In Russia, a Military Buildup That Can’t Be Missed
Russia’s massing of tanks and infantry along its southwestern border with Ukraine was meant to send a message, analysts say.
By Andrew E. KramerApril 16, 2021
MASLOVKA, Russia — Deep in a pine forest in southern Russia, military trucks, their silhouettes blurred by camouflage netting, appear through the trees. Soldiers in four-wheel-drive vehicles creep along rutted dirt roads. And outside a newly pitched tent camp, sentries, Kalashnikovs slung over their shoulders, pace back and forth.
Over the past month or so, Russia has deployed what analysts are calling the largest military buildup along the border with Ukraine since the outset of Kyiv’s war with Russian-backed separatists seven years ago.
It is far from a clandestine operation: During a trip to southern Russia by a New York Times journalist, evidence of the buildup was everywhere to be seen.
The mobilization is setting off alarms in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, European capitals and Washington, and is increasingly seen as an early foreign policy test for the Biden administration, which just hit Moscow with a new round of sanctions. Russia responded almost immediately, announcing on Friday that it would expel 10 U.S. diplomats.
The American sanctions were intended to punish Russia for numerous past actions, including its meddling in United States elections, the “Solar Winds” hacking of government agencies and corporations, various disinformation efforts and the annexation of Crimea.
The UK is scrambling Typhoons over Romania, and the US has sent two warships to the black sea. NATO and US troops in Ukraine are on high-alert and fears of a full-scale war in Ukraine are mounting. Why is this happening? And why at this time?
The election of Joe Biden has had many predicted consequences, from a continued militarised presence on the southern border to furthering the Jihadist sponsored regime change operation in Syria to the continued use of illegal pipelines through native American land to increasing the Pentagon budget (to $753 billion!). However, one major consequence that has gone largely unnoticed are the events in Ukraine.
Ukraine has been in conflict since 2014. This conflict is directly between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists who struggle in the Donbass region and indirectly between NATO and Russia. Biden took a key role in the conflict and the Ukrainian coup in 2014. He was the architect, director and commander of the Donbass war. He first arrived in Ukraine in 2009 to promise aid and support. Along with Victoria Nuland, John Kerry and Ash Carter the US spent five billion dollars supporting Ukrainian nationalists to destabilize the country and obtain a US military presence. This, coupled with Georgian snipers that massacred over 100 people when they indiscriminately shot protestors, paid for by the USA, culminated in the Euromaidan; an anti-democratic uprising against the Ukrainian government that secured a US military presence on Russia’s border and also unleashed rather unsavoury neo-Nazi forces.
Biden’s close collaboration with the Ukrainian government post-Euromaidan speaks to the involvement the US has had in their neo-Nazi pet project on the Russian border. It is not without historical precedence either as this had already taken place in Chechnya in the 90s where both Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, Al Qaeda members responsible for the “planes operation” which later became 9/11, had fought with US funding and training from Bosnia and Afghanistan. It also has precedence in Georgia where the US, through imperial NGOs such as the Open Society and National Endowment for Democracy plus private media organised a coup to overthrow Eduard Shevardnadze and institute Mikhail Saakashvili. Again with a backlash of Georgian nationalists who adhere to the time-honored fascist slogans of “blood and soil”. Just one year after the Georgian coup, Saakashvili, with US funding and training, invaded Russian territory in South Ossetia, launching US rockets into civilian homes unexpectedly. One event on an embarrassing moment for Fox News showed a young girl who witnessed the events in South Ossetia but did not go along with the narrative that was being pushed. The event was a bloody war blamed on Russia when in reality it was a Georgian attack instigated by Washington.
This inter-imperialist conflict, spearheaded by the US revolves mainly around oil and gas. The US-Georgian invasion of Russia in 2008 was mainly a result of US interests in securing the $3.6 billion Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. A project backed by companies such as BP whose chairman in 2007 was Lord Browne, a close advisor to Tony Blair.
To understand why this is happening at this time there are two main points. One, as explained before, is the return of Joe Biden and the imperialist vulture cabinet that made-up Obama’s administration. Two, is that Russia seeks to abandon the dollar and western payment systems and has been trying for some time now.
