The situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border is getting worse. EU-Europe follows almost unconditionally the confrontation policy of the USA and NATO. An active commitment, especially by Germany and France, to the jointly developed goals of Minsk2 is not to be recognized, instead a campaign-like, almost primitive condemnation of Russia. The responsibility for the current situation lies with NATO, especially with the USA, but also with the federal government. NATO policy is confrontation policy, which at least accepts warlike conflicts by supporting the aggressive circles in Ukraine.
Nothing is harder and nothing requires more character than to be in open opposition to his time and say out loud: no.
I quote this quote from Kurt Tucholsky at the beginning of my remarks, because it is also about opposing the narrative of mainstream politics and media coverage with enlightenment and facts.
We are witnessing a massive transfer of troops and war material to the border between Ukraine and Russia, as well as to the internal line of conflict between Ukraine and the declared independent regions of Donbass and Lugansk. The military conflicts, the mutual shelling on the border between Ukraine and the People’s republics have increased massively – with casualties also in the civilian population and a renewed destruction of civilian infrastructure.
Contrary to all ceasefire and withdrawal agreements, the government of Ukraine has increased its troops in the crisis region to 90,000 (the other side has at most 30,000 people under arms), moved heavy artillery, rocket launchers and drones as well as over 100 tanks to the region (according to OSCE documents). In particular, the troop stationing on the border with Belarus was expanded. Several thousand right-wing radical and fascist " fighters “are ready for action"at the front”.
The Ukrainian army has been massively modernized, especially with US, but also NATO support. Between 30% and 40% of Ukraine’s budget goes into armaments. Up to 2,000 US soldiers will be temporarily stationed in Ukraine in 2021-permanent deployment is prohibited by the Ukrainian Constitution – and flown in via Ramstein Air Base. Warships are transferred to the Black Sea. The signs point to a military offensive. The offensive plans are confirmed, among others, by the commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Ruslan Khomchak.
At the same time, “Defender 21”, NATO’s largest military exercise in Europe, will begin in 2021 with around 30,000 soldiers in South-East Europe and the Black Sea region (including Romania/Bulgaria and the Sea of Azov). In the maneuver in Poland and in the Black Sea region, often near the border between Ukraine and Russia, the “repelling an attack from the East” is the central challenge – according to official NATO propaganda. Germany is once again the hub for troop transport and is involved with 430 of its own soldiers. Defender 21 may be NATO’s biggest maneuver, but it is far from the only one. As” telepolis " reported, the other maneuvers are: Steadfast Cobalt, Ramstein Apex, Ramstein Ambition, Steadfast Defender, Noble Bonus, Steadfast Jupiter, Steadfast Leda. It is obvious that these manoeuvres are directed against Russia.
Russia responds to the perceived threat by relocating 4,000 soldiers to its border with the West.
The NATO military structures in Eastern and Central Europe are being massively expanded. After the Poland-USA Agreement on enhanced Cooperation, 11 sites, including seven air bases, were massively expanded and modernized in Poland alone (including Lask, Podwitz, Mieroslawiec, Deblin). The so-called US/NATO missile defence shield in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria is ready for use and the defence systems can quickly be “reversed” into deployment systems for conventional and nuclear missiles. Then they are first strike weapons to eliminate the" second strike capabilities " of the opponent.
The partnership between NATO and Ukraine is becoming ever closer, NATO officers are training the Ukrainian army, new US weapons (especially drones and rocket launchers) are being procured. The President of Ukraine declares his country’s accession to NATO as the only way to resolve the simmering conflict in Donbass. NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg demonstratively visited Kiev and encouraged the government to continue its provocative course. US Defence Minister Austen expressed his support and underlined guarantees to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty.
The deployment of NATO troops in Ukraine was repeatedly described by Russia as crossing a “red line”. Counter-reactions are more than likely. Nevertheless, Ukraine desperately wants to become a member of NATO as soon as possible, although this is not possible – detached from the geostrategic consequences and distortions – according to NATO’s statute. This does not allow the membership of a country’s internal armed conflict.
Ukraine plans to build two new military bases, one on the Black Sea and the other on the Sea of Azov, the waterway separating Ukraine and Russia.
Ukraine and the People’s Republics of Donbass and Lugansk have ordered mobilization for military service.
The aim of Ukrainian government policy is to internationalize the conflict and especially to involve NATO even more actively in it. The dangers to European politics and security are obvious.
Russia, for its part, is clearly expanding its troop concentration on its western border – for pacifist reasons certainly to refuse (war is never the solution of conflicts), for geostrategic reasons at least understandable in view of NATO policy: from the collusion-adverse eastward expansion to the attempted termination of the use of the port of Sevastopol.
Why this renewed massive escalation?
Central point: For domestic political reasons, the Ukrainian government still rejects the Minsk Agreement and relies on a military solution to the conflict. The persecution of a parliamentary debate, the statements of many government officials, the media coverage and the practical actions of the Ukrainian military illustrate this almost daily. The Ukrainian government no longer wants to go to Minsk for talks under the agreement, on the grounds of Belarus ' “hostile rhetoric” regarding Ukraine. It persistently refuses to even consider, let alone politically, the steps taken in accordance with the Steinmeier formula in the agreed order (autonomy regulation, regional autonomy enshrined in a new constitution, internationally supervised elections and then the regulation of border controls between Russia and Ukraine). In spite of the verbal commitment to the agreement, the Ukrainian government is almost encouraged by the West, especially the USA, but also by the federal government, contrary to the letter and spirit of the Minsk Agreement, which is verbally supported by the West.
