Source: Monthly Review Online, June 23, 2022. https://mronline.org/2022/06/23/is-the-west-finally-realizing-that-russia-will-win-the-war-in-ukraine/
This article is one in a series of articles written by Mark Rolofson covering the US proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.
While this civil war in Ukraine actually began 8 years ago in 2014, the Western media narrative has portrayed this conflict as an unprovoked invasion by Russia that began on February 24, 2022. The 8 year civil war in the Donbass Region is a direct result of the US backed coup and color revolution known as the Maidan Revolution, that ousted the democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych and installed an ultra-nationalist, anti-Russian, Nazi government.
The coup government was rejected by the majority ethnic Russian population in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, who had supported Yanukovych. The result was protests throughout eastern Ukraine and Odessa in the south. The Russian speaking population understood that they would experience harsh persecution under the new, anti-Russian government. On May 2, 2014 in Odessa, protesters took refuge in the Odessa Trade Union Hall trying to escape the attacks of Neo-Nazi vigilantes, who then set the building on fire. Forty-eight protesters were either burned alive or died jumping out of the building. No one was ever prosecuted for the Odessa Massacre.
Crimea voted to secede and was annexed into Russia. Donetsk and Lugansk became breakaway provinces thus leaving Ukraine, but were soon invaded by Ukrainian Nazis who refused to give up the region. Western media rarely acknowledged the huge civilian death toll in eastern Ukraine.
Minsk 1 (September 5, 2014) and Minsk 2 (February 12, 2015) Peace Agreements contained a ceasefire and were ratified by the United Nations with Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France as signers. The agreement called for the breakaway provinces to be reabsorbed into Ukraine, but receive regional autonomy which essentially meant the right to use the Russian language. The 2014 coup government outlawed the use of the Russian language in media and schools. For the agreement to be finalized it required that the leaders of the Ukrainian government had to negotiate the terms with the leaders of Donetsk and Lugansk. Negotiations never happened, nor was the ceasefire even honored by Nazi paramilitaries. On February 13, 2015, Minsk 2 was immediately rejected by the Right Sector leader, Dimitri Yarosh, who vowed to keep fighting. The rocket shellings of the Donbass by Nazis continued for almost 8 years resulting in 14,000 mostly civilian deaths.
The United States had endorsed the Minsk Agreements and Obama was reluctant to supply Ukraine with weapons. This changed under Trump who was convinced to sell arms to Ukraine to prove he wasn’t Putin’s puppet. Zelensky was elected in 2019 by 73% of Ukrainians because he ran as the peace candidate, stating that he would implement Minsk 2. US media hardly acknowledged this fact, and focused on Trump’s phone call to Zelensky regarding investigating Hunter Biden and Burisma, after he temporarily withheld a weapons shipment to Ukraine. Zelensky received death threats, over his goal to implement the Minsk agreement, in an interview with the Right Sector (a Nazi Party) leader, Dimitri Yarosh, who said “He will hang on some tree on Khreshchatyk – if he betrays Ukraine and those people who died in the Revolution and the War.” Zelensky was powerless to achieve the goal of peace without strong backing from the United States, which instead was more interested in arming and training a proxy force to fight Russia.
The Biden Administration took things to new level in 2021 by sending more weapons and giving special forces training to Ukrainian Nazi paramilitaries. In April 2021, Zelensky said he was not going to honor the Minsk 2 Agreement and was planning to retake the breakaway regions and Crimea by force. The US created this war by preparing Ukrainian forces for the invasion.
OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) reports show ceasefire violations, the majority by Ukrainian forces, increased from 57 on February 14, 2022 to 1,927 on February 21, 2022. It was an invasion by Ukraine on Donetsk and Lugansk that caused Russia to intervene on February 24, 2022. Putin described it as a “peacekeeping mission.” Certainly the people and soldiers of the DPR and LPR were glad the Russians finally intervened. Over 150,000 Ukrainian troops were lined up west of the line of contact, about to fight 31,000 mostly volunteer soldiers of the DPR and LPR. It would have been a genocide had Russia not intervened. Russia had multiple reasons to finally intervene, including protecting Crimea and preventing Ukraine from joining NATO, which would have led to nuclear missile bases on its borders.
As we know, this is not the story we’ve been told in the Western Press. We have been told that Vladimir Putin is a madman, who may want to conquer Europe if he succeeds in Ukraine. There has been little or no historical context given to the conflict, including Ukraine’s Nazi past going back to the 1930s with Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, who was the head of the OUN-B (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists – Section B) and is now considered a national hero in Ukraine. The US government calls Ukraine a democracy, but nothing could be further from the truth with opposition media banned and socialist political parties outlawed. Ukraine is a US vassal state and a NATO proxy force. Its people are cannon fodder for the US to fight a war against Russia. The goal is to weaken Russia or preferably cause regime change in Moscow, so the US can wage war against China, the main threat to US Hegemony.
