17

May

10:08pm
Ian Beddowes Zimbabwe
UKRAINE: An historical background to the US/NATO proxy war against Russia

UKRAINE: An historical background to the US/NATO proxy war against Russia

Ian Beddowes Zimbabwe//10:08pm, May 17th '23

Russia, under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, has challenged the right of the USA to implement regime change through the use of extremist groups, terrorism and media manipulation and then establish military bases in the territory of its newly acquired ‘ally’.

This is what USA is attempting to do with Ukraine.

NATO, formed in 1949 to advance the Cold War, mainly at the instigation of the USA, has in recent years, distinguished itself by the destruction of Yugoslavia, the bombing of Iraq, the destruction of Libya and the terrorising of Afghan peasants in a bloody and fruitless war. The USA has around 800 military bases around the world in some 80 countries. It has divided the world into military commands. No other country has, in the history of humanity, ever had such a worldwide military presence. Europe is under EUCOM (European Command), India is under PACOM (Pacific Command and Africa is under AFRICOM (Africa Command).

Already there are US bases in countries close to Russia such as Poland and Turkey. Russia does not have any bases next to the USA, and in fact when the Soviet Union started to put missile bases in Cuba in 1962, the USA threatened nuclear war.

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This is the big picture.

Now let us study the historical relationship between Ukraine and Russia:

The Eastern Slavs were one people speaking one language up until 1000 years ago. And even today, there are people speaking dialects intermediate between Russian and Ukrainian.

Towards the end of the 9th century Prince Oleg of Novgorod relocated to Kyiv/Kiev, now the capital of Ukraine and established a kingdom of East Slavic people. This stretched across the land of modern central Russia and Ukraine west of the Urals, the concept of Russia and Ukraine as separate countries was unknown. Vladimir the Great, who was the first Russian Prince to make Orthodox Christianity the state religion, came to the throne in 980 and is recognised by Russians and Ukrainians alike.

Around 1240 came the Mongol invasion and the destruction of the old Rus, as it was known. It took another 200 years for new principalities to be formed as Mongol control weakened. In the 16th century, Prince Ivan III of Moscow, better known to history as Ivan the Terrible, united the Russian lands as the first Tsar. There was no specific territory or people known as ‘Ukraine’.

The Zaporzhian Cossacks, composed mostly of independent peasants who had run away from serfdom in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and had settled around the Dnieper River are believed to have used the term ‘Ukraine’ in the 16th century. It is generally agreed that ‘Ukraine’ means ‘borderlands’ — and it had no fixed boundaries.

Some people speaking the dialect which later became the Ukrainian language settled in Galicia, then in the Austrian Empire, and it was from this group that Ukrainian nationalism spread. During the 19th century, various nationalist movements grew up in Europe based on ethnicity. They challenged the rule of big nations, but also could be cruel to others. This was a particular feature of the Ukrainian nationalists.

In 1917, during the chaos of the First World War, Symon Petlyura became a military leader of the Ukrainian nationalists and later ruler of a large section of Ukraine until finally defeated in 1920 by the Ukrainian Bolsheviks. Petlyura’s Army was known for ethnic cleansing and the slaughter of thousands of Jews who formed about 15% of the Ukrainian population at that time.

At the end of 1917, the Ukrainian Soviet Republic was formed and eventually, as the Bolsheviks expanded their power during the Civil War, by 1920 had secured its rule over the whole of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic then joined the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics at the time of its formation at the end of December 1922.

Now we need to deal with one of the biggest slanders made against the Soviet government by the Ukrainian Nazis and their western backers. This is the often repeated lie that in 1932, the Soviet Union deliberately engineered a famine which killed 4 million Ukrainians. The formulators of falsified history refer to this as the ‘Holodomor’ and this idea is used to create hatred against Russians and against Communists among young Ukrainians. In fact the term ‘Holodomor’ was unknown before the early 1980s.

This hideous lie was perpetuated in the West by the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute founded in 1975 but which received heavy funding after the election of President Ronald Reagan in 1981 which marked the beginning of the destructive neoliberal agenda. The pseudo-documentary film Harvest of Despair was then produced with the assistance of Ukrainian Nazis in Canada in 1985 and in 1986 British disinformation specialist Robert Conquest published his book Harvest of Sorrow which was taken apart in the well-researched Fraud, Famine and Fascism by Douglas Tottle written in 1987 and available online.

What are the facts?

