russian proxies and the NATO-backed Ukrainian government, and around 14,000 people (and counting) have died.
The conflict is between NATO and Russia, with the latter trying to impede the eastward expansion of the former. NATO’s expansion eastward can be seen from the 1990s when it supported the fragmentation of Yugoslavia and bombed Serbia, an ally of Russia which was in a position of tremendous weakness due to the collapse of the Soviet Union. NATO’s expansion in the East continued on in April of 2008 in the Bucharest Summit wherein Georgia was invited to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, something that was to the ire of the Russians. In August of that same year a war broke out between Russia and Georgia in which the Russians militarily backed the two self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, just as Russia is backing two self-proclaimed republics within Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk. With this, it can definitely be observed that there are parallels between what took place in 2008, with the war between Georgia and Russia, and with the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In 2004 there was the Rose Revolution in Georgia (exactly 10 years before the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine) wherein Mikhail Saakashvili became president, replacing the former Soviet leader Eduard Shevardnadze.
Saakashvili commenced a pro-Western agenda, eagerly wanting his country to become a European Union and NATO member. Saakashvili turned his attention to two regions within Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, both of which remained pro-Russian after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Saakashvili’s government greatly desired to reintegrate them, but this led to violence. In September of 2006, the Georgian parliament voted unanimously for a bill which called for the integration of Georgia into NATO. On January 5, 2008, Georgia had a non-binding referendum on NATO membership with 77% voting in favor of joining the organization.
Moscow responded by imposing sanctions on Georgia and deporting hundreds of Georgians. And in late September of 2006, Georgia arrested four Russian army officers for spying. In February of 2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, a move heavily opposed by Russia — since Serbia is its ally in the Balkans —, and soon after this Russia began deepening ties with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, such as with economic aid and diplomatic support.
Skirmishes between pro-Russian forces and Georgia continued, and eventually the Georgian government commenced a military operation to capture capital of South Ossetia in August of 2008. Russia did air raids on Georgian positions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and soon enough there were Russian troops in both of these regions in the five-day conflict. Russian soldiers rapidly took over Tskhinvali and rolled tanks and troops through Ossetia into Georgia, reportedly stopping just a few dozen kilometres away from Tbilisi. A ceasefire was reached on August 12th of that year. Georgia is a part of NATO, but Russia has sway over two regions within Georgia. Such is the conflict between NATO and Russia.
Now the two competing powers have been struggling over Ukraine. The two pro-Russian republics are Russia’s foothold in the region, and since they requested help from Russia to defend them against Ukrainian attacks, this is Moscow’s opportunity to expand itself further within Ukraine. As Russia continues its mission in Ukraine, a trend to expect is the further radicalization of Ukrainians into vicious nationalism will only become more common, as people will look for a ‘hero’ for them against Russia in the work of the Banderists (the modern followers of the Ukrainian fascist, Stefan Bandera, who murdered Jews, Russians and Poles during the Second World War), who are truly neo-Nazis who believe that the Ukrainian race is in a racial struggle against Russians and Semites. Andriy Biletsky, the Azov Batallion’s first commander and later a National Corps parliamentarian, in the past directed the neo-Nazi paramilitary organization “Patriot of Ukraine,” once stated in 2010 that it was the Ukrainian nation’s aspiration to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade… against Semite-led Untermenschen [subhumans].” Since NATO will back Ukrainian paramilitaries, it is only expected that these radicals will benefit from the backing of the West, which wouldn’t be that surprising given the fact that NATO supported far-Right and neo-Nazi paramilitaries in the Cold War under Operation Gladio. It is as if the West’s support for far-Right fighters is a presaging sign of something greater: the revival of German nationalism and militarism.