Anniversary of the U.S./NATO Proxy War in Ukraine
NATO Defence Ministers' Meeting, February 14-15
Munich Security Conference, February 17-19
For Your Information
Disinformation on Ukraine
Arms Shipments to Ukraine
From the Party Press in 2022
Anniversary of the U.S./NATO Proxy War in Ukraine
All Out to Demand that Canada
Get Out of NATO and that NATO Be Dismantled!
Let Us Together Make Canada a Zone for Peace!
As we complete one year of the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) salutes all those across the country and around the world who are opposing the U.S./NATO proxy war and call for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. CPC(M-L) calls on Canadian citizens and residents, the Indigenous Peoples and the people of Quebec to demand Canada get out of NATO and for NATO to be dismantled. Let us together fight for an anti-war government in this country which makes Canada a zone for peace!
During the past year, Canada has participated in this U.S./NATO proxy war by promoting disinformation to disorient Canadians. It helped organize the neo-Nazi Banderite forces in Ukraine, elevated them to positions of power and promoted their Nazi slogans. It has provided them with training and organization and helped to integrate them into the Ukrainian regular forces and special forces, which it denies. It has hidden the crimes they have committed and participated in the war by supplying weapons and money to the government of Ukraine put in place through a coup d'้tat Canada played no small part in instigating. Canada has given preferential treatment to Ukrainian refugees while refugees and migrant workers from other countries are treated with disdain. All of it has been done in the name of peace and humanitarian aid even as Canada engages in hooligan activity at the United Nations and in international fora and blocks a negotiated solution. Every day it announces more crimes that it is committing based on the NATO declaration that the only solution is to defeat Russia on the battlefield and crush it once and for all.
The government and its so-called intelligence agencies, legacy and social media at its disposal, cartel parties in the Parliament and legislatures all engage in massive amounts of disinformation to disorient the people's thinking on the Ukraine conflict. Nonetheless, reality prevails, not the rulers' version of reality. All over the world on this anniversary, demonstrations are taking place along with protest marches against the anti-social offensives which accompany the increased spending on the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine, sanctions against Russia and repressive measures. In Canada, information pickets and rallies are taking place across the country and even polls confirm that more Canadians oppose the U.S./NATO proxy war than even a few months ago.
The crimes the U.S. is committing and is embroiling its allies in committing are extensive and it is promising an escalation of the war. With the collapse of the former Soviet Union 30 years ago, the hegemony of two superpowers over global affairs was ended. The peoples of the world expected peace, freedom, democracy and human rights. All they got is the U.S. striving for world hegemony. Declaring itself the indispensable nation, its crimes increased on an unprecedented scale. Since World War II drew to an end in 1945, the U.S. started pitting its so-called rules-based international order against the international rule of law sanctioned by the United Nations and its founding Charter. On the basis of intrigues and cartels and its own financial institutions which entangled the entire world under its hegemony, it established the aggressive military alliance the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), carried out assassinations of progressive leaders and coups d'้tat and wars of aggression against any country which refused to submit.
What is important to take stock of at this time is that despite all the crimes committed against them, it is the peoples who have prevailed. They have suffered tremendously at the hands of the U.S. and its allies but it has never been weapons which have decided the outcome of the conflicts taking place; it has been and continues to be the peoples fighting for their sovereignty, for what belongs to them by right and their right to be. Today, behind all the disinformation and U.S./NATO threats to obliterate countries which refuse to submit to their hegemony and that they will even unleash nuclear war and blame others, what we see is the U.S., Canada, Britain and NATO countries drowning in their own warmongering, anti-social offensives and police powers. We see the peoples fighting everywhere to bring about solutions which favour them.
While it may look like the U.S. and its war allies have not been held to account, despite their own wishes or what they think of themselves, the developments are settling scores with what they stand for and what they are doing independent of their will, The clash between the conditions and authority are urging the peoples to step up the fight at this time for what belongs to them by right, for human-centred forms of governance and to make their countries zones for peace, freedom and democracy.
The Fight Between the Old and the New Is Raging
All over the world, the fight between the Old and the New is raging, taking different forms based on the conditions which exist and the level of collective consciousness which is expressing itself. The peoples of the world see, live and suffer the crimes the U.S. and its allies continue to commit and they are rising against regimes which commit such crimes.
Canada plays a heinous role as an appeaser of the U.S., an accomplice which commits crimes of its own. The crimes include the theft of lands and resources, the use of force and mistreatment of refugees, migrants, the working people, Indigenous Peoples, crimes against nature and against all those who are fighting for their rights. It foments disinformation, enforces illegal sanctions, funds and arms counter-revolutionary factions and organizations to commit crimes and carry out regime change in African countries, Syria, Latin America and the Caribbean, including by recently sending warships to Haiti; it continues to harbour abuse of women even though it claims to champion their rights at home and abroad and it enforces a constitution which discriminates against all working people, national minorities, against Indigenous treaties and hereditary rights, the rights of the people of Quebec to self-determination and against all those whose choices and identities cry out for recognition and who are fighting for their right to be.
The U.S. and the countries which appease it such as Canada and the former European colonial powers are causing untold suffering for their own peoples and the peoples everywhere. This is a fact. It is the visible, tangible reality. Despite all the talk of the rulers that the measures they are taking are for peace, freedom and democracy and that they will improve the situation, on every front things are getting worse by leaps and bounds.
In response, the peoples are fighting. This too is a fact. They are laying their claims on what belongs to them by right, speaking out in their own name and striving to find solutions which favour them. They are showing their internationalist spirit, supporting resistance and lending a hand to all those fighting for rights. Furthermore, entire countries are also taking stands based on their own interests which they see served by upholding solutions based on international rule of law, not the U.S. hegemonic so-called rules-based international order which Canada also promotes. The U.S. and its coterie of NATO allies are isolated within the United Nations General Assembly seen in their manipulation of votes. So too are they isolated within the new formations which are being brought forward to conduct trade relations, guarantee security and engage in financial transactions and relations which are not subject to U.S. dollar hegemony or the brutal sanctions regimes, nuclear blackmail, nor contribute to the suffering caused by mass famines, droughts, deforestation and consequences of climate change on humans and nature.
One year after the start of the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine, the U.S., Canada and big powers of Old Europe, their security advisors and intelligence agencies at the highest levels are taking frenzied measures to achieve their dishonorable aim of crushing Russia. They are deploying extensive resources to execute what the warmongering alliance says are next steps. Despite manipulated resolutions presented at the United Nations, the majority of countries of the world are not siding with the U.S./NATO war alliance. They have other plans which are revealing themselves as they seek solutions to the crisis which save humankind from the Armageddon the U.S./NATO forces hold in store.
A great reckoning is taking place. The majority of countries and the peoples of the world reject the so-called rules-based international order which the U.S. gave rise to after WWII for purposes of fighting communism and imposing its hegemony on Europe and dominating Asia, while keeping Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean in check. They did this on the basis of creating secret services comprised of former Nazi SS, conducting assassinations of progressive leaders, coups d'้tat and brutal wars of aggression along with imposing their so-called liberal democratic institutions to thwart the peoples' striving for empowerment. But today all of this is in crisis because Might Does Not Make Right or sort out what human beings want. Human beings cannot be brought under control by using force or being discarded as things on a scrap heap. Furthermore, the striving of countries big and small to make the international rule of law enshrined in the United Nations and its Charter prevail is expressing itself in the course of seeking solutions which favour them. This is the case no matter the political or ideological forms of rule or persuasion of the countries which seek to affirm their sovereignty which the U.S. and its NATO allies say is a thing of the past.
While the rulers are strengthening governments of police powers in the name of the nation, its economy, security, anachronistic liberal democratic institutions and a so-called rules-based order, countries are coming forward to defend their sovereignty, peoples are strengthening their striving to find human-centred solutions which affirm their right to be and empower themselves by bringing human-centred, anti-war governments into being.
On the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine, the situation harbours serious dangers for humankind but humankind is sure to prevail. It is the peoples' striving for peace, freedom and democracy and their participation in turning things around in their favour which is the decisive factor, not weapons, not defunct institutions which call themselves liberal democratic, not anachronistic constitutions which created a fictitious person of state to rule above the people and deprive them of the decision-making power which belongs to them by right. It is the peoples' internationalist spirit, striving for fraternal relations of mutual benefit with nations big and small whose sovereignty must be protected and the peoples' organizing for progress in their own countries and supporting the same abroad that defend the interests of humanity.
The most important challenge of our time is the crying need to forge a collective consciousness that favours the peoples by uniting in action, in opposition to the deadly path of the U.S./NATO war alliance.
All Out to Demand that Canada Get Out of NATO
and that NATO Be Dismantled!
Not a Single Youth for Imperialist War!
All Out to Make Canada a Zone for Peace!
Picket outside U.S. embassy in Ottawa, February 23, 2023.
Youth for Democratic Renewal upholds the letter and the spirit of the 1945 UN pledge "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war." For us, this is both a sacred right and a duty. The letter and spirit of that pledge are embedded in international laws and conventions which, today, the U.S. and NATO have transformed into an "international rules-based order."
The February 17 Munich Security Council stated that a "re-envisioned, liberal rules-based international order" is needed "to strengthen democratic resilience in an era of fierce systematic competition with autocratic regimes." It also pointed out that basic disagreements have arisen on the very notion of human rights. The claim is made that many non-Western democracies show greater concern for their sovereignty and non-interference in their internal affairs than their Western counterparts and are thus reluctant to support "robust action in the name of human rights."
It doesn't take much deciphering to understand that NATO countries are openly acknowledging that the key issue, in fact, is that nations who refuse to comply with U.S. and "Western" interference and who instead defend their constitutions, their duly-elected governments, and their right to self-determination will be targeted precisely for that reason.
The peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean are well aware of such "robust action in the name of human rights." To this day, they are subjected to foreign intervention, destabilizing efforts, organized coups -- such as the most recent one in Peru -- military intervention and bullying. Venezuela was declared a threat to the security of the U.S. and, for over 60 years, a brutal blockade has been imposed on Cuba. For all its talk of human rights and democracy, the U.S. has yet to comply with the UN General Assembly's annual overwhelming condemnation of the blockade against Cuba as inhumane and criminal.
The very notion of the territorial sovereignty of a country has been replaced by the sovereignty of a so-called NATO territory. Basically this means that those integrated into "NATO territory" will host its military bases, spend a part of their national revenues to support it, and will partake in one way or another in its hegemonic ambitions.
Canadian support for U.S. hegemonic aims is being stepped up through calls to "put Canada on a war footing," as well as through agreements such as those guaranteeing, among other things, critical and strategic minerals to the U.S. This implies taking hold of land indiscriminately in the name of medieval "free mining" rights which encroach upon the well-being of entire communities, Indigenous hereditary and treaty rights, and the natural environment.
Youth for Democratic Renewal upholds that Quebec and Canada must be zones for peace, in the spirit of the zones for peace of other nations of the Americas. We uphold the rights which belong to us by virtue of our humanity. We uphold the right to self-determination and the right of the people to decide themselves what economic and political path they want to follow. This includes getting out of NATO and NORAD, out of arrangements which have integrated the security of Canada into that of "North America" -- that is, the U.S. war machine, and establishing a foreign policy which upholds the peaceful resolution of conflicts and international relations based on respect and mutual benefit.
To contact Youth for Democratic Renewal email email@example.com.