1. Old Russia, including Ukraine, was subject to drought and famine every 8 to 10 years due to erratic rainfall patterns. The majority of peasants throughout the Russian Empire had suffered poverty, malnutrition and occasional starvation for hundreds of years.

2. V.I. Lenin, on 26th October 1917, the day after the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, announced that all land belonged to those who worked on it. They no longer had to pay any form of rent to the landowners.

3. The Russian Empire as a whole had been a place of primitive agricultural methods. With industrialisation under the Soviet Union came a growing urban population which needed to be fed.

4. The rich peasants known as the kulaks (fists), found it profitable to hoard grain in order to put up prices. They were holding the USSR to ransom.

5. In 1927, as part of the first 5-year plan, it was decided to mechanise and collectivise agriculture. The growing population of the USSR could not be fed by small-scale peasant production.

6. Landless peasants, poor peasants and many middle peasants were happy to sign up for the collective farms. The kulaks, who in Ukraine were supported by Ukrainian nationalists, were unhappy with collectivisation.

7. At Kharkov/Kharkiv in Ukraine, enthusiastic workers established a tractor factory outside of the 5-year plan.

8. 1932 was a hot and dry year. There was little rain. Hot and dry conditions led to a typhoid epidemic. It was also a time of collectivisation. Kulaks and Ukrainian nationalists destroyed livestock and burnt cops and boasted about it.

9. Realistic estimates show that around 1.8 million people died during this period, the majority from typhoid, and not all of them were in Ukraine as the drought affected surrounding areas of Russia and even Kazakhstan.

10. Due to collectivisation and improved agricultural techniques there was no famine anywhere in the Soviet Union after 1932, (Save during the Nazi occupation 1941-1944).

11. Written reports by German officers during the occupation show that although the Nazis asked the peasants to de-collectivise, they refused saying that they were better off under the collective.

12. Most of the stories about the ‘Holodomor’ used by Robert Conquest in Harvest of Sorrow come from the Hearst press and from ‘reporters’ who it can be shown, never visited Ukraine. William Randolph Hearst is known as the ‘Father of Yellow Journalism’ in the USA.

13. Most of the photos used in Harvest of Sorrow are actually stills made from a Soviet Famine Relief film made for the 1921-1922 Volga Famine which occurred in an area which had only come under Soviet control in 1920 at the end of the Civil War. None of the photos is actually of the 1932 famine.

It is important to go through this matter in a little detail as these lies are still being perpetrated inside Ukraine and in the West and have been an important factor in the war of falsification.

When the Nazis invaded the USSR in 1941, many Ukrainians in the extreme west of Ukraine joined the Nazis, and some 200,000 joined various Nazi formations, some directly under the German SS. The Ukrainian divisions were noted for their extreme cruelty massacring not only Jews but more than 100,000 Poles. They were also distinguished themselves as concentration camp guards.

The majority of the Ukrainian Nazis came from the regions of Volhynia and Galicia which had been annexed by Poland in 1919. Following the refusal of the West, including Poland to make a deal with the USSR in 1938, the USSR made a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany in August 1939. Germany invaded Poland on 1st September 1939. The Red Army only entered eastern Poland on 17th September 1939 after the Polish government had gone into exile. The majority population of this region was Ukrainian. This much criticised agreement gave the USSR time to re-arm and extra territory once the inevitable Nazi invasion began in June 1941.

It was from these territories that had formed eastern Poland between the two World Wars that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainian nationalists came. They were enthusiastic in their support for the German Nazis whose ideology they eagerly adopted. Their message was fostered by the USA and its allies after the Second World War and is largely responsible for the current war.

It should be noted that around 250,000 Ukrainians fought bravely in Soviet partisan units and 4.5 million in the Red Army.

As the German Nazis were being pushed westward by the Red Army in 1944, Ukrainian Nazis, including wanted war criminals fled towards the American lines where they were welcomed in preparation for the coming Cold War. In fact as soon as the war was over, the followers of Stepan Bandera began an anti-Soviet guerrilla campaign which lasted until 1955, they were armed by the USA and Britain.

The Communist hero, Kim Philby, a Soviet agent working for British intelligence became head of MI.6. Philby never in fact spied against Britain. In fact his job was to parachute Ukrainian Nazis into the Soviet Union, where of course, they were immediately picked up.

In 1991 came the betrayal by Gorbachev and Yeltsin and the elitist stratum which they represented and the consequent dissolution of the Soviet Union. At a referendum held early in 1991, 70% of Ukrainians voted to retain the Soviet Union, but following the dissolution of the USSR, the independence of Ukraine was recognised.

