from The Intercept

THE WORLD’S LARGEST arms dealer, the United States, is leading an effort among NATO nations to dramatically increase the flow of weapons to the besieged government in Kyiv. While the Biden administration has resisted calls for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, a move which could result in an overt hot war between major nuclear powers, the weapons transfers represent a significant escalation of Western involvement.

Despite strong efforts in recent weeks from NATO governments and many large media outlets to minimize or excise the relevant role Western powers played in the years leading up to Russia’s brutal invasion, there has been a sustained proxy war in Ukraine between Moscow and Washington for a decade. Unless the desired outcome is a full-spectrum war between Russia and the U.S.-NATO bloc, Western nations — particularly the U.S. — must ask themselves whether the current course of action is more or less likely to facilitate an end to the horrifying violence being imposed on Ukraine’s civilian population.

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also in The Intercept:


DESPITE STAGING A massive military buildup on his country’s border with Ukraine for nearly a year, Russian President Vladimir Putin did not make a final decision to invade until just before he launched the attack in February, according to senior current and former U.S. intelligence officials.

In December, the CIA issued classified reports concluding that Putin hadn’t yet committed to an invasion, according to the current and former officials. In January, even as the Russian military was starting to take the logistical steps necessary to move its troops into Ukraine, U.S. intelligence again issued classified reporting maintaining that Putin had still not resolved to actually launch an attack, the officials said. “The CIA was saying through January that Putin had not made a decision to invade, but he was putting in place pieces for an invasion,” said a senior U.S. intelligence official, who asked not to be identified in order to discuss sensitive matters. “I think Putin was still keeping his options open.”

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