Over the February 18-19 weekend, more than 30,000 people gathered in Munich to protest the 59th annual Munich Security Conference (MSC). The demonstrators gathered in the city centre, from where they moved to the square in front of the Museum of Ancient Greek and Roman sculpture, a social media report informed. The peace activists denounced the U.S. rules-based international order and expressed strong opposition to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
On February 17, the first day of the MSC 2023, staff from aviation security, ground transport and the public service at seven German airports, including Munich, went on strike demanding an increase in wages and staff. The actions delayed the flights of some MSC participants.
Besides protesting against the U.S.-centred world order, peace activists strongly expressed their opposition to NATO and its demand that the supply of weapons to Ukraine be increased.
A recent study by Infratest dimap, found "64 per cent of German residents object to the transfer of fighter jets to Ukraine. Only 23 per cent of respondents supported this initiative, while 13 per cent refrained from answering," the blog Free wrote.
"Among politicians, members of the right-wing Alternative for Germany party (86 per cent) and left-wing factions (81 per cent) consider the supply of combat aircraft to Ukraine unacceptable," Free added.
(Photos: J. Todenhoefer, M. Krause 6, Apo Duesseldorf)
Fifty thousand people participate in anti-war rally in Berlin,
February 25, 2023, which opposed sending arms to Ukraine.
In countries across Europe protests have taken place during
January and February of this year, as well as in 2022, against
NATO and against sending military weapons to Ukraine. In Berlin
some 50,000 people took to the streets on February 25 to oppose
Germany sending arms and military materiel to Ukraine and
demanding diplomatic initiatives and negotiation. Mass
demonstrations also took place in Munich, Dresden and many other
German cities against NATO and the EU.
These anti-war actions are taking place alongside large-scale protest marches against the intensification of the anti-social offensive which accompanies the increased spending on the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine, sanctions against Russia and repressive measures.
Berlin, Germany, February 25, 2023
Anti-war demonstration in Genova, Italy, February 25, 2023,
opposed arms shipments to Ukraine and called for peace.
Banner against NATO in demonstration in Spain, February 25, 2023
Protest against NATO in Finland, February 21, 2023.
Protest against NATO and military aid to Ukraine in Rimini,
Italy, February 19, 2023 (top) and Remo, Italy, February
Thousands demonstrate in the streets of Chisinau, Moldova, February 19, 2023 against pro-NATO government.
Demonstration in Prague, Czech Republic, January 25, 2023.
February 12, 2023 tens of thousands take to
the streets of Paris chanting Let's Get Out of NATO!"
and "No Missiles for Ukraine!"
Demonstrations in France, January 14, 2023 and November 19, 2022, that are part of broad scale protests against the anti-social offensive, also oppose NATO.
From February 23 to 26, militant actions denouncing NATO, Canada's role in NATO and the proxy war in Ukraine were held in at least nine cities across Canada. The first took place outside the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa on Thursday, February 23. This was followed by actions in Montreal and Vancouver on Friday, then Toronto, Windsor, Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary and Victoria on Saturday. A final rally took place on Sunday in Waterloo.
(Photos: sahouraxo, F. Philoppot, Sputnik, Lo Zar, Geronimo, Medan, laccent, Maria, S. Wagenknecht, S. Dagdelen, TML, K. Winkler, Winnipeg Peace Alliance)
NATO Defence Ministers' Meeting, February 14-15
A meeting of defence ministers from NATO's 30 member countries was held in Brussels February 14-15. The ministers from Sweden, Finland and Ukraine were also in attendance. The meeting took place just before the NATO-linked Munich Security Conference. On the agenda of both was presenting disinformation about the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine and the prospects of winning it by defeating Russia on the battlefield at all costs, rather than seeking a negotiated end to the conflict.
Published speeches of NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and reports on NATO's website suggest that a main item on the meeting's agenda was the need for members of the alliance to "strengthen our defence industry" so production is ramped up to be able to provide the necessary ammunition to Ukraine and also to replenish their own stocks.
"It is clear that we are in a race of logistics," Stoltenberg said in a pre-meeting press conference. "Key capabilities like ammunition, fuel and spare parts must reach Ukraine before Russia can seize the initiative on the battlefield. Speed will save lives."
Adding to the sense of urgency, he said Ukraine was using up ammunition several times faster than NATO and its aligned arms industries can provide it, even as Russia is ramping up its military offensive. The waiting time for large-calibre ammunition, he said, has gone from 12 to 28 months, and orders placed now will only be delivered in two-and-a-half years' time.
The ministers were also to begin discussions about a proposed
new defence investment pledge -- a reference to the two per cent
of gross domestic product (GPD) NATO members are expected to
dedicate to military spending. Given that less than a third of
member countries have so far met the target which was agreed to
in 2006, the pressure for all to fall into line now will
intensify. Presumably what measures will be taken will be
decided at the July Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania where NATO
Heads of State and Government will meet.
Using Canada as an example, according to an estimate by the parliamentary budget officer cited in an article by the Canadian Press, it would take an injection of an extra $75 billion in military spending over the next five years on top of the billions already being spent to reach two per cent of GDP!
Another thing the NATO meeting was to address according to public statements is protection of critical infrastructure, "in particular undersea infrastructure, off-shore infrastructure, because we have seen that these undersea cables, pipelines are vulnerable," said Stoltenberg. Whoever blew up Russia's Nordstream gas pipeline to Germany would be well aware of this.
Asked by a reporter after the meeting why the public should believe that NATO is not at war with Russia, the Secretary General said that neither NATO nor NATO Allies are party to the conflict. What they are doing is providing support to Ukraine, which is defending itself. The type of support NATO has given has evolved and will continue to evolve, he said, so that Ukraine gets the weapons it needs to be able to retake territory and win the war.
In conjunction with NATO's ministerial, the U.S.-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group comprised of all 30 NATO members and 24 other countries held its monthly meeting in the same venue. It is said to concern itself with coordinating the donation of military aid for Ukraine and getting it sent there, or first to countries such as Poland, where soldiers from Ukraine receive training on how to use the donated equipment, like the Leopard tanks they are being provided with.
At its January meeting the Contact Group supported the sending of heavy offensive weaponry to Ukraine, in preparation for a planned spring offensive. At this meeting, presumably Ukraine's request for fighter jets would have been discussed.
At a press conference following their meeting, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin referred to the challenges NATO has been experiencing with the different equipment and weapons donated to Ukraine. Much of it is reportedly needing repair, lacking spare parts and anything but battle ready. "It's a monumental task to bring all those systems together, get the troops trained on those platforms, to make sure we have sustainment for all of those systems and get those systems into the fight," he said.
General Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military, who also chairs the Contact Group, attempted to cover up the looming problems the proxy war the U.S. is leading faces, such as where the ammunition will come from and when, but also how they will get replacements for the tanks and other equipment that gets destroyed. He said Ukraine was winning the war and that Russia "has lost strategically, operationally, tactically" and was paying "tremendous costs" in terms of high casualties. If this bravado was to counter the growing popular discontent and anger over the devastation caused by U.S./NATO's refusal to accept anything but a military victory over Russia, no matter how unrealistic, and no matter the cost to be paid by the people of Ukraine, other parts of Europe and around the world, it will not work. Despite whatever enthusiasm governments like those of Canada and the powers of old Europe may have for being "all in" with the war to crush Russia, there are plenty of cracks in NATO's edifice that have only widened thanks to the economic sanctions supposedly targeting Russia that are having the effect of punishing people and businesses in Europe even more.
On the heels of NATO's meetings tens of thousands of voices saying No! to the U.S./NATO proxy war against Russia and calling for their countries to get out of NATO and for the alliance to be dismantled were heard loud and clear at demonstrations in Germany and other countries of Europe while the Munich Security Conference was in session.
Munich Security Conference, February 17-19
Anti-war protest outside this year's Munich Security Conference.
Some 30,000 people gathered outside the 49th Munich Security Conference (MSC) held in Munich from February 17 to 19 to militantly oppose the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine. They demanded a negotiated peace, that NATO be dismantled, and for sanctions against Russia to end. They opposed more spending on arms while social programs are neglected and cancelled.
Just as the peoples of the world are very concerned about the dangers posed by the U.S./NATO proxy war spinning out of control into a larger war or with the use of chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons, a major concern of the German people is the changes to their Constitution which permit German jackboots to once again march over the territories of other European nations. The MSC was not concerned about peace however. As host country, Germany took part in discussions that included "Spotlight: Germany's International Responsibility Revisited" and "Germany in the World." Its concern is to once again assert Germany's dominance within Europe and from this promontory, contest U.S. domination over Europe as well. Not only does it go against the verdict of the peoples of the world after World War I and World War II to end the scourge of war, but shows there is no unity within NATO either. So too France has its own aims and is seeking a negotiated settlement so as to get rid of the anti-Russia sanctions which are crippling its economy, while Britain and Canada are in lockstep with the U.S.
"NATO's eastward expansion: promise broken."
Some 40 heads of states and governments attended the MSC,
including the Presidents of France, Emmanuel Macron, and Poland,
Andrzej Duda, as well as Germany's Chancellor, Olaf Scholz. Also
present were 90 ministers from numerous countries. Foreign
Minister Dmytro Kuleba represented Ukraine. NATO's Secretary
General Jens Stoltenberg was joined by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. China's former Foreign Minister Wang Yi, present Chair of the Foreign Policy Commission of the Communist Party of the People's Republic of China, also attended. The governments of Russia and Iran were pointedly not invited. (It was in 2007 at the MSC that Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected NATO's eastward expansion and the "almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations" by the U.S. government.) Opponents from both countries were invited, such as the Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The event was chaired by Christoph Heusgen, former Chancellor Angela Merkel's foreign policy advisor (2005-2017).
One of the main features of this year's MSC was the extent of official disinformation to deprive the peoples of an outlook on the basis of which the conflict in Ukraine can be ended and advance made in establishing relations between countries big and small in a manner that advances the cause of peace, freedom and democracy. Representatives of various countries from what is called the Global South were invited to persuade them to join the U.S./NATO coalition opposing Russia and China. The MSC claimed to be "paying due respect to the legitimate resentment that many countries of the 'Global South' have toward the existing order."
The level of irrationality can be seen in the official declaration that the world is divided between the Anglo-American liberal democracies and autocracies and that everything must be done to persuade the majority of the countries in the world to join the liberal democracies, not the autocracies. In this regard they pitted countries they call liberal democracies which defend human rights against those who they say put national sovereignty ahead of human rights. The balderdash repeated by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and the likes of Canada's Foreign Minister M้lanie Joly, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and others supposes that institutions established by the United States after WWII are not in crisis and will prevail, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. These institutions and the so-called rules-based international order the Anglo-American imperialists imposed on the world are based on Cold War anti-communist ideology with the sole aim of undermining international law as enshrined in the United Nations, its Charter and Conventions, to establish U.S. hegemony worldwide.
The origin of consciousness and social change of human beings and entire peoples is life itself. It is societies and nature which are calling for an end to indifference, awakening the peoples to break free from remaining chained to arrangements which do not provide solutions which favour them. The leaders of the U.S., Canada, Britain and the old powers of Europe and reactionary forces are hoping for a comeback of pre-revolutionary Europe and Asia and pre-independence Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, by posing matters in a manner which is divorced from life. They themselves have become prisoners of mental images and categories which have no bearing on the direction in which societies and humanity itself are moving. Dividing the world between liberal democracies and autocracies and personalizing politics so as to present some people as evil and others as good, and issuing dictates that all countries must side with the former against the latter, is to deny that the liberal democratic institutions are in crisis and the international order they have dictated since World War II is now rejected.
