Original article dated 15 April 2021 on the Challenge blog

Evan Richards, writes about the rising hostilities within Ukraine – fueled by both NATO imperialism and far-right nationalism

The UK is scrambling Typhoons over Romania, and the US has sent two warships to the black sea. NATO and US troops in Ukraine are on high-alert and fears of a full-scale war in Ukraine are mounting. Why is this happening? And why at this time?

The election of Joe Biden has had many predicted consequences, from a continued militarised presence on the southern border to furthering the Jihadist sponsored regime change operation in Syria to the continued use of illegal pipelines through native American land to increasing the Pentagon budget (to $753 billion). However, one major consequence that has gone largely unnoticed are the events in Ukraine.

Ukraine has been in conflict since 2014. This conflict is directly between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists who struggle in the Donbass region and indirectly between NATO and Russia. Biden took a key role in the conflict and the Ukrainian coup in 2014. He was the architect, director and commander of the Donbass war. He first arrived in Ukraine in 2009 to promise aid and support. Along with Victoria Nuland, John Kerry and Ash Carter the US spent five billion dollars supporting Ukrainian nationalists to destabilize the country and obtain a US military presence. This, coupled with Georgian snipers that massacred over 100 people when they indiscriminately shot protestors, paid for by the USA, culminated in the Euromaidan; an anti-democratic uprising against the Ukrainian government that secured a US military presence on Russia’s border and also unleashed rather unsavoury neo-Nazi forces.

Biden’s close collaboration with the Ukrainian government post-Euromaidan speaks to the involvement the US has had in their neo-Nazi pet project on the Russian border. It is not without historical precedence either as this had already taken place in Chechnya in the 90s where both Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, Al Qaeda members responsible for the “planes operation” which later became 9/11, had fought with US funding and training from Bosnia and Afghanistan. It also has precedence in Georgia where the US, through imperial NGOs such as the Open Society and National Endowment for Democracy plus private media organised a coup to overthrow Eduard Shevardnadze and institute Mikhail Saakashvili. Again with a backlash of Georgian nationalists who adhere to the time-honored fascist slogans of “blood and soil”. Just one year after the Georgian coup, Saakashvili, with US funding and training, invaded Russian territory in South Ossetia, launching US rockets into civilian homes unexpectedly. One event on an embarrassing moment for Fox News showed a young girl who witnessed the events in South Ossetia but did not go along with the narrative that was being pushed. The event was a bloody war blamed on Russia when in reality it was a Georgian attack instigated by Washington.

This inter-imperialist conflict, spearheaded by the US revolves mainly around oil and gas. The US-Georgian invasion of Russia in 2008 was mainly a result of US interests in securing the $3.6 billion Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. A project backed by companies such as BP whose chairman in 2007 was Lord Browne, a close advisor to Tony Blair.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline

“In oil Baku is incomparable. . . . Baku is greater than any other oil city in the world. If oil is king, Baku is its throne!” – The British Business Journal The Near East.

Ukraine’s situation post-coup unleashed a wave of reactionary nationalism, groups of neo-Nazis emerged who engaged in the suppression and ethnic cleansing of ethnic-Russians and Jews. Organisations such as Svoboda and the Azov battalion proudly follow in the steps of the Ukrainian nationalist and Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. This unsurprisingly led to a spark in resistance, the consequences were the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR). Separatists flooded from all around Ukraine and international volunteers joined from abroad. Ukraine was also noted for “brain drain” as millions of civilians fled to both Russia and Poland.

Greetings archway “Glory to Hitler! Glory to Bandera! Long live Ukrainian Independent State! Long live our leader S. Bandera ”. Western Ukraine, July–August 1941.
Lviv football fans at a game against Donetsk. The banner reads in Ukrainian, “Bandera – our hero”
Headquarters of the Euromaidan, Kyiv, January 2014. At the front entrance there is a portrait of Bandera.

Compare this with the rebels of Donbass, “EU-USA stop supporting Nazi coup in Ukraine”.

Screenshot from Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QGFZev_h7g&t=382s

The roots of fascism go deep in UkraineThe most significant crime that took place after the coup were the events in Odessa in 2014 where far-right Ukrainian nationalists massacred over a hundred people who were burnt and beaten to death in public. Anti-fascists, separatists, communists, bystanders and anyone that opposed the policies of the US backed Kiev government made up the victims with the event culminating in the burning of a trade union building whilst police turned a blind eye.

