Tag: ukraine

Ukraine: Two years of endless deaths

Ukraine: Two years of endless deaths Featured

Today – February 24, 2024 – marks two years since Russian forces entered Ukraine under the “Special Operation”.
But what happened on this day, two years ago, did not mark the beginning of the war in Ukraine. It was not the start of the war in Ukraine. Rather, it was the acceleration of a conflict that dates back to at least 2014. That year, at the behest of the United States, a new government was imposed on Ukraine, aiming to bring the country closer to the European Union. This initiated the sustained persecution of the country’s Russian-speaking population. The conflict moved swiftly, with Crimea de facto becoming part of Russia once again and the Donbass region of Ukraine becoming a frontline in the conflict between Ukrainian far-right nationalists and Russian speakers. In May 2019, Ukrainian President Mr Volodymyr Zelenskyy took office and pledged to end the battle in the Donbass. Instead, due to pressure from NATO, the conflict intensified, eventually leading to the Russian intervention three years later. It is imperative for the people of Ukraine, Russia, and the world that the war be halted and that the issues be transferred from the battlefield to the negotiating table.

The impact of this war is devastating and needs an end. In any conflict, casualty figures become a matter of dispute. However, there is little disagreement that over 500,000 Ukrainian and Russian soldiers have died or been injured in this war, that over six million Ukrainians have fled the country, and that over seven million Ukrainians have been internally displaced (out of a pre-war population of nearly 44 million). If the war is not brought to a halt, tens of thousands more will be killed, and tens of millions more will suffer.

Ukraine’s economy has been devastated, shrinking by 29% in 2022 alone, according to the World Bank. The impact of the war ricocheted across the globe, causing wheat prices to rise by 21% and some fertilisers to rise by 40% within the first month of the conflict. Global South countries were hit particularly hard by sharp increases in food and energy prices in many regions, while the European economy inches towards a recession. In other countries, astronomic amounts of resources have been diverted to the war, which instead could have been used for social and economic spending. The US and Europe have already spent well over $200 billion on the war. In December 2023, the head of the Ukrainian armed forces asked US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin for a further $350–400 billion to pursue ‘victory’.

In reality, no amount of money will lead to a military triumph. It is clear, particularly after the failure of the Ukrainian ‘counter-offensive’, that there has been no significant change in the military situation, nor is there a credible prospect of one. The continued payment of such huge human and economic costs would be purposeless.

To end this conflict, there are a number of issues that need to be resolved:
1) The position of Ukraine regarding military blocs. At the end of the Cold War, Europe had an opportunity to pursue peaceful economic development. A coherent and balanced economy with enormous potential could have been formed by reducing military spending while combining Western Europe’s high value-added manufacturing and service industries with the former Soviet Union’s energy, raw materials, agriculture, and high-technology industries such as space. In East Asia, which overcame a period of even greater Cold War division and conflict (as seen in the Korean and successive Vietnam and Indochina wars), a focus on mutually beneficial economic development and an avoidance of military and political blocs led it to become the world’s most rapidly growing economic region. This is evidenced by the fact that, since 1990, the GDP of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has grown by more than 400%. However, in Europe, the US insisted that such policies not be followed and that, instead, the region was to expand the NATO military bloc into Eastern Europe, breaking the commitment it had made at the time of German reunification that NATO would not advance ‘one inch eastward’ towards Russia. The US was fully aware that NATO’s expansion would greatly inflame tensions with Russia and across Europe. Of particular sensitivity was the possibility of Ukraine’s entry into NATO, which would bring the nuclear-armed bloc within the immediate striking range of Moscow. Numerous experts on Eastern Europe and Russia strongly and repeatedly advised against such expansion of NATO. Most famously, George Kennan, the original architect of US Cold War policy, predicted in 1997 that, ‘expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-Cold War era’. In December 2021, Russia proposed an agreement that Ukraine would not become a NATO member. In negotiations in March 2022, Ukraine proposed adopting a neutral status in exchange for security guarantees, inspired by NATO’s collective defence clause, which could have involved Poland, Israel, Turkiye, and Canada as guarantors. This was blocked by NATO, directly conveyed by way of an urgent visit from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Ukraine in May 2022, thereby preventing a rapid end of the war.