Today, the very problems coming from the society and nature and the crisis of international relations reveal there is no place for the relations the U.S./NATO countries are forcing on their peoples and countries of the world. By confining themselves to their irrational rendering of their own actions and those of others, they are not only determined to destroy whatever they cannot control but have begun to prey on themselves.
The war in Ukraine was instigated by the U.S. and its aggressive military alliance NATO with the participation of Canada which has been taken over by those who dream of achieving the restoration of old Tsarist forces in Ukraine and Russia and property relations which existed prior to the Russian Revolution in 1917. These forces joined the Nazis in World War II in the name of achieving freedom. Today they are in lockstep with the U.S. to pursue their aim of crushing Russia. It is not an aim which Canadians or the peoples of the world can align with, let alone the peoples of Russia or those of Russian descent.
The U.S. has suffered repeated failures in its attempts to unite its bureaucracy and avert civil war by waging one war of aggression after the other in the last 30 years since the Cold War was brought to an end. The collapse of the former Soviet Union and people's democracies in eastern Europe did not give rise to the results the U.S. desired that all countries would accept it as indispensable nation that could rule the world with impunity. The approach taken at the MSC based on revenge, retaliation and escalation against Russia is crisis-ridden from A to Z. It brings to mind the saying: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
The MSC will not provide security because it does not address security concerns of any countries, least of all Ukraine or Russia. It rejected a negotiated settlement even though quite a few of its member countries are pushing for this in one way or another.
Various countries used the conference to justify stepped up military spending. All of it is carried out in the name of the highest ideals of peace, human rights and democracy and, to justify sanctions against Russia, in the name of "greening the economy."
As a mouthpiece for NATO, the MSC is also preparing to instigate provocations and conflict with China. For example, the panel discussion "The Other Zeitenwende: Maintaining a Balance of Power in the Indo-Pacific," featured Canada's Foreign Minister M้lanie Joly, south Korea's Foreign Minister Park Jin, Japan's Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and British foreign minister James Cleverly. Canada revealed its "Indo-Pacific Strategy" in November 2022, that is openly hostile toward China. Meanwhile, the U.S. is staging open provocations in and around Taiwan and has been trying to goad south Korea and Japan into establishing a NATO-like bloc with it in East Asia.
None of it jibes with the reality that the liberal democracies are in crisis, no longer function and cannot sort out a single problem facing their societies and the world today. The attempts by NATO countries and others to prop up the reactionary regime in Ukraine by pouring in billions of dollars of arms and blocking negotiations to resolve the conflict the U.S. and NATO have instigated with Russia is yet more evidence of this.
Calls for Stepped Up Arms Shipments to Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the opening day of the MSC. He portrayed the situation as if Ukraine is David facing Goliath. "David is now all of us, he is a whole free world. David is everyone who felt that there is no alternative but to defeat Goliath, who came to destroy our life. [...] We do not have yet the David's Sling from Israel. But I believe it is just temporarily," he said. His posturing covers up that neo-Nazis are running amok in Ukraine and that the conflict is between U.S./NATO and Russia, with the former using Ukraine as a cat's paw. He called for more weapons to be sent to Ukraine immediately, saying, "We need speed. Speed of our agreements. Speed of delivery to strengthen our sling. Speed of decisions to limit Russian potential. There is no alternative to speed."
Zelensky's ravings are increasingly seen as frantic and distraught. "There is no alternative to Ukrainian victory. There is no alternative to Ukraine in the EU. There is no alternative to Ukraine in NATO. There is no alternative to our unity," he told the MSC. The broader aim should be to "liberate Europe" and "to liberate from Russia's aggressive potential every international institution and every sphere of the world economy," he added.
For good measure, he also used this speech to fearmonger about Iran, saying it poses a nuclear threat to that region of the world.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz took his cue from Zelensky, saying countries able to send battle tanks to Ukraine should "actually do so now." This is "a responsibility that a country of Germany's size, location and economic strength has to shoulder in times like these," he said.
Scholz said Germany would "permanently" adhere to the NATO goal of spending two per cent of its GDP on defence, which it has yet to reach, despite a massive 100 billion euro special fund for military investment. Germany needs to boost its defence industry and switch to "a permanent production of the most important weapons we are using," the chancellor added.
The German chancellor said Ukraine's allies with German-made, modern Leopard 2 tanks in their stocks should join Germany in delivering them to Ukraine, adding that his government would use the MSC to "campaign intensively for this."
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius, speaking to reporters in Munich earlier in the day said, "It must be clear to everyone: It will not be possible to fulfill the tasks that lie ahead of us with barely two per cent."
Scholz also said that Germany "will do everything it can to make this decision easier for our partners," offering to provide logistical support and training for Ukrainian soldiers on the tanks. "I see this as an example of the kind of leadership which everyone is entitled to expect from Germany and I expressly offer it to our friends and partners." News reports indicate, however, that some allies like Finland are dragging their feet on tank donations, while others like Portugal are not sending as many as Germany had hoped.
French President Emmanuel Macron also backed the call for more arms for Ukraine. "We must collectively be credible," Macron told the MSC. He said this is "the only way to make Russia come back to the negotiating table in an acceptable manner and build a sustainable peace. That is: at a time and under conditions to be chosen by Ukrainians."
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said in an interview with MSCNBC the same day, the US. "will make sure that we do everything possible within our power to strengthen Ukraine's position on the battlefield. So that if and when there are negotiations, Ukraine will be in the strongest position in a negotiation."
Executive Summary of Munich Security Report 2023
The Executive Summary of the Munich Security Report 2023 focuses on:
1. Ukraine Crisis: "A re-envisioned liberal, rules-based international order is needed to strengthen democratic resilience in an era of fierce systemic competition with autocratic regimes. But to make this vision more attractive among the wider international community and help it win the contest for the future international order, democracies must also take into account legitimate criticism and concerns among the wider international community."
2. Human Rights: "Human rights (Chapter 2) have been a major flashpoint in the growing systemic competition. China, supported by Russia, is at the forefront of broader authoritarian pushback against international human rights and the mechanisms built to protect them. The vision that Beijing is pursuing, Western observers worry, is nothing less than to create a world safe for autocracy. Among others, China seeks to ensure that collective rights, as defined and upheld by the state, take precedence over individual civil and political liberties. But disagreement on human rights is also evident within and among the democratic states of the world. Certainly influenced by the experience of Western colonialism and imperialism, many non-Western democracies show greater concern for sovereignty and non-interference than their Western counterparts, and are thus reluctant to support robust action in the name of human rights."
3. Global Infrastructures: "Global infrastructures (Chapter 3) have likewise become an important site of geopolitical competition. Democratic and autocratic camps openly compete to imbue physical and digital infrastructures with their governance visions."
4. Development Cooperation: "Development cooperation (Chapter 4) has not been spared from systemic competition either. Health and food security as well as climate finance have become key policy fields where competing narratives of a desirable development order are playing out."
5. Energy: "[T]he new energy order (Chapter 5) increasingly reflects geopolitical considerations rather than market logic. Russia's autocratic revisionism and its weaponization of fossil fuel exports have made energy dependency on autocratic great powers a major concern for Western liberal democracies. They now need to ensure that their efforts to wean themselves off Russian oil and gas do not simultaneously further increase their dependence on other autocracies, including China (for critical raw materials) and Qatar (for gas)."
6. Nuclear Threat: "Revisionist autocracies present various challenges to the nuclear order and strategic stability (Chapter 6). Most importantly, Russian threats of using nuclear weapons in the war against Ukraine have raised concerns around the globe. China has significantly invested in additional nuclear capabilities without increasing transparency. And North Korea and Iran present their own challenges to the nuclear order. Given the deteriorating security environment, democratic nuclear powers have reiterated their commitment to nuclear deterrence, while the prospects for arms control initiatives have dimmed."
(With files from MSC, Politico, AP, and Global Times. Photos: Anthurium.)
For Your Information
Disinformation on Ukraine
Accusations and counter-accusations have become one of the features of the current conflict in Ukraine. There are many disturbing elements, none more disturbing than the potential of the disinformation to arouse passions, disorient and confuse people and even totally overwhelm them.
While most recipients of the reports are in no position to independently know what is happening there, it is clear the officials of the U.S./NATO countries, their media and acolytes, and Ukraine itself, have become past masters at blaming Russia for atrocities. The Russians are accused of committing war crimes which never seem to be investigated by impartial bodies following professional forensic standards. Many are found to be false but then the officials, their media and acolytes just move on to the next. They are successful at inflaming passions and covering up, remaining silent about the known crimes of the forces they support or whitewash them and then spew hatred against Russia to justify the commission of even more crimes which they then also blame on the Russians.
The more the crimes blamed on Russia are exposed, the more extreme the crimes blamed on Russia become. It is the outlook which imbues the way the stories are told which makes what is happening acceptable or unacceptable but that is not really the point. The point is that it serves to divert the attention of the people from the need to mobilize themselves to put forward their own demand to make Canada a zone for peace, get Canada out of NATO and to dismantle NATO. In the case of Ukraine, the U.S./NATO forces are doing everything to prolong the war, saying that there is no solution through negotiations, only a military solution. They are dumping arms into Ukraine, in many cases using the conflict as an excuse to get rid of obsolete technology and then direct huge sums to be spent on the production of new weapons. Meanwhile they use Ukraine to test the response of Russian forces, intelligence and the like while complacently prolonging the war "to the last Ukrainian."
The lend/lease law adopted in the United States means that the people of Europe will be paying the cost of these weapons for decades to come, besides the cost of "hosting" foreign troops and bases on their territories and suffering the consequences of sanctions on Russia. They are further expanding NATO in an outright provocation which further endangers Russia's security along its longest border with Finland. The reversal of Finland's foreign policy based on neutrality since World War II when its territory was used by the German Nazis to invade the Soviet Union, is a matter of serious concern for the peoples of northern Europe, all of Europe and the world.
For those who follow the reports closely, it is clear that the exposure of the crimes committed by the neo-Nazis who have been integrated into the Ukrainian armed forces have been quite extensive. They are simply dismissed by repeating the trite declaration that, in war, psy-ops and false news are par for the course. It is not possible to say who is telling the truth, they say, while quoting some ancient or modern expert on war strategy to underscore their point.
Nonetheless, what they cannot hide is the outlook they promote, which is racist, obscurantist, revanchist, belligerent, virulently anti-people and anti-Russia.
The best examples are the actions and statements of those who make up what are called right-wing extremists or right-wing elements when referring to the neo-Nazis and descendants of former Nazi collaborators called freedom-fighters. They are imbued with hatred and bravado about committing heinous acts against Russians but, despite this, the U.S./NATO officials claim they are not controlling the Ukrainian military campaign led by a U.S./NATO command structure.
As for allegations of crimes committed by the Russians, Russia itself has pleaded with the UN to have independent fact-finding missions into the massacres, military strikes against civilians and sabotage Russian forces are alleged to have carried out. It has also asked for a serious response to its allegations of labs intended for use in biological warfare. This is indeed what should be done. Despite the serious arguments produced in the recent extensive article by Seymour Hersh on the sabotage of the NordStream 2 Pipeline, no measures are taken to corroborate or refute his allegations and the defamation of Russia which is alleged to have sabotaged the pipeline itself continues.