A memorial to the Odessa 2014 Massacre in Canada 2015(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYshQU9HXmM)

There was of course hardly any mention of these crimes in the Western press. Biden could have made efforts to prevent this. He could have motivated talks and discussions with the separatists who opposed the Euromaidan coup and encouraged the Ukrainian government to meet the needs of the people of Donbass, Luhansk and Odessa by providing democratic rights, constitutional reform, an amnesty of rebel militias, and an election of MPs to the Ukrainian parliament to represents residents of the breakaway regions, but he did not. No doubt a similar view that permeated Biden’s outlook on Serbia exists with Russia. Joe Biden was the main political figure behind backing the fascist KLA forces in Kosovo, he allegedly deemed Serbs “illiterate degenerates”, “baby killers”“butchers” and “rapists” on CNN’s Larry King Show. There has never been a doubt among genuine progressives that Joe Biden is a racist, it is also unquestionable that slavophobia takes a strong hold in Washington and the EU as the Irish MEP Clare Daly pointed out

The corruption of Biden in Ukraine also extends to his own son, Hunter Biden, who, even though never having stepped a foot in Ukraine was appointed to the board of Burisma, the Ukrainian privately owned energy company from which he had made millions. This was all denied by Joe Biden, along with the rumours that his son was a drug-addict. However he was proven wrong when a computer seized by the FBI contained emails between them both proving Biden’s corruption. It also revealed various videos of Hunter smoking crack.

Joe Biden with Oleh Tyahnybok of Svoboda

The war in Donbass that ensued in 2015-16 had horrific consequences, from the downing of the civilian aircraft MH17 which was either shot down by Ukrainian fighter jets (a position held by separatists and many anti-imperialists) or a Guk by separatists in Donbass (backed by the West and controversial Dutch report with organisations such as Bellingcat, responsible for also pushing false flag narratives in Syria) to the ensuing ethnic cleansing of Jews and Russians in Donbass and the constant barrage of artillery from the Ukrainian military. In the words of one Ukrainian couple“the Ukrainian [government] side shoots whenever they want; no one holds them accountable.”

As one article sums up, “the mainstream media has been so effective in its misinformation that every aspect of this crisis has been turned upside down for the Donbass people. They are defended by people who have given up their former lives only to be called terrorists. They are represented by journalists who reject the western narrative only to be called propagandists. They receive humanitarian aid and political support from Russia who in turn is called the aggressor.”

Another article entitled “The Fourth Reich? Why Ukraine coup should worry us all” goes into great detail on the fears that the neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine have instilled and goes on to name several of the groups. These include “Svoboda” (Freedom) Party, “Patriots of Ukraine”, “Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self Defense” (UNA-UNSO), and “Trizub”.

Many members of Svoboda, formerly known as the ‘Social-National Party of Ukraine’ and the Azov Battalion are also unsurprisingly pro-NATO and pro-EU.

Two popular uses of a NATO flag, to be held by neo-Nazi in Ukraine or burnt by Serbs in protest.

With the election of Donald Trump in 2016, foreign policy shifted and consequently the war in Ukraine died down. Throughout Trump’s presidency there was progress towards cooperation, the election of Zelensky also saw talks between Ukraine and Russia ensue. Now, with the return of Biden there has recently been a surge of media reports of fear mongering about Russia’s actions in Ukraine (see below). Even in 2020, the fighting in the Donbass started to pick up again with 300 dead soldiers in Donbass. With a clown like Zelensky in charge, Ukraine is at the mercy of the US and their pet neo-Nazi project. The last time neo-Nazis had any power on the Russian border 27 million people died. Putin shares this concern and worries about the nationalist presence stating “we have seen the way Zelensky talks to the nationalists, and it’s not clear who has the upper hand there”.

Whilst the UK is scrambling Typhoons over Romania, article after article is producing fear about the “threat” of Russia (see “Recent Tensions” section below). The western media is constantly blaming Russia for escalating tensions. What for exactly? Apparently for moving troops. Their own troops. In their own borders. Despite this so-called “threat”, which is really just a propaganda campaign to mask the Ukrainian goals of crushing the rebels, the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov replied to this surge of reporting by stating, “many ask what the Russian Army is doing on the border with Ukraine. The answer is simple: we live there, that’s our country. But what the US is doing thousands of kilometers from its own territory, this question remains unanswered”. Indeed in complete hypocrisy the US has “In total, 40 thousand military personnel and 15 thousand units of weapons and military equipment, including strategic aviation” in the region.