Despite all the problems, the Communist Party of Ukraine was still quite popular winning nearly 20% of the votes in 2001. Problems really started in 2004 with the so-called ‘Orange Revolution’. In 2004 Viktor Yanukovych was elected President with a very narrow majority over his rival Viktor Yushchenko. Supporters of Yushchenko, fed with the Holodomor narrative and funded by the USA, came to the streets and forced the Ukrainian Supreme Court to reverse the decision. Yushchenko had most of his support from western Ukraine and wanted closer links with the European Union, while Yanukovych drew most of his support from the east and supported strengthening existing relations with Russia.

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In 2010. Yanukovych was again elected President. He remained in office until 2014 when he was driven out by the Nazi-led Maidan Coup. Because President Yanukovych had agreed to make closer links with Russia rather than with the European Union, demonstrations broke out led by CIA-funded Nazi groups. Right Sector, Aidar and in particular Azov Battalion trained by Blackwater, the US private security company which does undercover work for the US State Department. The Azov Battalion is openly racist and openly Nazi. It uses the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol. Since 2014 all Soviet War memorials have been removed from Ukraine and replaced either by statues of Stepan Bandrea or memorials to the ‘Holodomor’ an event which never happened except in Nazi/US propaganda.

In 2014, the first targets were trade union buildings which were burnt down with trade unionists still inside. Those trying to leave the burning buildings were shot by Nazis. This happened both in Kyiv and Odessa. The Communist Party of Ukraine was driven underground and soon after made illegal. Eastern Ukraine has never been Ukrainian-speaking historically and there was immediate rejection of the coup government ⸺ even in some areas of western Ukraine initially.

The Crimea had never been part of Ukraine historically and under the Soviet Union had only been transferred from the Russian Federation to Ukraine in 1954 for purely administrative reasons. In 2014 the population had no interest in remaining as part of fascist Ukraine. Similarly, Lugansk and Donetsk established independent republics but came under constant attack from the Azov Battalion and other fascists. War and associated atrocities including the shelling of civilians in the People’s Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk continued for 8 years and accelerated under the Biden administration.

Since the time of Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton there was an aggressive foreign policy against Russia which was softened under Donald Trump. Joe Biden is from the Clintonite camp of liberal-fascists; that is those in the Democratic Party who while mouthing ‘Human Rights’ are involved in the funding of terror groups and using them as a pretext for aggressive military expansion.

We should remember that the biggest war ever on African soil, the Congo War of 1998-2003 was funded and directed by the USA and initiated by Bill Clinton. The destruction of Africa’s most advanced country, Libya, was carried out by NATO under the presidency of Barrack Obama.

The Biden administration pushed Ukraine towards greater violence against Lugansk and Donetsk and to agitate for entry into NATO. Had Ukraine became a member of NATO, it had the right to ask other NATO countries to intervene in case of problems with Russia.

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With attacks on the Russian-speaking population of Donetsk and Lugansk increasing, the Russian government had little option but to intervene against the hostile terrorist state on its doorstep. Having persuaded the Ukrainian government to ask to join NATO, the USA and EU has now refused to send troops against the might of the Russian army and has simply put sanctions against Russia, introducing censorship and blocking news from RT and Sputnik.

Blocking Russia from the Swift clearing system has merely ensured that it joins the Chinese clearing system. Putin has called their bluff.

As the Hungarian Workers’ Party has said in its statement:

Russia has been dragged into this war by NATO, the US and the EU. The war was provoked by the West, prepared by the West, and now the West wants to shift responsibility to Russia.

“It was not Russia that sent soldiers to Mexico, but the United States to Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, and the Baltic States…

“We support the assessment of events by the Communists of Russia and Belarus. The NATO war is directed against their peoples, against the independence of their countries.

There has been a personalised propaganda campaign against Vladimir Putin, including the prepetition of the words, ‘Putin’s War’ ⸺ even by some elements who regard themselves as ‘Communist’.

That Putin is a Russian nationalist and not a Communist, and that he has criticised Lenin and Stalin is beyond dispute, but that he is somehow responsible for this war?

This is against all known facts and against all logic.

From 1944, through the early 1950s and with a revival in the 1980s and again in 2004 and then 2014, the USA and Britain have pushed the Ukrainian Nazi agenda.