Beyond that, there is no need to comment on the outlook Russia espouses because it is the one that has been demanding a negotiated settlement since 2014 and continues to do so today and this too should be done. Furthermore, nobody can seriously argue that its cause, which demands international recognition and enforcement of legitimate security guarantees against threatening NATO enlargement is not just, or that the population of the Donbass does not deserve to be protected against the crimes committed against it by neo-Nazi formations.
Left: picket in 2014 in Ottawa demanding Canadian government not support and fund neo-Nazis in Ukraine; right: 2020 social media post from Donbass, Ukraine
The issue is not a matter that in war "both sides" commit crimes to reach their objectives. The issue is not that in opposition to such crimes one should side with a righteous Ukraine and oppose an evil Russia or vice-versa, side with a righteous Russia and oppose an evil Ukraine. War crimes cannot be excused by saying that in war "things happen." Everyone must be brought to justice but this is precisely what the U.S./NATO forces will not permit. They have been caught staging crimes and lying for so long and this cannot be lost from sight when evaluating what is taking place in Ukraine today.
It is a tried and true Nazi method to commit the most heinous massacres, such as the massacre of Polish officers in Katyn Forest which they then blamed on the Russians. And there are many other such crimes before, during and after WWII which the Nazi propaganda machine and Hearst newspaper empire in the United States blamed on the communists to cover up what cause was being defended by whom.
The litany of lies, stories and false flag operations the U.S. is known to have perpetrated in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the U.S. engineered coups d'้tat and terror operations carried out throughout the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s, through to this day, speak volumes of the cause the U.S./NATO and its member countries defend.
The issue is that the "collective west," as the U.S./NATO offensive is now often referred to, is using Ukraine as a forward base to isolate, humiliate and crush Russia and, by the looks of it, expand its hegemony not only over Europe but also the Asia-Pacific so as to isolate China. It is also clearly using Ukraine as a dumping ground for obsolete U.S. weapons it has sold to NATO members and funnelled into the hands of the neo-Nazis which have been permitted to overrun Ukraine by the U.S./NATO forces. Most importantly, all the measures taken by the U.S./NATO countries, including Canada, which block a negotiated settlement and prolong the war should themselves be considered war crimes.
All Out for a Negotiated Settlement to the
Oppose the Lies, Disinformation and Warmongering!
Far from Expanding NATO, Dismantle NATO!
Make Canada a Zone for Peace!
There are indications that the Canadian state is having difficulty imposing its disinforming narrative on the polity about the proxy war in Ukraine. Canada is resorting to police powers to criminalize discussion and dissemination of information that does not support the U.S./NATO propaganda for war, to block people from informing themselves and discussing and deciding for themselves what stands serve their interests and the interest of international peace.
Amongst other things, it is promoting the Freedom Online Coalition, which attempts to provide an ideological foundation to justify curbing freedom of speech and information. On March 2, 2022, Ma้va Proteau, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued a statement on behalf of Canada as the 2022 Chair of the coalition. The statement was signed by Proteau and issued by Global Affairs Canada.
The statement says the coalition is comprised of "34 governments united by our belief that the same human rights people enjoy offline must be protected online."
The statement claims that the "unprovoked and unjustifiable attack by the Russian Federation against the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of the democratic state of Ukraine was preceded by a steady outpouring of fabricated claims and unfounded allegations online by the Russian Federation."
"We have since witnessed a continued onslaught of disinformation orchestrated by the Russian Federation," the statement claims.
No evidence whatsoever is given to define the words "unprovoked" "unjustifiable" or "attack." They are just repeated as part of the U.S./NATO narrative for which Canada is an unapologetic cheerleader. Significantly, no evidence is proffered to show that the Russian Federation is pouring out "fabricated claims and unfounded allegations online."
The statement shows disdain for the right of the peoples of the world to be informed about matters which concern them, referring to them as those who "consume" online news. More importantly it makes sweeping assertions that many believe more aptly apply to U.S./NATO propaganda such as this statement:
"At an unprecedented moment in history, when people around the world are turning to the Internet to connect, learn and consume their news, the Russian Federation's coordinated disinformation campaign has conjured false and misleading narratives intended to corrupt the information environment. This campaign aims to sow confusion, seed division, and erode trust in democracy. It ultimately puts lives at risk."
It then builds the case for curbing and criminalizing freedom of speech by saying: "State-sponsored disinformation campaigns undermine peace, prosperity and individual freedoms, threatening to destabilize the fabric of our rules-based international system.
"A strong democracy relies on access to diverse and reliable sources of news and information so that members of society can form opinions, hold governments and individuals to account, and participate in public debate."
The assertion of what a strong democracy requires is hypocritical because it implies that the coalition upholds these practices and aims, which is not the case. It does not encourage discussion or the dissemination of information which permits members of society to "form opinions, hold governments and individuals to account, and participate in public debate."
"The Freedom Online Coalition stands for the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms online and offline," it says, and adds, "We stand with the people of Ukraine, reaffirming that they should be able to participate meaningfully in society online and offline, free from oppressive practices such as state-sponsored disinformation."
We then come to the crux of the matter. The statement says, "We call for the cessation of the conducting and sponsoring of disinformation campaigns, and urge all stakeholders to take active steps to address the issue in a manner that respects human rights, democracy and the rule of law."
But there's the rub. Who defines what it means "to respect human rights, democracy and the rule of law"?
The statement does not pause to ponder such things. It immediately goes on to say what will be outlawed only as concerns what the Russian Federation is accused of doing, not anything done by intelligence agencies working for the U.S./NATO. It says:
"We call for the end of Internet shutdowns and the blocking or filtering of services. We also call for the Russian Federation to refrain from content restrictions on the Internet that violate international human rights laws. States must not unduly restrict, moderate or manipulate online content or disrupt networks to deny users access to information, contrary to their international obligations."
In the name of the freedom it espouses, it then praises the use of social media under its control to curb the social media which it claims is a purveyor of disinformation. It says:
"More than ever, social media platforms are powerful tools of information. They play a key role in the health of democracies and global stability. Social media platforms play an important role in the fight against disinformation -- in the last few days, we have seen them make unprecedented and powerful decisions to restrain the Russian Federation's attempts to misinform national and international audiences."
Totally dismissing the key question of what constitutes freedom of expression, it declares:
"While respecting freedom of expression, Canada calls on platforms to work with the Freedom Online Coalition and to keep taking every step possible to counter state-sponsored disinformation, including that propagated by Russia Today and Sputnik channels online. We offer our continued collaboration to get this done in a manner guided by respect for human rights and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights."
It says, "Together, let's send a clear message -- the world order we have fought hard to maintain is under attack. Disinformation cannot be enabled, whether through state media, private media or social media platforms."
The statement was endorsed by 19 countries, plus presumably by
Canada itself: Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland,
Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
There is no explanation why, if the coalition was comprised of 34 countries at that time (as of 2023 it has 36 members), the others are not listed as endorsers. Notably, the 20 endorsing countries are either members of NATO, the European Union or the U.S.-led Five Eyes global espionage network. Most of the coalition's other member countries are in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
An ongoing issue in Ukraine is the presence of neo-Nazi battalions in its military. These battalions were founded by anti-Russia oligarchs as part of their aim to create hostile relations with Russia. These battalions have been involved in terrorism and ethnic cleansing in eastern Ukraine against Russian-speaking Ukrainians. These forces, with the backing of the U.S. and NATO, were part of the 2014 Maidan coup, that set the stage for Ukraine to be used by the U.S. and NATO to fight a proxy war against Russia.
Among the aims of the disinformation campaign about the conflict in Ukraine at this time is to claim that these forces are no longer associated with neo-Nazism. It is to explain away the open support of neo-Nazi ideology and honouring of Ukrainian war criminals and Nazi collaborators from World War II. In turn, this permits the disinformation that Russia's special military operation -- one of the aims of which is the denazification of Ukraine -- is unilateral and unprovoked.
The current Ukrainian government and its defenders deny the presence of Nazis in its armed forces. However, such claims are disproved by the Nazi insignia that continues to be worn by Ukrainian troops and the tributes paid by the neo-Nazi battalions to Nazi collaborators and war criminals from World War II.
The Azov Battalion was founded by the National Corps, which still leads it politically. National Corps leader Andriy Biletsky espouses white supremacy and hatred against Jewish people. The National Corps, the Azov Battalion and other similar military formations, venerate Stepan Bandera, the Ukrainian collaborator who worked with the Nazis to slaughter Jews and Poles in Ukraine in World War II.
Such activities have implications for the people of Canada and the U.S., where governments have facilitated the immigration of Ukrainians who espouse the memory and reactionary outlook of these Nazi collaborators. These serve as an overseas base of support for the neo-Nazis and their crimes in Ukraine and a source of disinformation about the conflict in Ukraine that favours the U.S. and NATO aims of encircling Russia.
In late September 2022, a delegation of the neo-Nazi Azov movement visited the U.S. to drum up political and financial support for Ukraine and its military, including the neo-Nazi battalions. Since 2018, Azov has been barred from receiving direct funding and training from the U.S. military. Recent trips to the U.S. and other countries by Azov members are aimed at reversing this.
In line with this aim, these neo-Nazis have been making some half-hearted attempts to claim that they do not espouse reactionary ideologies. U.S. writer Moss Robeson, reporting on the delegation's visit, writes:
"Among them is Giorgi Kuparashvili, a co-founder of the Azov Regiment and a leader of its Yevhen Konovalets Military School, named for the founder of the fascistic Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. According to journalist Leonid Ragozin, 'The school functioned outside Ukraine's system of military ed--ucation one of many reasons to suspect that Azov was highly autonomous and never truly integrated in [the] armed forces.' [...]
"The group first made an impromptu appearance at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey (UACCNJ) in Whippany on Saturday, September 17. The last minute event, thrown together the day before, promised to 'dispel the Russian agitprop that the Azov regiment is Nazi.'"
Robeson also reported on the delegation's visit to a Ukrainian church in Detroit, Michigan at an event organized by U.S. partners of the Azov movement's charity wing:
"Standing on one side of the room was Borys Potapenko, a member of the UACRCM and an international coordinator of Stepan Bandera's Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) who is also among the leadership of the far-right 'Capitulation Resistance Movement' in Ukraine, which allied with Azov's National Corps against Volodymyr Zelensky in 2019-22."
The church event involved an auction of Azov insignia patches,
featuring the Nazi wolfsangel symbol. Kuparashvili claimed that
those who say it is a Nazi symbol are mistaken, it is merely the
letters N and I from the Latin alphabet superimposed,
representing the "National Idea" of Ukraine. Of course, Ukraine
uses the Cyrillic alphabet, whose letters do not correspond to
this explanation. Meanwhile, the word "Azov" itself appears on
the insignia in Cyrillics, not the Latin alphabet. Some Azov
insignia includes the "Black Sun" another known Nazi symbol, in
addition to the wolfsangel.
Evolution of the Azov insignia. Besides the wolfsangel, the
Black Sun in the middle version
is also a Nazi symbol.
While in Washington, DC, the Azov delegation met with Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (California) along with some 20 representatives from both the Republican and Democratic parties.
The Association of Families of Defenders of Azovstal described receiving a warm welcome from the members of Congress who "expressed their sincere support to our delegation and Ukraine as a whole and assured that they have no doubts about the victory of our country in this war, and also repeatedly emphasized their admiration for the heroic Azov regiment."