To understand why this is happening at this time there are two main points. One, as explained before, is the return of Joe Biden and the imperialist vulture cabinet that made-up Obama’s administration. Two, is that Russia seeks to abandon the dollar and western payment systems and has been trying for some time now.

We must also never forget the sheer value Russia holds for the imperialists abroad, in Albert Kahn and Michael Sayer’s book “The Great Conspiracy: The Secret War against Soviet Russia”, they describe how as “Anglo-French troops and munitions poured into Siberia, the Bulletin of the British Federation of Industries, the most powerful association of British industrialists, exclaimed in print: – “Siberia, the most gigantic prize offered to the civilized world since the discovery of the Americas!”. It also details an account of a Japanese salesman who stated, “Russia, with her 180,000,000 of people, with her fertile soil stretching from Central Europe across Asia to the shores of the Pacific and from the Arctic down to the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea . . . market possibilities such as even the most optimistic dared not dream of. . . . Russia, potentially and actually – the granary, the fishery, the lumber-yard, the coal, gold, silver and platinum mine of the world!”. Indeed Russia is much different now from a hundred years ago, yet still holds a lot of value that capital seeks to dominate.

The reality is that in the pursuits of war from the bloodthirsty nature of capital, the United States will let all of Ukraine be bombed back to the stone age in order to regain what they lost under Yeltsin. They will fight Russia to the last Ukrainian, Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani and Syrian for the profits of Wall Street. After the resistance to the Euromaidan coup, Joe Biden in the words of one New York Times article, “pressed President Barack Obama to take decisive action, and fast, to make Moscow “pay in blood and money” for its aggression.” The rhetoric is deliberate. The ethnic-Russians that live in Ukraine are deemed “invaders” against the ethnic-Ukrainians, the actions of the US and Ukraine would be the equivalent of claiming Hispanic Americans in the US are “invaders” against the “real” – likely white – “Americans”. One does not even need to make-up comparisons, for this is exactly what the US did in Croatia and Bosnia, where the former became a crypto-fascist state “for Croats” (consequently expelling hundreds of thousands of Serbs from Krajina) led by the Holocaust denying Franjo Tuđman and the latter would be proclaimed to be a far-right Islamic State by the former-SS officer Alija Izetbegovic. The same fascistic forced flooded with ethnic-chauvinism currently flood Ukraine with funding and weapons from the US to Israel.

For the same reason Iraq was invaded, Yugoslavia dismantled, and Libya, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Korea, Indonesia and so many more bombed, Ukraine will be next. The DPR leaders and people of Donbass know the war is coming back, the leaders of Russia are also preparing, the fears of Ukraine being another Rwanda or Bosnia where fascistic figures like Naser Oric slaughtered fifty Serb villages spring to mind given the current atmosphere of anti-Semitism and Russophobia from Ukrainian nationalists.

The threats loom large. Solidarity with the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic against neo-Nazis is paramount. The security of anyone who does not bear the “blood and soil” of Ukrainian nationalists and who does not uphold the banner of Bandera is at risk.

The US currently occupies Ukraine. US army generals (which are often the ones to spill the truth on US war crimes; Yugoslavia; Iraq; Yemen, etc.) expose just how prepared they are. The US also has biological warfare labs in Ukraine, any one of which can release toxins that can commit war crimes and create falseflags for which the US will never be held to account.

Whilst NATO pushes for war against Russia through its colonisation of Ukraine and Operation Barbarossa 2.0, the Ukrainian people, the majority of which want peace, are left as pawns in a geopolitical game of the US Empire. This inter-imperialist conflict is not in the interest of any worker. As Lenin said “war cannot be abolished unless classes are abolished and Socialism is created”, whilst this is the primary aim of revolutionaries Lenin also said “if tomorrow, Morocco were to declare war on France, India on England, Persia or China on Russia, and so forth,
those would be “just” “defensive” wars, irrespective of who attacked first; and every Socialist would sympathise with the victory of the oppressed, dependent, unequal states against the oppressing, slave-owning, predatory “great” powers.” 
It is the duty therefore to stand in solidarity with those vulnerable in Donbass and against US imperialism and Nazi fascism, not only because Lenin deemed it as “just”, but because of the genuine threats the situation in Ukraine poses to millions of people.

Evan Richards, is a member of the YCL’s Yorkshire district

Forces escalating in Ukraine

The predicted mess of Joe Biden’s presidency

Ukrainian coup

The anti-Communism of Ukraine

Georgia & Chechnya

Nazis in Ukraine

Ethnic cleansing and genocide

Odessa Massacre

Recent tensions