In 2014 the Nazi coup led to revulsion by many citizens of Ukraine ⸺ more particularly the Russian speakers of Crimea and the Donbass. The people of Crimea in particular had shown reluctance to remain as part of Ukraine from the beginning of the destruction of the USSR. It was also obvious that the USA had hoped to secure the Russian naval base at Sevastopol for themselves. In the event, 86% of the people of Crimea voted to join the Russian Federation. Subsequent polls by Western organisations have shown that only 7% believe that Crimea should have stayed with Ukraine and that around 67% of Ukrainian speakers in Crimea are happier belonging to the Russian Federation.

A series of agreements known as the Minsk accords was finalised in 2015. These gave The Donbass republics, the People’s Republic of Donetsk and the People’s Republic of Lugansk autonomous status within Ukraine. They would have allowed these people to use the Russian language.

In fact, before the coup of 2014, 44% of the population, mostly in eastern and southern Ukraine, spoke Russian as a first language and this had been so since the formation of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922. Even after Ukraine obtained independence from the USSR in 1991, the status quo in terms of language remained until 2014. Russia continually tried to reach a negotiated settlement, but shelling of civilian populations increased until February 2022. It was only then, after 8 years of war between the Ukrainian government and the People’s Militias of Donbass that Putin finally launched Russia’s Special Military Operation. It was done with minimum force with the intention of forcing a negotiated settlement.

But the USA took this as a sign of weakness. Ukraine demanded that the Donbass and Crimea return to Ukraine despite the will of the population of those territories.

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkle has since admitted that there was never any serious intent to make peace and that the Minsk Accords were there to give time to Ukraine to arm. It was during this period that the USA built the extensive Bakhmut military complex, currently falling to Russian forces.

President Putin has now made it clear that he now intends to incorporate all Russian-speaking areas into the Russian Federation but has no intention of trying to incorporate Ukrainian-speaking areas. All Russia wants to see there is de-Nazification and a neutral government.

The consequences of the US/NATO hybrid war have been enormous. Sanctions against Russia have rebounded. US companies which had penetrated Russia have now had their assets seized following the seizure of Russian assets in the USA. It has now been shown that without any doubt, the US sabotaged the Nordstream gas pipeline supplying cheap Russian gas to Germany. This has now severely undermined the German economy.

Russia has increased its exports to India and China. The attempts to weaponise the US dollar by confiscating (stealing) the assets of other countries in US banks have severely undermined trust in the dollar, and traditional allies of the USA such as Saudi Arabia and Japan are also de-dollarising.

The billions given to Ukraine for weapons (many of them being sold on the black market to Islamic extremists) has served to hasten the destruction of the economies of the USA and Europe and may well end the NATO alliance.

Two US banks have collapsed in the last couple of days and experts are predicting that by June this year, the USA will no longer be able to pay its debts. Inevitably, the USA will be forced to close its military bases.

BRICS and the other countries now joining will be creating a new international monetary regime. Not yet socialism, and new contradictions will arise. But US terrorism, military and financial will be severely undermined if not totally destroyed by the end of 2023.

The Zimbabwe Communist Party looks forward to a speedy victory and de-Nazification of Ukraine. We would remind people that across Ukraine, all war memorials commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany have been removed and replaced by memorials to Stepan Bandera and other Nazi collaborators and murderers; that Nazi gangs, including racist thugs from across Europe, are the ones in real control, not the clown President Volodomyr Zelensky. Some Communists have condemned Russia, and in particular President Putin, for taking military action, pointing out that Russia is no longer a socialist country and that Putin is anti-Communist. To this we reply: Because Russia is no longer socialist, is it acceptable for a NATO base to be established on its border by a country ruled by Nazi thugs? We cannot, in a dogmatic fashion, look at the current world in the same way that Lenin looked at the world in 1916 in which there were two evenly balanced opposing imperialist blocs fighting each other. “The living soul of Marxism is the concrete analysis of concrete conditions.” V.I. Lenin Today the USA and its NATO allies have an overwhelming military presence throughout the world and are still trying to push that even further. They have the whole world divided into military commands. They have funded extremists everywhere, jihadists in the Middle East, Nazis in Ukraine. To call Russia imperialist’ in the present world order and under present conditions is to objectively support the continuation of NATO domination. Forward with the de-Nazification of Ukraine !! Forward with Reconstruction of Ukraine!! HANDS OFF RUSSIA !! The ZCP further calls for the rolling back of NATO and US domination everywhere and especially on our continent, Africa.

We call for the removal of all foreign bases from African soil. Down with AFRICOM !! Down with the French occupation !! HANDS OFF AFRICA !

Editor's Note:

The views and informations expressed in the article are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect the views of The International. We believe in providing a platform for a range of viewpoints from the left.

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