Azov Battalion Leader Welcomed by Zionists
In December 2022, Illia Samoilenko, an officer in the Azov Battalion, received a warm welcome in Israel, where he carried out a similar disinformation campaign to claim that the Azov Battalion had disassociated itself from neo-Nazism. Also on the trip was Yulia Fedosiuk, who had earlier in the year travelled to the U.S.
Samoilenko, speaking to The Times of Israel, claimed that those who espoused neo-Nazism were "marginal" and left the battalion early on. The Times cited a purported expert who claimed, without basis that "there were neo-Nazis among the group's founders in 2014, but [...] most far-right ideologues left by the end of the year."
Fedosiuk, using the clich้ defence of those accused of racism, told The Times, "One of my best friends, he is a Jew and he is in Azov."
In a similar vein, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which claims to "fight all forms of anti-Semitism and bias," in November 2022, reversed its prior course from just months before and defended the Azov Battalion, also claiming that it is not the same organization as before. In response to a hate-incident report filed by a journalist with the Grayzone, regarding a Pentagon-sponsored sports competition hosted in honour of an Azov veteran who openly sports a Nazi tattoo, the ADL stated:
"When it was created in 2014, the Azov Brigade was a private military group fighting the then annexation of Crimea. During this period, it was a group that had a clear far-right influence. In late 2014, the group was brought in as a part of the Ukrainian National Guard and renamed the Azov Regiment. When this happened, the Ukrainian government investigated the group and claims to have expelled it of these far-right members. It was also during this time that its founder Andriy Biletsky left AZOV and has since worked in the greater Azov movement, including founding a far-right political party, the National Corps. In essence, there was a split between the military unit AZOV and the political goals of its founding members. Of course, this is not to say that they have successfully removed all far-right elements from their ranks, but our Center on Extremism also does not see Azov Regime as the far-right group it once was."
The Grayzone noted, "The ADL's stunning defense of Azov as a largely depoliticized fighting unit is undermined most strongly by the ADL's own research material."
As for the purported split between the National Corps and the Azov Battalion, the Grayzone writes:
"Azov's Kyiv recruitment centre and military academy share a location with the offices of the National Corps," a researcher for the U.S. government-sponsored Bellingcat outlet explained in the NATO-affiliated Atlantic Council in 2020. The researcher added that Azov "routinely hosts Biletsky (and other former commanders) at its bases and welcomes his participation in ceremonies, greeting him as a leader."
Video of Ukrainian Soldiers Giving Neo-Nazi Salute
For video of Ukrainian soldiers giving the Neo-Nazi salute click here.
Members of the Azov Battalion
pose with NATO flag in photo posted on twitter.
Evidence shows that through Operation UNIFIER Canada provided training for the Banderite Nazi battalions that are part of Ukraine's military -- a fact the Prime Minister and his government deny and which other cartel parties with seats in the Parliament do not address.
On May 2, 2022, the Prime Minister, while at an event in Windsor promoting the auto sector, responded to a reporter who asked him about remarks made the day before by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an interview with Italian media. Lavrov had pointed out that the U.S. and Canada "have played a leading role in the training of openly neo-Nazi ultra-radical divisions in Ukraine. The goal has been all these years to get neo-Nazis to join the regular military forces of Ukraine."
Trudeau did not issue a denial. In his usual style, he
circumvented the question by trying to discredit Russia instead,
saying that all those who oppose "the horrors of the Holocaust
and the extremely worrying rise in hate crimes" must "condemn
ever more strongly the ridiculous and unacceptable positions of
Russia." Accusing Russia of being a Holocaust denier is par for
the course -- one of the clumsy and crude ways the U.S. and NATO
countries are spreading russophobia and inciting passions to
divert attention from what is taking place in Ukraine.
In a May 4 statement emailed to CTV, the Department of National Defence (DND) noted that it recently absolved itself of any allegations that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have trained Ukrainian neo-Nazis.
"Regarding your questions about our review of the George Washington University report findings, the review was started in the Fall of 2021 and is now complete. The review examined whether the CAF had exercised their due diligence in preventing members of right-wing extremist organizations from receiving training as part of Operation UNIFIER," the statement said. "The report is still under review by the CAF chain of command, but it concludes that there was no factual basis found of neo-Nazi links for the group trained by Task-Force Ukraine."
The statement goes on to claim that the CAF takes "every reasonable measure" to ensure no training is provided to members of extremist elements, and that the report contains classified and sensitive information, and they are analyzing which parts will be released to the public.
The statement specifically claims that "Canada does not train members of Azov Battalion -- this has never been part of our mandate ... what has always been clear is that have not -- nor will we -- be providing training support to Azov and affiliated entities."
CTV noted that claims in the DND statement are directly refuted by first-hand testimony from an Azov Regiment officer interviewed by CTV, "in which he states that while the group was not allowed to take part with Canada's mission in Ukraine known as Operation UNIFIER officially, Canadian instructors 'became friends' with Azov members and instructors, speaking and dealing with them as 'professionals to professionals.'"
A photo featured on the social media account of Azov regiment member Kyrylo Berkal shows Canadian instructors involved with their training.
Prior to this, on April 11, Radio Canada reported that Canadian military personnel trained both members of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion as well as at least one Ukrainian soldier who sported the crest of a Nazi SS unit from World War II. The training took place in November 2020, Radio Canada said.
Canadians training the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, November 3, 2020. Right: soldier in foreground sports neo-Nazi insignia.
In an April 13 interview with the Ottawa Citizen, Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel said, "There is no question that there are neo-Nazis in different forms in Ukraine, whether they are in the Azov regiment or other organizations." Regarding claims such as those made by Prime Minister Trudeau that allegations made against the Azov regiment are part of a Russian disinformation campaign, Zuroff stated, "It's not Russian propaganda, far from it. These people are neo-Nazis. There is an element of the ultra-right in Ukraine and it's absurd to ignore it."
The Citizen further reported, "Defence sources acknowledged the crest worn by the Ukrainian soldier in Canadian military photos [in the November 2020 training] is the insignia of Ukraine's SS unit which fought for the Nazis. The other photos show Ukrainian troops with insignia linked to the Azov unit."
The Citizen notes that in June 2018, Canadian officials, including military personnel, met with leaders of the Azov unit, despite knowing about its espousal of Nazi ideology. National Defence documents show that their concern was not the interactions with the Azov unit and neo-Nazis, who were clearly part of what Canada officially calls freedom fighters. The concern was that news media would expose details of the meeting when Canadians allowed themselves to be with unit members, which the Azov Battalion then used for propaganda purposes.
Meeting between Canadian officials and the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, June 18, 2020.
On April 29, the Investigative Committee of Russia issued a statement that it is investigating the activities of Canadian military instructors who trained Ukrainian neo-Nazis. "The Investigative Committee's investigators, who are looking into this fact as part of criminal cases related to the crimes of Ukrainian nationalists, will employ measures to identify those engaged in military training programs teaching ways to commit crimes against civilians," the statement reads.
Photo posted to the Canadian Armed Forces in Ukraine Facebook page shows then Commanding Officer of Canada's Operation UNIFIER Lieutenant-Colonel Ryan Stimpson speaking at the 2020 graduation ceremony for Ukraine's National Army Academy at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre in Yavoriv. There is evidence those belonging to an organization called "Centuria" with ties to the Azov Battalion operate inside the Academy.
Canadian soldiers, Canada's Ambassador to Ukraine Roman
Waschuk speaks at an August 21, 2019 ceremony that unveiled a
monument in Sambir to honour members of the Organization of
Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army which
collaborated with the Nazis.
The Azov Battalion and several others like it that espouse
neo-Nazi ideology were founded in 2014 and funded by various
oligarchs. They stand accused of human rights violations and war
crimes by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights and Amnesty International for their activities against
the people of the Donbass region.
The presence of neo-Nazis in the ranks of the Ukrainian military is so pervasive that even the President of Ukraine, who NATO governments and media assure us cannot be a Nazi because he is a Jew, in an act ostensibly intended to mark the victory over Nazi fascism on Victory Day, May 9, shared a photo on Instagram and Telegram of a Ukrainian soldier wearing the "death's head" (totenkopf). The "death's head" is the insignia of the 3rd SS Panzer Division, a unit of elite Nazi soldiers infamous for committing numerous war crimes and massacres of French civilians and Polish Jews. The aim was, presumably, to hail the Ukrainian resistance against what he calls Russian aggression which is compared to Nazi aggression during World War II. While the picture was soon deleted from his social media, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence also posted the photo.
In today's violent climate fostered by neo-liberal
governments, the "death's head" logo is a known "hate symbol"
used by neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.
Similarly, NATO on International Women's Day used Twitter to highlight women in Ukraine's military but had to pull the tweet after social media users pointed out that women pictured were wearing Nazi-affiliated insignia, the Ottawa Citizen reported on April 13.
Ukraine is said to be the only country in the world that has
integrated openly neo-Nazi militias into its national military.
While these militias were once described by monopoly media as
"neo-Nazi," this has now been sanitized by referring to them as
"far-right groups." Since Russian troops entered Ukraine in
February, stashes of Nazi paraphernalia have been found in the
houses and bases of these militia members, and social media
accounts run by the Ukrainian government have posted similar
images of soldiers wearing Nazi and far-right insignia.
On May 9, 2015, TML Weekly reported on a meeting organized by extreme right-wing nationalists and Nazi collaborators to commemorate the end of World War II by gathering on May 7 to mark a newly established "Day of Remembrance for World War II Victims" at the Center of National Rebirth in Kiev. At the meeting, they gave the appeal for Kiev to take up its "historic mission to continue the deed of our predecessors" to destroy Moscow, freeing the Russian people and enabling them to shape their own future. Those present at the May 7 meeting were veterans of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS and Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and members of the neo-Nazi volunteer battalions fighting with government troops against the people of Donestk and Lugansk.
The meeting was also attended by Yuri Sirotyuk, a member of the fascist political party Svoboda. The party's official website posted the text of his speech at the event. "We shall get rid of the dead load of imperialism," Sirotyuk is reported to have said.
"I believe that if we truly want it, we will do it. Another question is that Ukraine, unfortunately, is still not a national Ukrainian power. Some of the Ukrainian political leadership feel indifference towards the Ukrainian nation. The Ukrainian leadership feel indifference when Ukrainian officers are being buried. But they feel sore when their stocks are falling and when they think of their factories, located in Russia," he said.
According to the website, the meeting was part of the "Historic Dialogues" project and the theme of the gathering was "The Second World War and Russian-Ukrainian War of 2014-2015: Parallels and Regularities."
These are all people that officials of the government of Canada and Canadian military leaders have been dealing with.
(With files from Canadian Press, BBC, Al Jazeera, Toronto Star, TML Weekly. Photos: Toten Kopf, Kyrylo Berkal)
Arms Shipments to Ukraine
Since Russia launched its Special Military Operation was launched on February 24, 2022, to safeguard Russia's security in the face of NATO's aggressive eastward expansion by denazifying and demilitarizing Ukraine, Canada has made various contributions to this U.S./NATO proxy war whose aim is to isolate and crush Russia.
- Canada committed to bring in an "unlimited number" of
Ukrainian refugees and their families. It has thus far accepted
more than 160,000 Ukrainians and their immediate family members
under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel
(CUAET) which was set up on March 17, 2022. The Prime Minister's
Office reports that as of February 16, close to 560,000
applications for travel to Canada under these measures have been
approved. The program, to fast track entry visas and provide for
the refugees above and beyond what is available to other
refugees or migrant workers in this country, allows the
Ukrainians to stay in Canada for up to three years on
accelerated visas. Information about the fate of the people who
have arrived in Canada is scant but reports indicate there is
talk about extending the program.