The telephone conversation between US President Biden and the Ukrainian President on April 2, 2021, the statements of the US State and Defense Ministry as well as the statements of Foreign Minister Maas, among others, in an interview in Tagesschau on April 1, 2021, were seen in Kiev as reinforcement and approval of the aggressive course. It was not an unconditional, but a diverse “solidarity”.
EU-Europe follows almost unconditionally the confrontation policy of the USA and NATO. An active commitment, especially by Germany and France, to the jointly developed goals of Minsk2 is not to be recognized, instead a campaign-like, almost primitive condemnation of Russia. It should not be forgotten that the USA is not part of the Minsk2 agreement and probably still stands on the position “fuck the EU” (Nuland). One can also call it inner-imperial friction.
It is downright insane when NATO and the federal government repeatedly speak of Russia’s plans to attack the West. The military expenditures of 1,1 trillion to 65 billion dollars alone show the madness of such an assertion.
Russia fears that the behaviour of Ukraine and NATO will lead to a civil war in Ukraine. The Russian military and politicians express the fear that a situation like the one in Srebrenica in 1999 may arise (press conference with Kosak on 31.03.2021). One does not have to share this position, but it shows structures of thought and assessments that are certainly to be taken very seriously. At a press conference on 31.03.2021, the deputy head of the Russian presidential administration, Dmitry Kosak, declared that Russia would protect the Donbass residents in an emergency.
It should also not be forgotten that the interests of the two “People’s republics” (which are still quite different) and Russia’s politics do not completely coincide strategically and tactically.
The reasons for the belligerent behavior of NATO and especially the USA are:
The extremely strong influence of far-right and fascist forces on the government in Ukraine. For domestic political reasons, it gives in more and more to these and completely abandons more realistic political positions, which were also not really peaceful, in favour of war preparation. Peace on the basis of Minsk2 is not on the agenda of the political elites of Ukraine, neither the government nor the opposition, which is trying to push President Zelenskyy with even more aggressive rhetoric.
Ukraine as a state is bankrupt and broke, impoverished and plundered, totally dependent on Western donors and the associated sell-off of the country. The West and the donors of the IMF and the World Bank are calling for further neoliberal reforms that continue to place a massive social burden on the population and destroy agriculture. War as a system stabilization of a bankrupt system is historically not new. A small minority of oligarchs have enriched themselves unrestrainedly. The deep internal political crisis, the social catastrophe, leads – as historically often-to foreign policy aggressive behavior that is distracting from the crisis. People should stagger nationalistically into war and not revolt against their own social impoverishment and send the entire elites “to the moon”. Hence the daily suppression of the small opposition to politics.
NATO’s policy of confrontation and defamation against Russia can be wonderfully continued using the example of Ukraine. Since 2014, the West and the elites of Ukraine have been lying here that all the bars are bending, here coups, fascist structures and undemocratic changes have been supported. An enemy image of Russia has been built up, which can be used and expanded to secure one’s own interests, profits and positions of power. Ukraine as a multicultural society, as a pluralistic state, as a bridge between East and West was deliberately destroyed in favour of integration into NATO and EU structures. The country was plundered, democracy was ruined anyway, and corruption grew gigantic. All this can only be sustained if there is an “external enemy” to whom all aggressive rhetoric can be directed.
What remains is what Brzezinski and Kissinger have already written time and again: if you want to weaken Russia decisively, you must actively pursue and achieve a detachment and hostility of the always politically and spiritually divided country Ukraine from Russia. Here, the weakening of Russia and its encirclement can be decisively advanced.
– The admission of Ukraine into NATO, which has repeatedly emerged-contrary to the NATO Charter-and which has been promoted by the USA, reinforces the policy of confrontation, the worsening of the situation in Europe and hinders a civilian, diplomatic solution to the conflict.
- Economic-geostrategic interest: Ukraine is still the central area of the transmission of Russian gas and oil for distribution throughout Western Europe.
With certainly necessary, critical positioning also against the policy of Russia, which remains in the logic of military and political deterrence and reaction policy-see its Crimean policy, the militaristic reactions to Western provocations, the often contradictory and dubious support of the movements in Donbass and Lugansk: The responsibility for the current situation lies with NATO, especially the USA, but also the federal government. NATO policy is confrontation policy, which at least accepts warlike conflicts by supporting the aggressive circles in Ukraine.
The dynamics of the conflict are clearly driving war with great speed (which is not to say that there is peace in the region now). Whether this remains a regional skirmish (which will certainly also be extremely bloody and sacrificial) is quite unlikely, given NATO’s confrontational policy and Russia’s likely reactions. There is a threat of war in Europe!
What is necessary now?
The peace movement is called upon to enlighten and actively intervene with actions for peace, disarmament in the region, for dialogue and a political solution.
A European peace order, which of course includes Russia, on the basis of the policy of common security. This is the alternative to war and confrontation.
As a first step, there should be a “return to diplomacy”. In view of the imminent escalation, it would be necessary for the German government to step up its diplomatic efforts for rapid de-escalation and to counteract a further escalation in relations between NATO and Russia. Germany must not become even more of NATO’s central staging area (Büchel, Ramstein, Ulm), the development of a threatening backdrop against Russia. Back (or Forward) to the policy of “common security” is urgently needed.
It is also important to strengthen the role of the OSCE.