The numbers of war dead are a secret in Ukraine, but it is possible to get an impression of the scale by visiting the rapidly expanding military cemeteries that feature in every town and city. At the Lychakiv cemetery, says Oleksandr Dmytriv, its director, Mr Chekovksy was the 507 th to be buried since the invasion began on February 24th, 2022. At first the dead were buried in another part of the cemetery, but space quickly ran out, so the cemetery turned instead to a grassy slope where a war memorial had been built in the 1970s, while Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union. As the rows of graves marched up the hill, the gravediggers unexpectedly found skeletons.[/note]</h6>
A day earlier, on August 9, CNN reported that Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell had offered this reassurance to his fellow Americans:
People think, increasingly it appears, we shouldn’t be doing this [but] we haven’t lost a single American in this war. Most of the money [to] Ukraine is actually spent in the US, replenishing weapons, more modern weapons. So it’s actually employing people here and improving our own military for what may lie ahead.
Let’s for now pass in icy silence over those last four ominous words. Instead, see my last post but one – Yes, the West IS losing its war on Russia! See also the August 14 assessment of Simplicius the Thinker. With his usual thoroughness he follows headline after dark headline, story after harrowing story, image after sorrowful image – from those Western media which, mindful of the need to salvage some of their shredded reputation for truth after a year or more spent assuring us of Russia’s inevitable collapse, now drip-feed the enormity and human cost of Kiev’s losses – with this assessment:
More and more the sentiment from the West appears to be that certainly Ukraine has no chance of ‘winning’ but that Russia likewise has no chance to advance, and thus the conflict at best will be frozen.
Do bear in mind that a frozen conflict would not trouble US war profiteers, their interests long connected – via the Beltway’s revolving doors, pork barrel politics and other such mechanisms – to US policymakers. Julian Assange’s assessment of the 20 year Afghan conflict – “the goal is an endless war, not a successful one” – applies doubly to Ukraine. Not only is Sen McConnell correct, once his utterance is decoded …
(See this Responsible Statecraft assessment, a year into the war, on how shares in Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop-Grumman, Raytheon etc soared after February 2022. Needless to say, union barons have been hawkishly aboard the gravy train. 2 )
… also, a prime US war aim – perhaps the prime war aim – is a fait accompli. I refer to the weakening of Europe, to the political and economic gain of Washington and Wall Street.
Nevertheless, Simplicius is scathing of US prospects for achieving a lucratively prolonged – and for Russia immensely costly – war in Ukraine. He continues:
[A ‘frozen conflict’] is nonsense. Russia is only just starting to ramp up its war machine, and wouldn’t have done so to full scale if it didn’t mean to use it in a longer-term timeline. The only question is how far does Russia intend to go. We know the absolute minimum is to retake the constitutionally-recognized lands which Putin has already signed into law as Russian territory. This includes not only all of DPR/LPR, 3 which are not yet fully liberated, but also Zaporozhye and Kherson.
As Scott Ritter told George Galloway in their recent dialogue, at issue is Russia’s inevitable victory, and how the West’s corporate propaganda machine will spin it as a defeat. Meanwhile Europe pays, as its Quisling leaders dance to the tune of a Washington happy to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.
* * *
- I mention Lviv’s Polish past because we Brits tend to see ‘national sovereignty’ through the prism of a land not invaded – give or take the occasional border raid or minor shift in Anglo-Celtic boundaries under Plantagenet, Tudor or Stuart rule – in a thousand years. If we think of a Ukraine nation at all, we do so as if it were just like ours. It isn’t. See Kent University academic Richard Sakwa on the sorry and all too recent history of Frontline Ukraine …
… or this from the opening words of Vladimir Putin’s address of February 21, 2022. (for the significance of that date see footnote 3):
… modern Ukraine was entirely created by … Bolshevik, Communist Russia [beginning] after the 1917 revolution, and Lenin and his associates did it in a way that was extremely harsh on Russia – by separating, severing what is historically Russian land. Nobody asked the millions of people living there what they thought.
Then, both before and after the Great Patriotic War, Stalin incorporated in the USSR and transferred to Ukraine some lands that previously belonged to Poland, Romania and Hungary. In the process, he gave Poland part of what was traditionally German land as compensation, and in 1954, Khrushchev took Crimea away from Russia for some reason and also gave it to Ukraine. In effect, this is how the territory of modern Ukraine was formed.
- The corruption of US union leaders is well known but even without this, patriotism no matter how misconceived merges with self-interest no matter how misconceived – and with painfully limited ‘trade union consciousness’ – to reliably reactionary effect. This isn’t union bashing on my part. Unions are a necessary but frequently treacherous and wholly insufficient condition of resisting the criminally insane.
- Simplicius refers here to February 21, 2022 – two days before Russia’s massively and over many years sustainedly provoked invasion of Ukraine – when the Russian State Duma recognised Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic as independent. Though Western media denounced “Putin’s move” as cynical, we now know – from the admissions not only of Ukraine’s former leader Petro Poroshenko but also of former German and French leaders Angela Merkel and Francoise Hollande – that the Minsk Agreement was a ploy to buy time for Ukraine to build up its weaponry inside or outside of NATO. Never intended to be implemented, Minsk held that when Ukraine (and for that matter Georgia) seceded from the Russian Federation after the USSR’s dissolution, large areas with Russian majorities should have a say over whether to remain with the seceding state, return to the RF or, if feasible, take a third path. Absent from said Western media coverage – now silent on aspects where they’d been truthful before the stakes rose to make truth an unaffordable luxury – is that between the US orchestrated 2014 Maidan coup which deposed a corrupt but elected Viktor Yanukovitch to install a more corrupt Petro Poroshenko appointed by Victoria Nuland, and Russian forces entering Ukraine eight years later, the DPR and LPR suffered 10-12,000 killings at the hands of Kiev forces under the influence of a resurgent far right which idolises Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. A necessary if insufficient condition of understanding the Ukraine conflict is acquaintance with the civil war from 2014-2022. But as with Maidan itself, and Russia’s encirclement in ways the USA would never tolerate within a thousand miles of its own borders, this aspect has been airbrushed out by corporate media.