War is always a terrible waste of life and property, but always profitable to the military industrial complex.
The Green Liberty Caucus, Oregon Chapter, opposes militarism and stands for the possibility of a non-violent, socially just, democratic, anti-imperialist, peace oriented, ecological society. The principle of non-violence compels opposition to the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, but Green Liberty Caucus also recognizes NATO as a belligerent force and a threat to Russia, which at bottom is the cause of the crisis in Ukraine.
As the war in Ukraine continues apace, and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians become refugees, we need to be asking about an off ramp from war, or Ukraine may end up like sections of Syria, completely destroyed. At this writing, President Zelensky is adamant that no land will be given up, making peace even more difficult, and less likely to be achieved. At best, the world will end up with a stalemate and ruined Ukraine and a million refugees.
Any off-ramp from war and establishment of peace, will involve concessions, unless one side wins the war in which case the victor will set the terms of the peace, but at an even greater cost.
This essay should not be construed as an apology for Russian hegemony, but it is worthwhile reviewing the history that moved Russia to invade Ukraine, and the lost opportunity to pursue peace over 20 years ago.
The Ukraine War could have been avoided.
The Russian invasion was predicted which makes Ukraine’s ruin all the more biting since it didn’t need to happen. John Mearsheimer, a realist among the intelligentsia, warned against expanding NATO out of deference to Russian concerns for its survival, saying Ukraine would end up ‘wrecked’ if NATO invited it to join the alliance.
Mearsheimer’s counsel went unheeded, and the US broke promises it made to Gorbachev that NATO would not expand east.
As we consider possibilities for detente at least and hopefully rapprochement at best, we should reflect on the lost opportunity to advance peace when Russia was most vulnerable in 1989 upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union. I remember at the time wondering about the prospect of a ‘peace dividend’ after the wall came down and as east Germany was absorbed by West Germany.
Instead, since the collapse, NATO has aggressively pushed east offensively, building out NATO presence in the Baltics, and Poland, Romania, and has made Ukraine a defacto NATO client based on the level of American military / security apparatus being deployed in Ukraine.
The Maidan coup in 2014 that lead to President Yanukovych fleeing to Russia, prompted the Crimean residents to vote to secede and rejoin Russia, and the Donbas provinces declared independent republics soon after. Since then, the Donbas has been under siege by Ukrainian military seeking to reclaim the area, and thousands of people have died in the attacks. And now Russia has invaded Ukraine reportedly to preempt a Ukraine invasion of Donbas to reclaim the area.
Sadly, the Minsk Accord agreed to in 2018, which provided a pathway toward peace, has not been followed, representing another lost opportunity to avoid war. Reports show there was not a sincere effort by Ukraine to abide by aggreement.
What does Russia want?
Russian has legitimate concerns for the welfare of ethnic Russians in Ukraine given the threats of ethnic cleansing. But especially concerning is the buildup of NATO along its western border.
Primarily, Russia is demanding demilitarization of Ukraine, no NATO expansion, non-discrimination against ethnic Russian, and the removal of Right Sector fascists embedded in the Ukrainian government. Russia wants Crimea and Donbas to be independent from Ukraine because they are majority ethnic Russians and Russians don’t feel safe in Ukraine.
Members of Right Sector / nationalists have threatened to ethnically cleanse Russians from Ukraine.
In addition, Russia is concerned about dangerous ironically named bio-safety labs that are involved in the development of dangerous pathogens.
American diplomat Victoria Nuland has acknowledged the existence of dangerous ‘bio-safety’ labs in Ukraine and Russia deems the sites a threat. The bio-safety laboratories are privately operated but financed by US Department of Defense, reports say.
The US has been hard at work to bring Ukraine into the NATO fold.
Reportedly, the USA has spent well into $5billion to engineer the overthrow of the duly elected President Yanukovych government by leveraging the Maidan Massacre in February 2014.
The Maidan protest, starting out as a legitimate protest against the decision by Yanukovych to not join the European Union (on the grounds the austerity measures would be too harsh) was reportedly hijacked by CIA sponsored military operation advanced by hard right Ukrainian elements, backed by the US state department, that committed the shootings at the square on the night of the mass shootings involving snipers on surrounding building. This is allegation but very damning if true.
However, no one has been brought to justice for the Maiden ‘massacre,’ indicating a lack of resolve by the Ukrainian government to hold anyone to account.
The violence compelled Yanukovych to resign from the presidency on a date set 6 months out, which he agreed to do in a signed document, but instead the duly elected president had to flee to Russia the day following the agreement on grounds he would be assassinated if he remained in the country. Subsequent to this, interim president Poroshenko was installed. Later, Zelensky would be elected president in 2018.
Reportedly, Zelensky’s rise to the presidency came about though the machinations of the owner of Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that employed Hunter Biden as a member of the board.
Kolomoyski, the Billionaire owner, also owner of One Plus One Media, hired Zelensky and put him on a TV show that depicted Zelensky as the president of Ukraine. The show ran for three seasons after which Zelensky ran for president in the name of the party that was named after the TV show.
Kolomoyski is also a funder of the Azov Battalion, a fascist militia that serves the Ukrainian state.
Zelensky was elected by 70% of the voters, and ran on opposition to corruption and for democracy.
Green Liberty respects the will of the Ukrainian people and we interpret the Zelensky election as a mandate to fight corruption and for Ukraine to be independent. But Zelensky’s provenance, comic to actor to actual president does raise concerns about Zelensky being a puppet, and that he may not be free to act against fascist elements, or that he may be beholden to them.
Ukraine has real grass roots fascist organizations running militias and holding seats in parliament.
Ukraine has seen the emergence of hard right fascist militia groups whom Putin is characterizing as NAZI.
Some members of the Right Sector are descendants of Ukrainian ‘NAZI’s’ who were involved in the Baba Yar massacre of Ukrainian Jews. Though Baba Yar is attributed to the Germans, local Ukrainians did provide boots on the ground to do the deed.
Ukrainian nationalists seek to avoid responsibility for historic misdeeds. For example, a street in Ukraine that once commemorated the Baba Yar mass murder has been changed to the name of a Ukrainian fascist, Stepan Bandera. Though imprisoned by the Germans during the war for being too nationalistic, his organization remained in operation and supported the German occupiers to conduct the holocaust in Baba Yar. Modern day Ukrainians are covering up some of their dark history and this bodes ill for native Russians living in Ukraine.
Russian speakers in Eastern Ukraine and in Crimea, reportedly are at risk from hard right nationalists, who are on record stating a plan to get rid of ethnic Russians. The massacre of pro-Russian protestors in Odessa was conducted by Right Sector but no one has been brought to justice for the crime.
https://www.bitchute.com/video/yrwD23iIvO3M/ lara logan rant.
A leaked report from the RAND Corporation shows a plan to
The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)