The war in Ukraine is reaching a crucial point. Western sanctions against Russia, aimed at defeating their defensive Special Military Operation (SMO) to protect and liberate the Russian and Russian-speaking people of South and East Ukraine, are clearly failing. They are inflicting far more hardship on the people of Western Europe than on Russia, including a prolonged stagflation recession in Britain triggered by high energy prices which these sanctions are contributing to, as well as a similar, wider recession in the EU which appears also to be imminent. Germany, the economic powerhouse of the EU, is being crucified by gas shortages and energy prices because of its own sanctions in defence of Nazi Ukraine. This was put on a more permanent basis by the evident US/British act of terrorism against the two Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic in September, which can also be considered an act of war against Germany as well as Russia. The moronic British ex- PM Liz Truss is personally implicated in this as Russian intelligence made public the results of their hacking of her phone. She texted “its done” to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken only a couple of minutes after the Nord Stream bombing took place, before the press got hold of it, which speaks volumes about who was involved in the plot to blow it up and who actually did it.
Terrorism has become a modus operandi of the Western military operation in Ukraine particularly over the last few months, as they have got more desperate, knowing full well that Ukraine is going to lose this conflict despite all the NATO weaponry shipped in. This has not been particularly effective in doing damage to the Russian military but has caused a steady stream of civilian deaths and horrendous injuries particularly in the liberated and semi-liberated areas. Donetsk city has been a particular target for NATO civilian murder and maiming. The desperation has been evident in such actions as the 8October bombing of the Kerch Bridge (road and rail) to Crimea with a truck bomb apparently driven by a duped driver who was unaware he was carrying a bomb. The Russian response to this was a massive counterattack right across Ukraine, which did not kill civilians but attacked the power infrastructure – substations and distribution points were destroyed by Russian missiles right across Ukraine, affecting both the ability of Ukraine to continue waging war and causing considerable problems to the civilian population with a lack of power and warmth for the coming winter.
Both the Kerch Bridge bombing and a 29 October drone attack on the Russian Navy in the City of Sevastopol, again in Crimea, used the concessions made by Russia earlier in the conflict to allow grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports and relieve an international grain and hunger crisis, as means to mount terrorist attacks. Russia responded to the second attack by suspending the agreement earlier made with Ukraine, only for it to be un-suspended in days when NATO member Turkey insisted that Ukraine give additional guarantees that the agreement not be so abused again. The escalation of terrorism by Ukraine has been met by repeated waves of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s electricity system, so much so that Ukraine’s whole energy system is close to collapse as we go to press at the end of November.
After one particularly effective wave of such strikes, on November 15th, a missile was fired from Zelensky-ruled Western Ukraine over the border into Poland, which hit a farm and killed two people. Zelensky immediately accused Russia of being responsible, trying to manoeuvre NATO into intervening directly in the war, which would signify the actual outbreak of World War 3. Zelensky is desperate to provoke such a war if he can. He was repudiated by Biden, by the Polish President Duda, and then by an anonymous NATO official who told the Financial Times (16 Nov) that the Ukraine regime is “destroying our confidence” and “openly lying”. This was so brazen, and its possible consequences so serious, that the imperialists were forced to repudiate their protégé on this occasion. This has certainly opened many eyes in the West as to the real nature of the conflict.
But usually they lie, as other examples clearly show, such as the very dangerous and persistent shelling by Ukraine of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which has been under Russian control since March, being routinely and absurdly blamed by Western media and politicians on Russia. And another very dangerous example of this that appears (so far) to have been foiled by Russian intelligence and diplomacy was the threat to set off a Dirty Bomb (an ordinary explosive bomb laced with nuclear waste material) as a false flag to try to accuse Russia. Such an action would contaminate surrounding countries and cause similar or worse effects to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Similar false flags about chemical weapons have been mooted and ascribed to Russia in the media as part of the information war; these have also been exposed at the UN, among other international forums. Such false flags were used on more than one occasion to justify US bombing attacks in Syria. And there is the notorious presence of dozens of US funded biological laboratories in Ukraine, whose sinister nature was let out of the bag by US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in April, who said that the US was working with Ukraine to stop their work falling into the hands of “Russian forces”, indicating clearly that these biolabs have a military purpose. They flinched from Zelenksy’s open attempt to initiate WW3 over his missile attack on Poland, but they have been flirting with such things for years.
Chinks of Light in Western Media
As the fortunes of the Nazi Maidan regime are going down, some of their habitual war crimes have recently been getting some coverage in the Western media. Such as the recent film of captured Russian soldiers being summarily executed, shot in the head at point-blank range by their Nazi captors. This was authenticated by the New York Times, while it continued to promote all other kinds of ridiculous allegations against ordinary Russian soldiers as a matter of course. But the declining fortune of the Ukrainian Nazi puppet regime has its own political impact, as its crimes cannot be indefinitely covered up and those who try worry that they might one day be held accountable. They need some wriggle room. Not only that, but there have been some cryptic indications in some media that there is pressure from the US on Zelensky to agree to negotiate with the Russians at some level, and even speculation in some quarters that he might be replaced, though nothing very tangible to substantiate such speculation. But perhaps these are straws in the wind.