US and UK corporate media outlets have been the cheerleaders for US-NATO wars throughout their history. That said, the war in Ukraine marks a blatant increase in war propaganda filled with major distortions and outright lies. Those journalists and commentators that question or expose the lies of the pro-Ukraine, anti-Russian narrative are called Russian assets or Putin apologists, while some get banned from YouTube, Twitter or Twitch. The amount of censorship around this conflict is unprecedented.
Since 2016, the New York TImes, Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC have bombarded the American public with articles about alleged Russian election interference, Russian hacking, Russia paying the Taliban to kill American soldiers and more. All of these stories have a common theme: Blame Russia without any real evidence, then either ignore or slander those critics and analysts who successfully debunk their Russiagate propaganda. No one in the US media establishment is even held accountable for being wrong and spreading misinformation. For example: Rather than for Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, etc. to admit that they got it wrong on the Trump-Russia collusion after the exhaustive two year Mueller Investigation found none, they instead double down and move on to the next “blame Russia” story. The war in Ukraine takes the propaganda of CIA and State Department talking points heralded by the New York Times to a new level of disinformation.
The goal of Western media has been to manufacture consent for the US proxy war by depicting Ukraine as a victim of Russian aggression that desperately needs our weapons to defend itself. While there is much outrage in America toward Putin and some people are flying yellow and blue Ukrainian flags to support Ukraine, the war has not united the American public behind a common enemy. The traditional media gatekeepers can no longer control the flow of information and many people have turned them off in favor of alternative, independent media outlets.
The Western media narrative has been to highlight any small victory by Ukrainian Armed Forces, accuse Russia of war crimes in Bucha while proof exists that it was a false flag caused by Ukraine, present the Russian special military operation as sloppy and having suffered heavy troop losses (over 25,000) when the real number is probably much lower. The fact is that Russia did not declare war on Ukraine and Russian troops were sent to demilitarize and De-Nazify Ukraine, with orders to avoid harming civilians and civilian infrastructure. This strategy has been far different from the “Shock and Awe” strategy of US-NATO invasions that move at greater speed with much more “collateral damage.” Western media places all the blame on Russian troops for the carnage, but interviews of civilians by independent journalists tells a much different story with Ukrainian forces being consistently blamed for destroying homes and buildings, murdering civilians or using them as human shields.
Did Russia underestimate how fiercely the Ukrainians would fight? Perhaps so. Did they make mistakes and lose soldiers and generals? Absolutely. Are they losing on the battlefield? Absolutely not and this is becoming more apparent to Western media that hasn’t wanted to outright admit it. It has downplayed the fact that Russia has taken much territory including Mariupol, Kherson and now 95% of Lugansk has been liberated from Ukrainian control. Western media outlets, such as Bloomberg News, are finally acknowledging the Russian victories in this region of the Donbass and that Ukrainian troops are now at risk of encirclement by Russian forces.
While Western media loved highlighting the sinking of the Moldova, Russia’s flagship, it doesn’t want to mention that Ukraine lost 5 helicopters and a ship trying to rescue their soldiers inside the Azovstal Steel Plant. US media has ignored the destruction of Ukrainian weapons depots by Russia. Kiev was winning the information war, but losing on the battlefield. Now that is beginning to change as Ukraine’s losses are too overwhelming to be ignored, even by the anti-Russian Western press.
Perhaps the most outrageous Western media lie is that Putin’s goal of DeNazification distorts history when in fact Ukraine has a huge Nazi problem that is well documented, including numerous Neo-Nazi battalions, such as Azov, Trident, Centuria, RIght Sector and Adair. The western media reports that the infamous Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion has reformed and now only 10% to 20% of its recruits are Nazis. The flag of the Azov Battalion contains two Nazi symbols – the Black Sun with a Wolfsangel in front of it. An Azov spokesman even claims their Nazi symbols have a different meaning in their country. The latest news is that the Azov Battalion just changed its insignia, on their flag and arm patches, to the golden trident symbol that is Ukraine’s national emblem. Ukraine had a Nazi image problem that has been partially removed by having a Jewish puppet president. The fact that the media can spread disinformation like this should invoke public anger, but there will be no bad ratings coming from Newsguard or consequences for spreading disinformation from the DHS Disinformation Governance Board since these media outlets are faithful stenographers for the state.