- The Prime Minister's Office on February 24 reported that Canada has provided more than "$5 billion in direct financial, military, humanitarian, and immigration assistance to Ukraine," of which more than $1 billion is military assistance. Meanwhile, it has been enforcing economic sanctions against Russian businesses and individuals in the past year alone. Canada bans the import and export of some goods from and to Russia and has joined other NATO countries on imposing a cap on the price of a barrel of oil sold from Russia.
- The military assistance Canada has provided to Ukraine includes what it calls intelligence and cybersecurity cooperation and training "over 35,000 members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine." Those trained include neo-Nazi fighters, about which the Canadian and Ukrainian governments are in denial, and to cover this up, the latter has integrated these troops into the Ukrainian armed forces.
- Other military assistance from Canada includes the commitment
to send four additional "battle-ready" Leopard 2 tanks from its
inventory of 112 such tanks, bringing the number of tanks it
will send to eight. This commitment was made by Foreign Minister
M้lanie Joly during a quick token trip to Kiev on the eve of the
one-year anniversary of the war, where she pledged $21 million
"to fight sexual violence and help demining efforts," news
- Other assistance from Canada is part of the disinformation campaign to cover up that the conflict in Ukraine is a U.S./NATO proxy war and and to cover up the crimes of the Ukrainian neo-Nazis, as well as to demonize Russia. This includes "$13 million for accountability efforts, including to address conflict-related sexual violence over $12 million to counter chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats." Canada also announced on February 24 that it has joined the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group, that includes for Ukraine the U.S., UK and European Union, to "directly support the efforts of the War Crimes Units of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine to document, preserve, and analyze evidence of war crimes and other atrocities committed in Ukraine, to ensure those responsible are held accountable."
Canada's contributions are troublesome from A to Z. Its preferential treatment of Ukrainian refugees is the most egregious official Eurocentrism and racism, as refugees, migrant workers and guest workers from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and so-called undocumented workers are treated as if they are refuse on a garbage heap, without status or protections of any kind.
The donation of eight so-called battle-ready Leopard 2 tanks is used to give the impression that Canada is a significant player and always ready to step up to the plate to shore up the war hysteria that Ukraine can defeat Russia on the battlefield notwithstanding all evidence to the contrary. The tanks come with many limitations and caveats not mentioned in the official announcement by Defence Minister Anita Anand on January 26. The caveats cast serious doubt about the intentions of Canada and the other members of NATO.
Canada's stock of Leopard 2 tanks were purchased from the
Netherlands 15 years ago. Besides this being a massive
expenditure for military equipment in which Canadians had no
say, in the main they oppose such expenditures unless they are
for purposes of the defence of Canada. Linked as this purchase
was to the aggressive military alliances NATO and NORAD, it
cannot be said to be for Canada's self-defence. According to
experts in the field, the Canadian military has a history of
purchasing used military equipment which proves to be
significantly defective or to have high maintenance
Canada's Leopard 2 Tanks
"On paper at least, Canada has 112 Leopard 2 tanks, of which 82 are fighting tanks. The remaining 30 are armoured battlefield engineering vehicles with treads that are intended for erecting or demolishing obstacles, and other tasks," a January 26 article in the Globe and Mail notes. Citing various professors and former Canadian military commanders who give their assessment of the number and quality of the tanks Canada has, the article provides some perspective:
"Retired general Andrew Leslie, a former commander of the Canadian Army, has said he's heard that only about 20 Canadian tanks are functioning, with the remainder in storage or waiting for spare parts to be fixed.
"Retired general Rick Hillier, a former Canadian chief of the defence staff, said Thursday's [January 26] tank commitment by Ottawa is too small. Mr. Hillier, now an adviser to the Ukrainian World Congress advocacy group, said Canada should be preparing more of its tanks for Kyiv. [...]
"Stephen Biddle, a [U.S.] defence-policy expert, said the new tanks [from the U.S., Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and others] will certainly help Ukraine [and are] important, but certainly not transformative [...] 'On the margins, this will help. But it's probably not, in and of itself, going to make the difference between a lightning offensive that retakes all of the ground the Russians hold and a stalemate. It's not likely to be a silver bullet that transforms the military situation when it arrives.'
"Steve Saideman, a political scientist at Carleton University
in Ottawa and director of the Canadian Defence and Security
Network, said he thinks Ottawa decided to send four tanks
'because it would make the smallest dent' in the Canadian Armed
Forces." The prime Minister announced four additional Leopard 2
tanks on February 24.
Canada's Provision of Light-Armoured Vehicles
In November 2022, Canada committed 39 light-armoured vehicles to Ukraine, with Minister Anand saying that Canada is a "leader" in providing such equipment to Ukraine. Scott Taylor, writing in Esprit du Corps, puts this contribution in perspective:
"The fact that Canada had these 39 brand new LAVs to give away directly from the GDLS [General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada] factory has its origins in a 2018 diplomatic spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia. [...]
"In August 2018, the Saudis had just placed a whopping $15 billion order for more LAVs from GDLS-Canada when Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland publicly denounced the Saudi Kingdom for human rights violations. In turn the Saudis expelled Canada's ambassador to Riyadh and cancelled all new trade deals."
He goes on to explain that "military sales are run through the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), which acts as the middle man," and that the Canadian government was ultimately on the hook to pay General Dynamics-USA for the LAVs. On this basis, "the Canadian government hastily moved up its own plans to buy new LAVs, doubled the purchase order and provided GDLS-Canada with an upfront $600 million interest-free loan."
The total deal is $3 billion for 360 new LAVs for the Canadian Army. The 39 shipped to Ukraine were available only "because the Saudi dispute forced the Liberal government's hand into bailing out GDLS-Canada and their parent company in the USA."
In January, during a trip to Ukraine, Minister Anand announced that 200 more armoured vehicles would be provided to Ukraine from Mississauga-based Roshel, at a cost of $90 million.
Later that month, the Department of National Defence (DND) stated, "Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $1 billion in military assistance donations to Ukraine. This includes over 200 Senator Armoured Personnel Carriers, a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) with associated munitions, 39 armoured combat support vehicles, anti-tank weapons, small arms, M777 Howitzers and associated ammunition, high-resolution drone cameras, and more."
DND added, "On January 10, the Minister of National Defence announced that Canada is purchasing a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) and associated munitions from the United States to donate to Ukraine. This high priority acquisition is the first Canadian donation of an air defence system to Ukraine." According to DND, "This will assist Ukraine's efforts to protect population centres, critical infrastructure, and military targets."
"Since late March 2022, the Canadian Armed Forces has been
assisting with the delivery of military aid for Ukraine within
Europe from Canada and on behalf of our Allies and partners,
transporting over 6 million pounds of military donations to
date," DND states.
Overall, it can be seen how military contributions to support the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine are in lock-step with using public funds to support U.S. arms manufacturers and not in fact effective within the context of the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine.
Kris Osborn, President of Warrior Maven, the Center for Military Modernization in Washington, DC, who previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the ArmyAcquisition, Logistics & Technology and also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at Fox News, MSNBC, the Military Channel and the History Channel, well represents the kind of NATO propaganda in favour of arming Ukraine to isolate and crush Russia.
Osborn writes that multiple Russian news reports "are printing sharp criticisms and what could be called 'propaganda-type' spin related to the planned arrival of U.S. Abrams and German Leopard 2s in Ukraine."
"Of course, Leopard and Abrams tanks are very powerful vehicles. However, these tanks are garbage unless they are protected by fighter jets and enjoy strong defence and artillery support," Vice President of the Russian Academy of Missile and Artillery Sciences Konstantin Sivkov told the Turkish newspaper, Aydinlik.
While inviting "substantial skepticism" about the criticisms and comments, he says "several of the comments and quotes mentioned in Russia's TASS news agency and the Russian-owned Sputnik point to important questions related to the war in Ukraine and some of its tactical dynamics and concepts of operation.
"Both TASS and Sputnik essays argue that U.S. Abrams tanks will encounter a 'survivability' problem against Russia given the current state of anti-armour weapons and a lack of fighter jets, close air support and Combined Arms Maneuver integration."
Osborn reports what the former U.S. arms inspector Scott Ritter has written in Sputnik: "The decision to provide Ukraine with Western main battle tanks is, literally, a suicide pact, something those who claim they are looking out for the best interests of Ukraine should consider before it is too late," To a large extent, "the value of heavy armour such as tanks may have been 'outstripped' by the advent of anti-armour weapons and other technologies," Ritter writes.
Osborn then goes about refuting such criticisms by presenting spurious arguments, including by quoting WWII Nazi sources, claiming that Russia is too weak to achieve its objectives in Ukraine! His NATO war propaganda is so shameless, one would think it was the Nazis who won World War II.
According to Osborn, Russia is losing in Ukraine because, besides other things, it has "substandard reconnaissance," which he writes "may have its origins as far back as WWII, according to a well-documented February 2 essay in the National Institute for Public Policy called 'The Unchanging Nature of Russian Combat Methods,' by James Lariviere." Osborn nicely referring to the Nazi generals as "Germans" not Nazis, writes: "The essay documents and catalogs and articulates many observations made by German generals during their WWII invasion of Russia, including that, among other things, Russians were terrible at reconnaissance. Somewhat surprisingly, the Russian's poor reconnaissance tactics may not have changed much, if at all, since the WWII era, the essay explains."
He continues: "The generals [German] noted that Russian infantrymen were not 'inquisitive' and as such, Russian reconnaissance was extremely poor. They also noted that if reconnaissance elements met no resistance, Russian forces would plunge [...] ahead into the unknown without further reconnaissance. This seems consistent with some early video of Russian reconnaissance units in Ukraine being surrounded, destroyed, or repulsed in the early days of the conflict even as major assault elements seemed blind to Ukrainian defences."
Osborne argues, "When used with ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Operations], artillery, dismounted soldiers, infantry carriers, drones, rockets and other key elements of a Combined Arms Maneuver formation, arriving Abrams and Leopard tanks are likely to prove extremely impactful. Naturally, this is a reality which Russian newspapers might not be inclined to suggest."
Continuing, he writes: "Russia's poor history with Combined Arms Maneuver might explain why their incomplete or inaccurate view of how Abrams and Leopards will be operated, as the critics don't seem to recognize or perhaps understand Ukraine's use of Combined Arms. First of all, in a manner perhaps unlike Russian forces, Ukrainians have ISR, both NATO-supported satellite and drone surveillance. As part of this integrated ISR approach, Ukrainians are also operating smaller, hand-held, more organic drones such as U.S.-provided Pumas. These smaller drones are operated by and in close coordination with advancing ground units, offering critical forward reconnaissance and targeting specifics for attacking forces. Secondly, the Ukrainians continue to effectively use counter artillery radar, mobile 155mm artillery and long-range, land-launched rockets such as HIMARS [High Mobility Artillery Rocket System] and GMLRS [Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System] to great effect, meaning arriving tanks will quickly plug into a broader, more synchronized Combined Arms formation.
"Also, not to be overlooked is, simply put, the performance and technology of the Abrams itself. Ukraine is naturally getting export variants without certain sensitive technologies unique to the U.S., the Abrams brings what many suggest is the world's top tank. The fidelity, range and resolution of its thermal sights, for instance, were proven in the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom as they were able to find, target and destroy enemy formations and vehicles such as Iraqi T-72s from undetectable, safe stand-off ranges. [No mention either of the outcome of the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom -- both wars of destruction which in no way constitute U.S. victories or foreign policy successes -- TML Ed. Note.]