Murders committed in Kherson after the recent Russian retreat from there were covered in the Daily Mail (16 November) as various civilians were shown lined up against a fence, blindfolded, with ‘bloody’ faces. No doubt in preparation for being murdered. The Daily Mail has a long history of supporting and applauding fascism, but such boasting of attacks on civilians has generally been kept out of the Western media in favour of phoney nonsense about Russian soldiers raping babies and attempts to attribute similar murders of ‘collaborators’ to the Russians, with the pretence that the victims of such Nazi executions are Ukrainian civilians killed by Russian troops. At Bucha, at the end of March, the giveaway was that the corpses of the killed were wearing white arm bands that were given them by Russian troops precisely to identify them as civilians to avoid them being misidentified as enemies by the Russians. This naïve tactic led to them becoming targets for Avov Nazis when the Russians left, and they were simply butchered.
Imperialist Russophobia: Nazi-like Racism and Counterrevolutionary Demonology
The mendacious Western media just parrots the propaganda of Ukrainian Nazis and attributes all such killings to the supposed barbarity of Russians in racial terms. The Ukrainian Nazis are less sanguine about this, as they call the Russian-speaking people and Russian soldiers in Ukraine ‘orcs’, which really has a similar connotation to ‘n****rs’ or ‘y*ds’. But the racist nature of this imperialist proxy war is also starkly visible in the West, not only in terms of boycotts of Russian state institutions, but also the bans against Russian sporting stars, cultural figures, and even long dead Russian authors such as Pushkin and Dostoyevsky, composers such as Tchaikovsky, and celebrated Cosmonauts such as Gagarin. The Western racist Russophobes in NATO claim to be objecting to Putin’s supposedly terrible regime, but that is evidently nonsense as such long dead figures never knew of Putin.
This kind of disgusting bigotry has reared its head throughout the imperialist world and reflects a racialised hatred of Russians that is actually similar to the racialised hatred of Jews that drove Hitler, among others. Recall that the Nazis hated Jews fundamentally because they considered them a kind of bacillus bring ‘communism’ to supposedly civilised imperial Germany. The contemporary hatred of Russians is driven by a similar antipathy: they are seen as the nation who above all embodied ‘Communism’ and whose workers’ state endured for three quarters of a century, far longer than any other. And now, even after the counterrevolution, they have rejected and retreated from the neoliberalism the Western powers prescribed for them and are among the most active opponents of Western imperialist world domination.
For all Putin’s social conservatism, the assertiveness he personifies is seen as crypto-communist by many imperialist ideologues, and despite all the mendacity in the Western media about Putin’s supposed weakness, he has a huge approval rating among Russians. That is how Russians are seen as a people by the Western imperialists, and the antipathy towards them is like that about Jews in the ideology of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a mixture of ethnic animosity and counterrevolutionary demonology.
The response of the Western powers to the recent referendum votes in the four Donbass provinces to join Russia is indicative of the same hatred. The Western media mocks them as supposedly fraudulent, as it did over Crimea earlier. But where such issues arise at home, as over Scotland and Catalonia, it seeks actively to prohibit such exercise of the right to self-determination. What it is really saying with these hysterical slurs is not that the mass sentiments of those that voted in these referenda are inaccurately represented in the results, but these populations are Untermensch who have no right to vote to separate in the first place. So that ‘justifies’ the Western supply of HIMARS to them to destroy their apartment blocks and petal mines to kill and maim their children and elderly as punishment for the whole population. This is an index of how the Hitlerite mentality has undergone a renaissance among the Western imperialist bourgeoisie.
Sanctions Backfire: Imperialist Decline
The West’s punitive measures have failed to hurt Russia very much economically – the Rouble has been the best performing currency in 2022, despite sanctions. This has its swings and roundabouts, as with all currency swings, but it is hardly a sign of weakness – since Russia’s main business worldwide is energy sales. These have been maintained despite imperialist sanctions as there are plenty of other customers outside the imperialist world. Russia’s clout in energy markets was demonstrated recently when the Biden administration demanded that the OPEC+ countries agree to a substantial increase in oil production to send prices downwards and ease the US ability to cope with the results of its own sanctions regime. They refused, with the West’s traditional allies like Saudi Arabia deferring to Russian, not US, sensibilities. Which caused a near-apoplectic response from Biden.
