No to Use of Force to Settle International Conflicts! 

U.S. and Allies Ramp Up Lethal Weapons Shipments to Ukraine

Shipment of U.S. arms arrives in Ukraine, January 24, 2022 (D. O'Brien)

The U.S. and some of its allies have been ramping up shipments of lethal armaments to Ukraine to fuel the crisis within that country and to provoke conflict with Russia. The increased arms shipments took place when U.S. Secretary of State Blinken was in Geneva on January 21, allegedly to discuss de-escalating the Ukraine crisis with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The Biden administration handed over five Russian-made Mi-17 transport helicopters, already in Ukraine for servicing, to the Ukrainian government. The U.S. has already begun the transfer of some $200 million in ammunition and other military hardware to Ukraine. This includes delivery of eight shipments of hundreds of tons of lethal weapons, including hundreds of Lockheed Martin shoulder-fired Javelin anti-tank missiles, launchers and other supplies. Another $500 million in lethal weapons and spyware is in the works. The transfer of U.S.-made military hardware from Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia to Ukraine was also approved.

Included in the arms shipments are artillery reconnaissance systems, signals intelligence, electronic warfare systems and drones, a shipment of anti-tank missile systems from Britain, as well as counter artillery radar, ammunition and patrol boats.

All this lethal weaponry in the hands of Ukrainian armed forces, and particularly the neo-Nazi militias like the Azov Battalion and others, is for committing aggression against Ukraine's own citizens and to drown the Ukrainian civil conflict in blood, rather than sorting out problems by putting the interests of the people for a peaceful solution at the centre of concerns. It is to whip up divisions among Ukrainians, targeting citizens of Russian ethnic origin in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions which border on Russia. It is also to drag Ukraine into U.S. provocations and aggression against Russia.

Notably, among other U.S. allies and NATO members, there is not unanimity about the U.S. gunboat diplomacy. Germany, for example, blocked the transfer of German-made weapons from Estonia to Ukraine.

A space for actual diplomacy exists to ensure there is no further bloodshed and that the conflict is resolved without recourse to military force. This was underscored by the head of the German Navy, Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach. He resigned on January 22 after making public statements against fueling conflict between Ukraine and Russia. "The Crimea Peninsula is gone," he said. "It will never come back -- this is a fact." He also called for respect for Russia's concerns raised by President Putin. He said: "Giving someone respect is low cost, even no cost. ... It is easy to give him the respect he really demands -- and probably also deserves."

This article was published in

Volume 52 Number 2 - February 6, 2022

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