2) The position of the Russian-speaking minority in the territory of the Ukrainian state (as it was formed in 1991). A 2001 census found that nearly 30% of Ukraine’s population considered Russian to be their native language. States with large linguistic and ethnic minority populations can only maintain their unity if the rights of such minorities are respected. The policies of the Ukrainian government after 2014, which included suppressing the official use of the Russian language in numerous spheres, were therefore bound to lead to an explosive crisis within the Ukrainian state. As the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, which certainly cannot be accused of being pro-Russian, stated: ‘the current Law on National Minorities is far from providing adequate guarantees for the protection of minorities… many other provisions which restrict the use of minority languages have already been in force since 16 July 2019’. There are only two ways to resolve this situation: restoration of the full linguistic and other rights of the Russian-speaking minority within the borders of the old Ukrainian state or the secession of these regions from Ukraine. Which outcome is realised will be a key subject of the negotiations. Nonetheless, it is clear that any attempt to maintain the Russian-speaking minority within the Ukrainian state while continuing to deprive them of their rights will not succeed, nor will any attempt by Russia to impose another state on the Ukrainian-speaking population of western and northern Ukraine.

All efforts to resolve these issues by military means will continue to be futile and will only result in further intense suffering, above all for the Ukrainian people. These realities will become increasingly obvious if the war continues – which is why it must be brought to a halt as rapidly as possible, and negotiations must commence.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party [Zambia]

An appeal of the Commission for international Cooperation & Support of Compatriots Abroad of the General Council of the All-Russia political party “UNITED RUSSIA” to partner parties on the situation around the Ukrainian crisis of 2014-2022

An appeal of the Commission for international Cooperation & Support of Compatriots Abroad of the General Council of the All-Russia political party “UNITED RUSSIA” to partner parties on the situation around the Ukrainian crisis of 2014-2022 Featured

Dear colleagues, friends, comrades! We appeal to you, our partners in the international inter-party relations, so that each of you and the peoples that you represent on all continents of the Earth can get first-hand information about what is actually happening in Ukraine and around it, about the reasons for the extreme aggravation of the protracted crisis that arose in a country neighboring Russia after the anti-constitutional coup d’etat committed there in 2014 with the participation of the United States and a number of other NATO countries.

The attempt of the organizers of this coup to turn Ukraine into an anti-Russian springboard over the past eight years not only turned into the beginning of the of the collapse of the Ukrainian state, the collapse of it’s economy ,a social crisis, rampant terrorism and neo-Nazism,but also led to thousands of civilian casualties as a result of the civil war in the region of Donbass (in the Southeast of Kyiv). Year upon year, the pro-American puppet regime had been intensifying its preparations for a war with the Minsk agreements approved by the UN Security Council for seven years in a row. As a result, through the fault of the official Kyiv, the agreements were completely thwarted and Russia had no other choice than,given Ukraine’s refusal to accept a peaceful settlement, to recognize on February 21, 2022 the independence of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic based on the referendums held there and numerous official requests for assistance sent to Moscow by the authorities of these long-suffering territories. After the recognition of republics, Treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance were concluded and ratified by the Russian parliament unanimously, with the participation of all the parliamentary parties of Russia.

At the same time, the Ukrainian regime was preparing a large-scale punitive military operation against the inhabitants of Donbass. It could lead to hundreds of thousands of victims among the civilian population, including among Russian citizens who have long and permanently lived in these territories. In accordance with article 51 of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter and based on the consent of the Federation council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, it was decided to launch a special military operation.

Among the tasks of this operation, the demilitarisation and denazification of the Ukraine were announced. It should be recalled that since the declaration of independence of Ukraine, it’s leadership has announced a firm intention to maintain the status of a neutral non-bloc state. However, after the putsch of 2014, amendments were made to the constitution, fixing the country’s desire for membership in the NATO bloc, which officially declared Russia to be its adversary. At the same time, the West categorically refused Moscow’s requests for guarantees of the non-expansion of NATO to Russian borders and started mass deliveries of weapons to the Ukrainian authorities, encouraging the actions of nationalist anti-Russian armed groups and foreign mercenaries.