Western attempts to isolate Russia diplomatically have failed: the alternative bloc of non-imperialist nations, BRICS, has grown considerably stronger. Even without any new accessions, it represents 43% of humanity, and such countries as Argentina, Algeria, Iran, Turkey (also a NATO member), Egypt and Saudi Arabia have applied to join it, with Indonesia also a strong possibility. Part of its aim is to create a new ‘basket’ currency comprised of several important currencies from the non-imperialist world, to counter the decades-long domination of the world economy by the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. This looks set to eclipse the G20, the bloc the imperialists try to use to control the stronger non-imperialist powers.
This is itself a strong symptom of the decline of the United States as the world imperialist hegemon, and arguably a symptom of the decline of imperialist capitalism itself. NATO’s decades-long anti-Russian campaign which has culminated with this war has backfired enormously and threatens imperialist stability itself. Which is why this situation is generating such a hysterical response from the imperialist bourgeoisie and underlines the severe danger that imperialist capitalism represents to human existence, as it provides a motive for a potential fight-back against such decline by the methods of world war.
A Winter of Anti-Imperialist Victory?
The war has proved more protracted for the Russian forces than might have been hoped. When the SMO began on February 24th, eight days after the Maidan regime began a major bombardment of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, far from being a long-planned ‘invasion’, as per the Russophobic propaganda bombardment the jingo media in the West has long been emitting, it was done as a stopgap. 200,000 troops were sent in, but apparently on short-term, six-month contracts. Heavy reliance was placed on the volunteer militiamen from the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. Ukraine has suffered enormous casualties and losses in its various conflicts with the Russian Army in the last 9 months but has also been given by NATO massive numbers of the kind of weapons that are designed to kill and maim civilians. It is likely that the contradictory outcome of the US mid-term elections will have little impact on this. This includes such weapons as petal mines – supposedly outlawed small, disguised bombs that look innocuous and kill and maim the unwary – particularly children and the elderly. Along with the kind of rocketry – HIMARS etc — that such a murderous regime has no problem firing at civilian buildings. They had been doing it for 8 years previously, since the Maidan Nazi coup of 2014, and killed many thousands of civilians.
The stalling of the SMO over the last three months or so and the retreats of Russian forces first in the area around Kharkov in the North-East, and more recently to just outside the city of Kherson in the South, were caused by the makeshift and unprepared nature of the original SMO. In Kherson Russian forces decided to evacuate as many civilians as possible from the Right Bank of the Dneiper, where the bulk of the city is situated, retreating to the Left Bank, a more defensible position. This was dictated by a dangerous situation where undermanned Russian troops faced the possibility of an important dam being destroyed by the Nazis, and thousands of troops and many more civilians being trapped in a flooded city with their escape route cut off, because of the Dneiper, with its vulnerable bridges, being in the way.
However, both the Russian forces and the Donbass populations have been fighting back against the imperialist inspired Maidan counter-offensive. There is considerable evidence that, given the massive casualties sustained by the Ukrainian troops in the earlier part of the SMO, that the forces involved now are being commanded covertly by Western, including British, intelligence officers, and that many of those fighting, aside from the ideological Nazi elite forces like Azov, Aidar etc, are foreign fighters and mercenaries.
So, in September Putin announced a new mobilisation of 300,000 troops, mainly reservists who would be called up for as long as it takes. A new commander was also appointed over the SMO: General Sergei Surovikin, with a strong reputation from the victories he was able to win in Syria against the imperialist ‘regime change’ attempts and proxy war there. He is nicknamed “General Armageddon” by his own troops for his military unorthodoxy and determination in that conflict particularly. It is also worth noting that he was one of those in the old Soviet military who supported the August 1991 coup that was the last attempt by elements in the state apparatus to preserve the workers’ state. As opposed to Putin who resigned from the KGB at the time in protest at the August Coup. An interesting political distinction. He took the decision to withdraw to the Left Bank at Kherson in the interest of preserving both military and civilian lives in a dangerous situation which he lacked enough troops to deal with.
While Russia was withdrawing from Kherson, military activity has resumed in the Donetsk republic where slow advances were being made until the effective pause in Russian military activity after the earlier retreat from the Kharkov area, which prompted the September levy. Out of the 300,000 additional troops mobilised in late September, around 80,000 are now trained and operational, and are mainly being deployed in the heavily fortified Western Donetsk area. Bakhmut is once again being fought over. It seems likely that as the remaining 220,000 or so troops become fully operational, likely in December, there will be considerable Russian offensives, which will once again change the course of the war and see a Russian victory, the re-liberation of Kharkov and Kherson, the liberation of Odessa and the Russian-speaking part of former Ukraine up to the border with Transnistria, and the possibility of a democratic outcome of the war through the partition of Ukraine. It is not easy to predict outcomes of such a war, but that seems like a just and democratic outcome that could be negotiated, incorporating the denazification and demilitarisation of Ukraine and a rolling back of NATO’s aggression against Russia, which overtly began in Ukraine in 2014.