We must also never forget the sheer value Russia holds for the imperialists abroad, in Albert Kahn and Michael Sayer’s book “The Great Conspiracy: The Secret War against Soviet Russia”, they describe how as “Anglo-French troops and munitions poured into Siberia, the Bulletin of the British Federation of Industries, the most powerful association of British industrialists, exclaimed in print: – “Siberia, the most gigantic prize offered to the civilized world since the discovery of the Americas!”. It also details an account of a Japanese salesman who stated, “Russia, with her 180,000,000 of people, with her fertile soil stretching from Central Europe across Asia to the shores of the Pacific and from the Arctic down to the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea . . . market possibilities such as even the most optimistic dared not dream of. . . . Russia, potentially and actually – the granary, the fishery, the lumber-yard, the coal, gold, silver and platinum mine of the world!”. Indeed Russia is much different now from a hundred years ago, yet still holds a lot of value that capital seeks to dominate.
The reality is that in the pursuits of war from the bloodthirsty nature of capital, the United States will let all of Ukraine be bombed back to the stone age in order to regain what they lost under Yeltsin. They will fight Russia to the last Ukrainian, Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani and Syrian for the profits of Wall Street. After the resistance to the Euromaidan coup, Joe Biden in the words of one New York Times article, “pressed President Barack Obama to take decisive action, and fast, to make Moscow “pay in blood and money” for its aggression.” The rhetoric is deliberate. The ethnic-Russians that live in Ukraine are deemed “invaders” against the ethnic-Ukrainians, the actions of the US and Ukraine would be the equivalent of claiming Hispanic Americans in the US are “invaders” against the “real” – likely white – “Americans”. One does not even need to make-up comparisons, for this is exactly what the US did in Croatia and Bosnia, where the former became a crypto-fascist state “for Croats” (consequently expelling hundreds of thousands of Serbs from Krajina) led by the Holocaust denying Franjo Tuđman and the latter would be proclaimed to be a far-right Islamic State by the former-SS officer Alija Izetbegovic. The same fascistic forced flooded with ethnic-chauvinism currently flood Ukraine with funding and weapons from the US to Israel.
For the same reason Iraq was invaded, Yugoslavia dismantled, and Libya, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Korea, Indonesia and so many more bombed, Ukraine will be next. The DPR leaders and people of Donbass know the war is coming back, the leaders of Russia are also preparing, the fears of Ukraine being another Rwanda or Bosnia where fascistic figures like Naser Oric slaughtered fifty Serb villages spring to mind given the current atmosphere of anti-Semitism and Russophobia from Ukrainian nationalists.
The threats loom large. Solidarity with the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic against neo-Nazis is paramount. The security of anyone who does not bear the “blood and soil” of Ukrainian nationalists and who does not uphold the banner of Bandera is at risk.
The US currently occupies Ukraine. US army generals (which are often the ones to spill the truth on US war crimes; Yugoslavia; Iraq; Yemen, etc.) expose just how prepared they are. The US also has biological warfare labs in Ukraine, any one of which can release toxins that can commit war crimes and create falseflags for which the US will never be held to account.
Whilst NATO pushes for war against Russia through its colonisation of Ukraine and Operation Barbarossa 2.0, the Ukrainian people, the majority of which want peace, are left as pawns in a geopolitical game of the US Empire. This inter-imperialist conflict is not in the interest of any worker. As Lenin said “war cannot be abolished unless classes are abolished and Socialism is created”, whilst this is the primary aim of revolutionaries Lenin also said “if tomorrow, Morocco were to declare war on France, India on England, Persia or China on Russia, and so forth,
those would be “just” “defensive” wars, irrespective of who attacked first; and every Socialist would sympathise with the victory of the oppressed, dependent, unequal states against the oppressing, slave-owning, predatory “great” powers.” It is the duty therefore to stand in solidarity with those vulnerable in Donbass and against US imperialism and Nazi fascism, not only because Lenin deemed it as “just”, but because of the genuine threats the situation in Ukraine poses to millions of people.
Evan Richards, is a member of the YCL’s Yorkshire district