What is worthy of praise is the pushback by independent journalists and media outlets against the lies reported daily in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, the BBC, NPR, etc. The well researched information coming from independent media and journalists, such as The Grayzone, Consortium News, The World Socialist Website, The Dive with Jackson Hinkle, Scott Ritter, Regis Tremblay shines a bright light on what the establishment media is distorting and ignoring. War reporters, Patrick Lancaster (USA), Eva K. Bartlett (Canada), Alejandro Kirk (HispanTV – Latin America) have exposed the Western media lies that Russia is responsible for the carnage and that civilians support Ukraine’s military. All Ukrainian civilians interviewed blame Ukraine for the deaths, injuries and destruction. Russians often bring in food and humanitarian aid.
Boldly speaking the truth and exposing lies comes at a cost. Jackson Hinkle had his YouTube channel demonetized and is permanently banned from Twitch for spreading what the platform defines as ” Russian disinformation.” Scott Ritter had his Twitter account permanently suspended for exposing the flaws of Ukraine’s accusations that Russian troops were responsible for war crimes in Bucha. Censoring adversarial media is becoming prevalent, but there are too many voices including peace organizations like the United Anti-War Coalition and the US Peace Council to silence the truth.
The Grayzone, whose detailed thorough reporting and video interviews are unsurpassed, have been attacked by Newsguard (a national security state aligned organization giving grades for accurate reporting) and Nina Jankowincz, who was chosen to head the DHS Disinformation Governance Board which is the equivalent of the “Ministry Of Truth” in George Orwell’s novel 1984.
Nina Jankowincz resigned before the DGB was functioning, claiming that she received death threats along with a disinformation smear campaign against the DGB. For now, the DGB has been paused by DHS but it plans to have former DHS director, Michael Chertoff run the board. Chertoff is infamous for enabling federal surveillance, unlawful detention and torture. Chertoff profited from airport x-ray full-body scanners through his consulting firm, the Chertoff Group, that represents OSI Systems, one of two companies licensed to sell the scanners to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Controlling the narrative in Ukraine is just one issue amongst many, where conflicting information exposes government propaganda, thus disrupting a carefully planned narrative.
In the Donbass Region, Ukrainian forces continue to shell civilian homes and cities without a military target in the area. 10,000 people in Mariupol celebrated Victory Day this year, a Russian celebration of its World War II victory against Nazi Germany. Mariupol residents have been unable to celebrate Victory Day since 2014, when the city became the home and base for terrorist operations of the Azov Battalion. On May 20, 2022, the city of Mariupol was finally liberated with the surrender of 2,439 Azov Battalion, Ukrainian troops and foreign mercenaries holed up in the Azovstal Steel Plant.
Noticing the manner in which the surrender was reported by most US media exposes its inability to do honest reporting by failing to call it a surrender, but referring to it as an evacuation of wounded fighters and troops who were out of food, ammo and in dire need of medical attention. CNN goes as far as calling it a successful combat mission because it prevented 20,000 Russian troops from leaving Mariupol and heading to other regions thus failing to capture Zaporizhzhia. Videos of the Azovstal surrender shows hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers surrendering to Russian troops, who treat their captives humanely with respect, while patting them down for hidden weapons and checking their arms and chests for Nazi tattoes. These Ukrainian soldiers were finally ordered by the supreme command center in Kiev to surrender, but this was a very embarrassing fact for Ukraine and NATO countries to announce publicly. The United States government just approved another $40 billion military aid package for Ukraine as it continues to lose territory daily in the Donbass Region. More Ukrainian troops are surrendering, many of whom were drafted to fight in a war in the breakaway regions that are of little or no importance to them personally. The Russians have declared victory in Severodonetsk, which only took a few days. Ukrainian forces are quickly collapsing and about to lose the entire Donbass and have lost most of Kharkov.
Bloomberg Cites Russian Victories and New York Times Call for Negotiations
Bloomberg News is looking more like RT or Tass (Russian media) since it’s actually reporting on Russian victories and Ukraine’s defeat in the Donbass and Mariupol. Most Western media outlets are downplaying the facts that Ukraine is losing, but Bloomberg has broken ranks. On the second day of the four day surrender of Ukrainian forces in the Azovstal Steel Plant, Bloomberg reported Mariupol Latest: Russia Says Nearly 1,000 Ukraine Troops Surrender at Azovstal. While citing the Russian claim of a surrender, Bloomberg News is not willing to completely claim the defeat as fact, but it’s closer to the truth than what CNN or NPR have reported.
The May 27, 2022 Bloomberg article Russian Wins in Eastern Ukraine Spark Debate Over Course of War says “Russia’s capture of a series of towns including Popasna means its forces hold 95% of the Luhansk region that makes up the northern half of the Donbas area. On Friday, Ukraine’s military command said Russian troops were pushing on from Popasna toward the town of Bakhmut, 32 kilometers (20 miles) west, seeking to isolate Ukrainian forces in a pocket of government-held territory around Severodonetsk.” It goes on to mention that thousands of Ukrainian troops are at risk of encirclement by Russian forces. Ukraine is losing so badly it can no longer be denied. The article continues to say “A sense that the tide of the war could be turning in favor of the likely narrowed goals of President Vladimir Putin comes as some, including former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, call for Ukraine to consider trading territory for a cease-fire.”