"The Abrams also now operates as an almost entirely new vehicle when compared to its inception in the 1980s by virtue of years of paradigm-changing upgrades to include improved armour components and configurations, computing and electronics, sensors and targeting, fire control and of course ammunition fired from its 120mm smoothbore cannon. Essentially, contrary to the Russian claim that Ukrainian Abrams and Leopards will be extremely vulnerable, the tanks will most likely be deployed by Ukraine within the context of a Combined Arms Maneuver framework, meaning they will operate with ISR, dismounted infantry support, rockets and artillery and a strong contingent of logistical and maintenance support.
"The Ukrainian tanks will likely be operating in coordination with medium-altitude and hand-launched drones, artillery, overhead surveillance, rockets and other support armoured vehicles such as Bradley infantry carriers and logistical platforms such as tactical trucks, MRAPs [Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles] and Humvees."
Osborn continues his attempt to shore up an outlook that Ukraine can defeat Russia on the battlefield by repeating that the Pentagon is in full control of operations in Ukraine.
"Specifically, the Pentagon has in recent months been sending tactical trucks and other critical logistical supplies able to provide the logistical support structure for arriving Abrams, meaning they can transport critical items such as ammunition, fuel and key maintenance equipment.
"The Russian critics, who also cite well-known logistical challenges associated with Abrams tanks, may not have fully recognized recent history during which the Pentagon has sent impactful numbers of tactical trucks, wheeled vehicles and critical supplies. Tactical vehicles can, among other things, ensure that the requisite supplies, maintenance personnel and critical items such as food, fuel and ammunition are forward transported in support of mechanized units."
He fails to point out that more and more, the U.S. is directly participating in the proxy war which makes it a war party subject to the rules of war. He continues:
"The Russian critics do make one point which seems quite significant, and that is simply a question of numbers. Reports are clear that the Pentagon is sending 31 Abrams tanks and Germany is sending 14 Leopards. This is a number which could clearly help enable counterattacking Ukrainian forces to break through a Russian perimeter, close to contact and reclaim territory to some degree, larger scale defence against thousands of Russian tanks and an ability to penetrate and hold the wider swaths of critical terrain necessary to sustain a victory may require more heavy armour and Wide Area Maneuvers with larger numbers of tanks.
"Global Firepower's 2022 military assessment reports that Russia operates as many as 12,000 tanks. The Pentagon does seem to recognize this, which is likely why U.S. military officials say DoD will use its new, Ukraine focused contracting vehicle enabling U.S. industry to specifically engineer and manufacture weapons and platforms for Ukraine. Abrams, the Pentagon says, will be part of this. The question is, can larger numbers of Abrams arrive fast enough? How many will Germany ultimately send?"
He then lambasts "Russia's inability to gain air superiority despite having hundreds more fighter jets. Certainly the Russian critics' point that lacking air superiority does make advancing ground forces and tanks more vulnerable seems accurate, yet this vulnerability is mitigated by the fact that 'neither side' has air superiority and Ukrainian tanks will almost certainly operate with ISR, artillery, air defences and perhaps even some kind of closer-in air support in the form of helicopters."
Writing for Consortium News on January 24,
Scott Ritter addresses the decision taken by the U.S. the
previous day to send about 30 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine,
which was seen as political cover for Germany, which confirmed
that so long as the U.S. would ship the Abrams tanks, Germany
would ship 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and give the go-ahead
to others to also contribute Leopard 2 tanks from their own
stockpiles. An excerpt of the article is posted below. Ritter
starts by explaining that various Ukrainian troops, including
units that include neo-Nazis are being trained by NATO
countries, and then goes on to address the matter of the
massive amount of arms being sent to Ukraine to equip these
units and others.
"The issue, however, is far more complex -- and controversial -- than simply providing basic military training to a few thousand adherents of Stepan Bandera's hate-filled ideology.
"The 67th Separate Mechanized Brigade [created from the incorporation of pro-Bandera troops into the Ukrainian Armed Forces] is likely to be one of three Ukrainian brigade-sized formations that will be trained and equipped using billions of dollars of military assistance recently approved during the eighth session of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.
"The contact group was first convened at the sprawling U.S. Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany, in April 2022, and has served as the primary mechanism of coordination between the armed forces of Ukraine and NATO regarding the provision of training and material support to the Ukrainian military.
"The most recent convocation of the Ramstein Contact Group took place in the shadow of an interview given by the commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, to The Economist, in December 2022. According to Zaluzhnyi, the primary problem facing Ukraine was the need 'to hold this line [i.e., the Soledar-Bakhmut defensive belt] and not lose any more ground.'
"Since that interview, Soledar has fallen to the Russians, and Bakhmut is threatened with being surrounded. Moreover, Russian forces are on the offensive north and south of the Bakhmut front, in some instances advancing up to seven kilometres per day.
"Zaluzhnyi also stated that the second priority for Ukraine was 'to get ready for this war which can happen in February . To be able to wage a war with fresh forces and reserves. Our troops are all tied up in battles now, they are bleeding. They are bleeding and are being held together solely by courage, heroism, and the ability of their commanders to keep the situation under control.'
"The Ukrainian commander noted that the February 'war' would have Ukraine resuming the attack: 'We have made all the calculations how many tanks, artillery we need and so on and so on. This is what everyone needs to concentrate on right now. May the soldiers in the trenches forgive me, it's more important to focus on the accumulation of resources right now for the more protracted and heavier battles that may begin next year.'
"The goal of this offensive, Zaluzhnyi said, was to push Russia back to the borders that existed on February 23, 2022, the start of the Russian invasion. He also indicated that the liberation of Crimea was an objective.
"'In order to reach the borders of Crimea, as of today we need to cover a distance of 84 kilometres to Melitopol [a strategic city in the south of the Donetsk Republic]. By the way, this is enough for us, because Melitopol would give us a full fire control of the land corridor, because from Melitopol we can already fire at the Crimean Isthmus.'
"Zaluzhnyi exuded confidence. 'I know that I can beat this enemy,' he said. 'But I need resources. I need 300 tanks, 600-700 IFV's [infantry fighting vehicles], 500 Howitzers. Then, I think it is completely realistic to get to the lines of February 23.'
"Zaluzhnyi spoke of an upcoming meeting with U.S. General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 'I will tell him [Milley] how much it is worth, how much it costs. If we don't get it, of course we will fight to the end. But as a movie character said, 'I don't vouch for the consequences.' The consequences are not hard to foresee. This is what we have to do.'
"In short, Zaluzhnyi was saying he could win the war with Russia if he received the requested amount of military equipment. Otherwise, Ukraine would likely lose the conflict.
The Eighth Session
"The eighth session of the Ramstein Contact Group convened on January 20 and the Ukrainians pressed hard for their Western allies to provide the material support Zaluzhnyi had requested.
"Defence ministers from more than 50 countries participated, including Ukraine's Oleksii Reznikov who, speaking at the Davos World Economic Forum a few days before the Ramstein meeting, declared that 'We [Ukraine] are carrying out NATO's mission today. They aren't shedding their blood. We're shedding ours. That's why they're required to supply us with weapons.'
"The Contact Group took the Ukrainian demand for material support under consideration, and by the end of the meeting had committed to providing Ukraine with a multi-billion dollar support package, including air defence weapons, artillery ammunition, support vehicle, and (perhaps most importantly) approximately 240 of the 500 infantry fighting vehicles it had requested, broken down roughly into one battalion (59 vehicles) of U.S.-made M-2 Bradleys, two battalions (90 vehicles) of M-1126s, one battalion (40 vehicles) of German Marders and one battalion (approximately 50 vehicles) of Swedish-made CV90s.
"The Ramstein Contact Group also promised delivery of four self-propelled artillery battalions, consisting of 19 Swedish-made Archer's, 18 British-made AS-90s, 18 U.S.-made M-109 Paladins, and a dozen French-made CEASARs. When added to the 24 towed FH-70 pieces, the total of artillery pieces being sent to Ukraine amounts to just under 100 artillery pieces, a far cry from the 500 requested by Zaluzhnyi.
"Missing from the Ramstein Contact Group list was anything remotely resembling the 300 tanks Zaluzhnyi had requested; the best Ukraine's European allies could muster [until Tuesday, January 24] was a promise from the United Kingdom to supply a company's worth (14) of Challenger 2 main battle tanks.
"Zaluzhnyi, in his interview with The Economist, had indicated that he could not accomplish his planned offensive with anything less than the three armoured and three mechanized brigade-equivalents he had requested.
"The collective West had responded with barely two brigade's worth of equipment.
"These two, when added to a third mechanized brigade that had previously been formed and was undergoing training in Poland, gave the Ukrainian general half of what he claimed he needed to launch a successful offensive against Russia.
"For U.S. General Milley, the equipment shortfall wasn't the issue -- training was. Prior to arriving at Ramstein, Milley toured the sprawling Grafenwoehr training grounds in Germany. There the U.S. Army is in the process of training some 600 Ukrainian soldiers to effectively move and coordinate their company- and battalion-size units in battle, using combined artillery, armour and ground forces.
"Speaking to reporters, General Milley said such training was critical in helping Ukraine recapture territory lost to Russia last year. The goal of this training, Milley said, is for incoming weapons and equipment to be delivered to Ukraine so the newly trained forces will be able to use it 'sometime before the spring rains show up. That would be ideal.'
What the West Is Giving
"Operational training, no matter how competently delivered and absorbed, does not paint an accurate picture of the true combat capability being turned over to Ukraine by the West. The reality is most of this equipment won't last a month under combat conditions; even if the Russians don't destroy them, maintenance issues will.
"Take, for instance, the 59 M-2 Bradley vehicles being supplied by the United States. According to anecdotal information obtained from Reddit, the Bradley is, to quote, 'a maintenance NIGHTMARE.'
"'I can't even begin to commiserate how f***ing awful maintenance on a Bradley is,' the author, a self-described U.S. Army veteran who served in a Bradley unit in Iraq, declared.
"'Two experienced crews MIGHT be able to change one Brad's track in three or four hours, if nothing goes wrong (something always goes wrong). Then you got the track adjuster arms, the shock arms, the roadwheels, the sprocket itself, that all need maintained and replaced as needed. I haven't even started talking about the engine/transmission pack yet. When you do services on that, it's not like you just raise the engine deck lid. You got to take the armour OFF the Bradley so an M88 Wrecker vehicle can use its crane to LIFT the engine/tranny out of the hull.'
"The Stryker isn't any better. According to a recent article in Responsible Statecraft, U.S. soldiers who used the vehicle in both Iraq and Afghanistan called the Stryker 'a very good combat vehicle, so long as it travelled on roads, it wasn't raining -- and didn't have to fight.'
"The Stryker is also a difficult system to maintain properly. One of the critical features of the Stryker is the 'height management system,' or HMS. In short, it is what keeps the hull from riding on the tires. A failure to constantly maintain and monitor the HMS system will result in the hull rubbing up against the tires, causing tire failure and a non-operable vehicle.
"The HMS is complex, and a failure to maintain or operate one component will result in the failure of the entire system. The likelihood of the future Ukrainian operators of the Stryker properly maintaining the HMS under combat conditions is near-zero -- they will lack the training as well as the 'logistical support' necessary (such as spare parts).
