22/12/2023 strategic-culture.su  8min 🇬🇧 #239649

 La guerre en Ukraine est terminée

Time to Admit Us. and Nato Bit off More Than They can Chew in Ukraine Proxy War

While thousands of Ukrainians die on the battlefield as the war with Russia continues, it does not appear that Washington or London are willing to admit defeat, writes Oscar van Heerden. 

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How many Ukrainians must die before the US and its Western allies grow a conscience?

It's wrong what they are doing to the Ukrainian people, and all this under the guise that the protracted war with Russia is what the Ukrainians want. Ukrainians, I'm sure, did not sign up for a war of attrition with Russia where hundreds of thousands of mainly Ukrainian men are injured and/or dying. The fact that everyone on both sides of the war chooses to remain numb to the figures of the dead suggests that the numbers are very high.

Why, then, is the Ukrainian government forcing young and old men on the streets of Kyiv to enlist and go to the front lines to be butchered by Russian forces? Why is the Ukrainian government, led by President Volodymyr Zelensky, requesting European governments to send Ukrainian men, who are legal immigrants and refugees in such countries, back to Ukraine against their will so they may be enlisted to go to the front lines of this war?

According to the website  visitukraine.today, a new procedure for keeping military records of men was approved in Ukraine.

"One of the clauses of the resolution obliges foreign embassies to inform Ukrainian citizens abroad about the start of new conscription and to facilitate their return home if mobilisation is taking place in the motherland. After the changes in the legislation, they began to discuss the possible deportation of Ukrainians from the EU," the website states.

Ukrainians are dying terribly in this war, and no one seems to care.

No one wants to stop the war

Apportioning blame to Russia is one way of dealing with this conflict, but the reality is that no one seems to want to put a stop to it.

If indeed Zelensky cared about his fellow citizens' welfare and lives, surely by now he would have realised that this war is going nowhere, that the much-touted counter-offensive has failed, and that by starting negotiations with the Russians he can end this carnage once and for all.

However, under martial law, he has passed legislation making it illegal to negotiate peace with Russia while Vladimir Putin remains Russia's president.

It's a cop-out position to state that Russia can at any time stop this war if it withdraws all its troops from Ukrainian land. Why would Russia do that when it claims to be winning the war? And why would it do that if it started this conflict because of NATO's expansion and when it claimed the people of the Donbas region were being persecuted by their own government while the rest of Europe did nothing? Not even the UN-adopted "responsibility to protect" is being invoked...

We've seen how the West can be trusted regarding agreements and negotiations. Former German chancellor Angela  Merkel admitted last year in an interview with Germany's Zeit magazine that the Minsk agreements were an attempt to "give Ukraine time" to build up its defences. We've seen that even when negotiations were concluded and signed in Turkey just weeks before the war broke out, it was not honoured by the Zelensky government.

So, tell me, why would Russia want to now, yet again, put its trust in the "collective West" and agree to what exactly? Whichever way you slice this matter, the truth is that Russia has been begging NATO not to expand eastwards for decades. To justify NATO's continuous existence, it must, one, have a common enemy and why not the old foe, the Soviet Union, in its reincarnation? Two, it must continue expanding to enlarge and encircle the so-called enemy, Russia.

Zelensky's US trip

Russia was weak in the early 1990s and hence expansion could not be stopped. Ten eastern European countries were allowed into NATO, most of them bordering Russia, and then a second expansion took place. Russia did nothing but complain, and it was clear what the intention was. Russia could see it too, and it prepared because it knew that the final straw would be Ukraine.

Strategically, with regard to Black Sea access, Ukraine joining NATO would pose a direct threat to the sovereignty and national security of Russia. The 2014 popular uprising that saw former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich forced from office was the starting block towards conflict, which saw Russia annexing Crimea because of its strategic location. The rest is history, meaning we all know what has happened since then and here we are today - witnessing an ongoing war of attrition, with both sides doing everything they can to win.

Earlier this week, Zelensky took a wartime trip to the US to appear before the UN General Assembly. He also visited Canada.

House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy refused to allow Zelensky to address the joint sitting of the House as was the case in the past, citing time constraints. it appears McCarthy is walking a thin line within his party as many Republicans and some Democrats are not eager and downright hostile to any suggestion of additional aid for Zelensky's government, asking questions about the accountability of previous billions sent to Ukraine.

Weapons systems, artillery and ammunitions all came to nought even though the American people and European parliaments were all promised that the counter-offensive would deliver victory, or at the very least significant advances by the Ukrainians.

Earlier this year,  The Washington Post reported that Zelensky was more than happy to use risky military actions such as occupying Russian villages to gain leverage over Moscow; bombing a pipeline that transfers Russian oil to Hungary, a NATO member; and privately pining for long-range missiles to hit targets inside Russia's borders. This is contained in classified US intelligence documents detailing Zelensky's internal communications with top aides and military leaders. The authenticity of the materials has not been disputed.

The one man standing and supporting Zelensky is US President Joe Biden.

Why, you might wonder. Well, it's because of the upcoming presidential election in 2024. Biden must be seen as strong and resolute with regard to this war. Being seen as faltering in this regard will not bode well for him and the Democratic Party.

The reality is that Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz all realise that their chosen actor, Zelensky, who was once compared with Winston Churchill nogal, is a failure; a walking disaster going around with a begging bowl for a war that seems unwinnable.


"Fighting for freedom" and "sovereignty" are being bandied around, but these are elements that were elusive in Ukraine even before this war. In fact, before the war, there was a clampdown on all alternative voices and media outlets in the country.

According to Reuters, the Ukrainian government in 2021 restricted media and the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, violating international law. Eleven opposition parties were suspended during the period of martial law due to alleged links to Russia and now Zelensky has indefinitely postponed the next general election, where, in my opinion, he knows he will certainly be voted out for failing his people.

The harsh sanctions against Russia have not worked. In fact, the Russian economy is growing, unlike most European economies that are going into recession. Russia's oil and gas sales are through the roof, and everyone is buying despite sanctions, including European countries themselves. Liquified gas sales to Europe have been up by 35% over the past few months.

Why not acknowledge the obvious - the US and NATO bit off more than they can chew. Zelensky's kicking and screaming over the past few days did have at least some success. A few Abrams tanks from the US have arrived, combat-ready. I fear what we will see over the next few weeks is footage of these very sophisticated tanks burning on the battlefield just like all the other impressive equipment received from Ukraine's sponsors. Ukrainian troops are only receiving weeks of training for intricate weapons systems instead of the months that are required to make them field-ready.

But it seems peace efforts from African leaders, Chinese leaders and even the Pope all fall on deaf ears. By all accounts, Washington and London want this war to continue.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) was quick to issue an arrest warrant for a particular atrocity against Putin, but is conspicuously silent when it comes to alleged atrocities by Zelensky, Biden, Sunak and others.

The US sent controversial cluster munitions and depleted uranium shells to Ukraine, yet ICC chief prosecutor Karim Asad Ahmad Khan remains silent. Surely, double-standards are at play?

This is yet another reminder to us in the global south that the rules which govern the world order were not written by us. This war must stop... It's terrible what is happening to our fellow brothers and sisters in both Ukraine and Russia.