It even came to the point that the President V. Zelensky explicitly expressed his intentions to make Ukraine a nuclear power and seize part of the Russian territories by force. Moreover, there was reason to believe that the extremists would try to use the Ukrainian nuclear repository at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant near the Russian and Belarusian borders for the terrorist act that would become a real threat to the inhabitants of all Eastern and Central Europe. The timely actions of the Russian military eliminated this opportunity and thus protected millions of Europeans.

It is impossible the fact that the current Ukraine over the past years has become a real hotbed of Nazi and neo-Nazi ideas, and the matter was not limited to street possessions with the symbols of the criminal organization “SS” and other fascist attributes, the voting of the present-day Kyiv against all UN resolutions,condemning the glorification of Nazism and neo-Nazism. The combat detachments of these extremists,armed with the help of foreign patrons, openly terrorize civilians in Ukraine, actually take them hostage and try to pass their war crimes off as the actions of the Russian military personnel. We will seek to bring to justice those who have committed and are committing these bloody crimes.

The same applies to the fact that for eight years the Ukrainian authorities have been pursuing a targeted policy to infringe on the rights of the Russian-speaking population living on the territory of Ukraine. At the suggestion of the nationalist elite, the Verkhovna Rada adopted draconian laws prohibiting the free use of the Russian language in all spheres of the public life, including education, the media, and consumer services. Any manifestations of dissatisfaction with ordinary citizens on this score were severely suppressed by right-wing radical groups with the complete inaction of the local law enforcement agencies.

It is important to state with all certainty that the Russian Federation has not waged, does not wage and does not intend to wage war on the Ukrainian people. Our political activity, as the President of the Russian Federation V.V Putin declared, “is based on the freedom for everyone to independently choose and determine their own future and the future of their children….. what is happening today does not come out of a desire to infringe on the interests of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. It is related to the protection of Russia itself from those who took Ukraine hostage and are trying to use it against our country and its people.” The position of the Russian leader is fully shared and supported by the UNITED RUSSIA party.

Against this background, the behaviour of the United States and its European satelites, those who helped plan and implement the criminal coup in Ukraine in 2014, armed the Ukrainian regime, purposefully contributed to the transformation of the neighboring, fraternal country into the an anti-Russian project and fueled the conflict in the Donbass for eight years, arming the Kyiv regime, encouraging its inadequate actions and belligerent rhetoric, is seen as especially cynical and irresponsible. These destructive forces-the so called collective West-they don’t want peace for the Ukrainian people, they are ready to “fight with Russia to the last Ukrainian.” The United States, the European Union, NATO show their true bloodthirsty face: they declare their intention to increase the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine and continue to send military specialists there. Thus, they are also bringing the world to the brink of a new global war, risking the fate of all mankind for the sake of their ambitions to contain Russia. At the same time, Western-controlled means of the propaganda that for eight years did not notice the suffering of ordinary people in the Donbass, deliberately distort what is happening today in Ukraine and around it, and thereby further and thus further exacerbate the already crisis situation.

Dear colleagues,

By imposing illegitimate unilateral sanctions against the Russian Federation, the West will not force us to change its principled line aimed at ensuring national security and protecting its citizens. We hope that you and the people’s you represent will bear with Russia on its position at this complicated moment for peace and security. Together we are able to thwart the West’s policy of containment. The sad experience of the Ukrainian events clearly shows what the impudent intervention of the NATO countries in the sovereign affairs of states, disregard for the UN charter, flirting with Naziz, neo-Nazis, terrorists and other extremists leads to. Together, we are able to prevent the sanctions policy pursued by the West against anyone who is not ready to follow their imperial instructions, their desire to ensure their own security at the expense of the security of others, incitement of local wars and an arms race, and other acts dangerous for humanity.

We hope that you, like us, fully share the principles of peaceful coexistence of states with different political systems, respectful cooperation, unacceptability of the illegal policy of sanction pressure, uncompromising struggle against any manifestations of Nazism, neo-Nazism and terrorism.

The “UNITED RUSSIA” party is ready to continue mutually beneficial cooperation with its partners,is open to interaction with all responsible political parties and public organizations of the world.

AZIM YARAKHMEDOV

Ambassador of the Russian Federation