"The German Marder IFV appears to represent a similar maintenance headache for the Ukrainians: according to a 2021 article in The National Interest, 'The vehicle was considered unreliable from the outset: Tracks rapidly wore out, transmissions often failed, and soldiers could not easily remove the vehicle's engine for field maintenance.'
"While Germany is preparing to invest a significant amount of money to upgrade the Marder, this hasn't yet been done. Ukraine is inheriting an old weapons system that brings with it a considerable maintenance problem Ukraine is not prepared to properly handle.
"The Swedish CV 90 saw some limited combat in Afghanistan when deployed with the Norwegian Army. While there is not enough publicly available data about the maintainability of this system, one only needs to note that even if the SV 90 proves easy to maintain, it represents a completely different maintenance problem from that of the Bradly, Stryker, or Marder.
"In short, to properly operate the five battalion-equivalents of infantry fighting vehicles being supplied their NATO partners, Ukraine will need to train its maintenance troops on four completely different systems, each with its own unique set of problems and separate logistical/spare part support requirements.
"It is, literally, a logistical nightmare that will ultimately prove to be the Achilles heel of the Ramstein tranche of heavy equipment.
"But even here, neither NATO nor Ukraine seems able to see the forest for the trees. Rather than acknowledging that the material being provided is inadequate to the task of empowering Ukraine to carry out large-scale offensive operations against Russia, the two sides began haranguing each other over the issue of tanks, namely the failure of Germany to step up to the plate in Ramstein and clear the way for the provision to Ukraine of hundreds of modern Leopard 2 main battle tanks.
German History and Optics
"The Ramstein meeting was hampered by concern within the German Parliament over the optics associated with Germany providing tanks which would be used to fight Russians in Ukraine.
"This angst was perhaps best captured by Petr Bystron of the right-wing Alternative for Germany party. 'German tanks [fighting] against Russia in Ukraine,' Bystron challenged his colleagues, 'remember, your grandfathers tried to do the same trick, together with [Ukrainian nationalists] Melnik, Bandera and their supporters.
"'The result was immense suffering, millions of casualties on both sides and, eventually, Russian tanks came here, to Berlin. Two of those tanks remain on permanent display nearby, and you must keep this in mind when you pass them by every morning,' Bystron said, referring to the two Soviet T-34 tanks at the Tiergarten memorial to fallen Soviet soldiers.
"The issue of Leopard tanks, however, was more political than technical, with Poland threatening to ignore Germany's refusal to allow the tanks to be sent to Ukraine, announcing that it was prepared to dispatch 14 of its own Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine in the near future. When combined with the 14 Challenger 2 tanks being promised by the British, Ukraine was getting 28 of the 300 tanks it said it needed for any future offensive. [Now roughly 58 with the U.S. Abrams.]
"The numerical disparities and maintenance difficulties aside, NATO politicians seem quite pleased with what was accomplished at Ramstein. According to British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, in an address to Parliament,
"'The international community recognizes that equipping Ukraine to push Russia out of its territory is as important as equipping them to defend what they already have. Today's package is an important increase in Ukraine's capabilities. It means they can go from resisting to expelling Russian forces from Ukrainian soil.'
"Wallace seems to ignore that by empowering Ukraine to expel Russian troops from what are -- following the annexation of the four former Ukrainian territories (Lugansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Kherson) last September -- permanently part of the Russian Federation, NATO would be potentially creating the conditions under which Russia would be able to doctrinally employ nuclear weapons. Those conditions would be to defend against the accumulation of conventional military power capable of threatening the existential survival of Russia.
"Russia, however, has not ignored this. Speaking after the Ramstein Contact Group finished its meeting, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters 'Potentially, this is extremely dangerous, it will mean bringing the conflict to a whole new level, which, of course, will not bode well from the point of view of global and pan-European security.'
"Senior Russian officials chimed in on social media. Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the United States, declared on his Telegram channel that:
"'It should be clear for everyone -- we will destroy any weapons supplied to the Zelensky's regime by either the United States or NATO. That is true now as it was true during the Great Patriotic War. The emergence of tanks, bearing Nazi insignia, on the former Soviet soil unequivocally makes us aim at toppling the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine and creating normal conditions so that the neighbouring peoples in the region could live peacefully like in the old days.'
"Dmitri Medvedev, a former Russian president and close adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, added on Twitter that those who promote a Russian defeat risk unleashing global ruin. 'None of them gets it that a nuclear power's loss of a conventional war can lead to a nuclear one. Nuclear powers haven't been defeated in major conflicts crucial for their destiny.'
The Consequences for Ukraine
"The reality is, however, that the consequences of the Ramstein Contact Group's work will be far more detrimental to Ukraine than Russia.
"Under pressure from the West to carry out a major offensive designed to expel Russian forces from the territories captured last year, General Zaluzhnyi will be compelled to sacrifice whatever reserves he would be able to assemble in the aftermath of Ramstein for the purpose of engaging in fruitless attacks against a Russian opponent that is far different from the one Ukraine faced in September and October of last year.
"Then, a reconstituted Ukrainian army, bolstered by tens of billions of dollars of NATO equipment, training and operational support, was able to take advantage of over-extended Russian forces to recapture large swaths of territory in Kharkov and Kherson.
"Today, Russia's military presence in Ukraine is a far cry from what it was in the autumn of 2022. In the aftermath of Putin's September 2022 decision to mobilize 300,000 reservists, Russia has not only consolidated the frontline in eastern Ukraine, assuming a more defensible posture, but also reinforced its forces with some 80,000 mobilized troops, allowing for Russia to sustain offensive operations in the Donetsk regions while solidifying its defences in Kherson and Lugansk.
"From February 24 through the autumn of 2022, Russia deviated significantly from how it doctrinally prosecutes armed conflict. Moving forward, Russia will be waging war by the book. Defensive positions will be laid in a manner designed to defeat concerted NATO attack, both in terms of troop density along the frontline, but also in depth (something lacking in the Kharkov offensive in September 2022) and with sufficient dedicated fire support (again, lacking in September 2022).
"By General Zaluzhnyi's own admission, Ukraine has insufficient forces for the task. Even if Ukraine were able to concentrate all three brigades' worth of men and material that are in the pipeline following the Ramstein Contact Group meeting at one place at the same time, the 20,000 or so troops this represents would be unable to breach a Russian defensive position laid out in doctrinal fashion.
"Ukraine and NATO should heed the history lesson that Petr Bystron presented to his fellow German parliamentarians -- German tanks do not historically fare well against Russian tanks on Ukrainian soil.
"And Ben Wallace and Mark Milley should pay attention to the order of battle of the Russian forces opposing the Ukrainian Army, especially around the critical battlefields in and around the strategic city of Bakhmut. There, Russian soldiers belonging to the 8th Guards Army are poised to continue in the tradition of Vasily Chuikov's heroes of Stalingrad and Berlin, destroying the forces of fascism on the field of battle.
"While the modern-day soldiers of the 8th Guards Army may not be mounting a new generation of tanks on display in the Berlin Tiergarten, rest assured they know fully well their historical legacy and what is expected of them.
"This, more than anything else, is the true expression of the Ramstein effect, a cause-effect relationship that the West does not seem either able or willing to discern before it is too late for the tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers whose lives are about to be sacrificed on an altar of national hubris and ignorance."
Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence
officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing
arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation
Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of Weapons
of Mass Destruction (WMD). His most recent book is
Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, published by Clarity
(To view the full article, see "The Nightmare of NATO Equipment Being Sent to Ukraine," Scott Ritter, Consortium News, January 24 2023.)
From the Party Press in 2022
As the world descends into an abyss of anarchy and violence as a result of the neo-liberal world order, every aspect of people's lives seems to be spinning out of their control. The U.S. and the big powers of Old Europe, with Canada in tow, imposed this neo-liberal world order after the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991.
A feature of the situation is that the practice and theory of liberal democratic institutions no longer function as means to sort out conflicts among rival factions at home or abroad, nor to maintain the legitimacy of their rule in the eyes of the people. At home, factions of the ruling elite resort to concentrating more and more powers in the hands of governing executives such as the Prime Minister's Office in Canada and Britain, or the Office of the President in the United States. Abroad, concentrations of power go by various names such as NATO, the G7, the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union (EU) and many others. Nowadays, they rule through dictate, not negotiations.
The ruling elite impose their demands through decree to wreck nations and wage wars of destruction. Politics no longer exists, replaced with rule by decree, using executive orders and other prerogative police powers. All forums where political discourse took place prior to the advent of the neo-liberal world order have been supplanted with rule by decree and its corollary, the suppression of freedom of speech, conscience and assembly. People are forced to fend for themselves and, as such, forced to face the most important challenge of our time, the necessity to forge a collective consciousness that favours the peoples in opposition to the ruling elite.
In this regard, an important feature of analyzing is not to confound the objective world with one's subjective impression of it. Rather than a reflection of the objective world and its concrete conditions, a subjective analysis can become an amalgam rendered through the prism of one's existing understanding from observing, reading and hearing.
For instance, people's thinking on the Ukraine conflict is all over the map. Some are persuaded that Russia is evil and its actions in Ukraine trump whatever crimes U.S./NATO has committed in the last thirty years, despite the fact those crimes are extensive and the U.S. and its war allies have never been held to account. In the U.S. and Europe, national security advisors at the highest levels are giving opinions on what the U.S./NATO warmongering alliance must do next and speculating on Russia's response.
Not a few people are doing their best to ascertain facts and put them on the table so as to fight against the campaign of lies, disinformation and warmongering of the U.S./NATO cabal. They reject the promotion of European chauvinism, racism and the glorification of neo-Nazis and mercenaries as freedom fighters. Many are being censored for their views and are acting courageously despite their defamation and persecution by the narrow private interests that have seized control of social media, as well as legacy media and other tools of mass communication.
Some are unable to cope with feelings that the world is coming to an end and withdraw altogether. They may fall prey to depression and other mental illnesses such as extreme anxiety and autoimmune responses of various kinds or go crazy, unconcerned.
Others are prone to agree with this or that analysis put forward by people they trust. But a problem arises with this when instead of corroborating the analysis by investigating and analyzing the concrete conditions and involving others in doing the same, they attempt to corroborate the given analysis with what is going on in their own head, with whatever belief they held in the first place. This could be, for example, that Russia is bad and even evil but that the U.S./NATO powers are more evil. To corroborate one's beliefs in an attempt to maintain one's sanity is not abnormal but not helpful in investigating and analyzing the concrete conditions to find a way forward.
Such approaches as described do not provide people with the orientation they require to set their own line of march. The people need to set their own path based on the objective conditions to achieve goals in favour of the peoples at home and abroad and resolve the many crises pounding the world.
This issue of TML Monthly provides information on the unfolding events surrounding the Ukraine crisis, including significant views from various quarters on options Russia, the U.S. and others may have going forward and what they think comes next.
Analysis and commentary accompany some of the material. The aim of producing it is to permit readers to think things through for themselves and form their own opinions along with others. We do think the situation harbours serious dangers for humankind, and that the participation of the peoples of the world who are striving for peace, freedom and democracy is the decisive factor that can turn things around in their favour. It is their internationalist spirit, striving for fraternal relations of mutual benefit and organizing for progress in their own countries and supporting the same abroad that defends the interests of humanity.
(To access articles individually click on the black headline.)
Website: www.cpcml.ca Email: firstname.lastname@example.org