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Henry Kissinger, who was Secretary of State under President Nixon, advised Ukraine to cede territory to make peace with Russia. The 98 year old Kissinger, who was responsible for crafting detente with the Soviet Union, said “negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome. Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante. Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself.”
He stressed that failing to restart negotiations with Russia and continuing to alienate the Kremlin would have detrimental long-term consequences for the stability of Europe.
Kissinger was immediately blasted by President Zelensky, who said that Kissinger was living in 1938 and not 2022. Zelensky tried to compare making peace with Russia to making peace with Nazi Germany. Zelensky’s adviser Alexey Arestovich had harsh words, filled with obscenities, for Kissinger or any westerner urging Kiev to cede part of their country’s territory to Russia to make peace. “Go fuck yourselves with such proposals, you dumb fucks, to trade Ukrainian territory a little bit! Are you fucking crazy? Our children are dying, soldiers are stopping shells with their own bodies, and they are telling us how to sacrifice our territories. This will never happen.”
KIssinger has a dark war criminal past, but he understands the balance of world powers. He has now out-Lefted every Democrat in the US Congress, who recklessly voted to send another $40 billion of military aid to Ukraine and risk an escalation of this dangerous conflict. The tides have shifted and there is growing awareness that regardless of American and European weapon shipments, Ukraine is quickly losing the war. At what cost does victory against Russia come, especially considering the impacts sanctions are having on Europe and global food shortages?
On May 19, 2022, the New York TImes editorial board wrote an opinion piece titled The War In Ukraine Is Getting Complicated, and America Isn’t Ready that comes to the conclusion that negotiating a peace deal with Russia is in the best interest for Ukraine, even if it must give up some of its territory, and also for America, as a greater conflict has very dangerous potential. The editorial mentions that Avril Haines, director of national intelligence warned the Senate Armed Services Committee that the next few months of the war could be very volatile. According to Haines, the War may take “a more unpredictable and potentially escalatory trajectory,” with a greater possibility of Russia threatening to use nuclear weapons.
The editorial continues by stating “These are extraordinary costs and serious dangers, and yet there are many questions that President Biden has yet to answer for the American public with regard to the continued involvement of the United States in this conflict.” The New York TImes is guilty of promoting every US war, but also has a history of rejecting those conflicts once they are a lost cause. The editorial is not a retraction of the lies that the TImes has spread regarding the Ukraine war, but a realization that the United States, Ukraine and Europe may have bitten off far more than they can possibly chew and rather than choke to death, it’s better to stop now.
The TImes can be accused of wanting to have its cake and eat it too. It goes on to say “the United States must lead its NATO allies in demonstrating to Vladimir Putin that the Atlantic alliance is willing and able to resist his revanchist ambitions. That goal cannot shift, but in the end, it is still not in America’s best interest to plunge into an all-out war with Russia, even if a negotiated peace may require Ukraine to make some hard decisions. And the U.S. aims and strategy in this war have become harder to discern, as the parameters of the mission appear to have changed.” These sentences of editorial can also be viewed as an attempt to break it gently to their liberal readers (who have been brainwashed into flying yellow and blue flags and lusting for war against Putin) that it’s best to avoid nuclear annihilation.
Belligerent statements from President Biden that Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that “we want to see Russia weakened to the degree it can’t do the kinds of things it has done in invading Ukraine” are acknowledged by the editorial as “rousing proclamations of support, but they do not bring negotiations any closer.” Statements made by numerous US officials demonstrate that the US is at war with Russia. Changing course for the Biden Administration will be difficult, with so much money and weapons invested into the conflict. It is still easier to pull out now since US lives have not been lost and US troops are not involved.
The liberal New York TImes is a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party and clearly is afraid of how badly the Democratic Party will be taken to the woodshed in the November midterm elections. Biden’s poll numbers are as low as 36%. No Democrat voted against the $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, but 57 House and 11 Senate Republicans did vote against it. The New York TImes acknowledges there is shrinking public support for the war, especially due to the impact sanctions are having on out of control inflation and global food shortages.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed that Ukraine will take back all the territory it has lost, but that seems very unlikely to happen. Zelensky is not in control. He answers to those ultra-nationalist that surround him and officials in the Biden Administration. New shipments of arms are proving not be enough for Ukraine to defeat Russia. There is shrinking enthusiasm among Ukrainian troops to die fighting for Ukraine to hold onto to a region where the people do not want to be part of Ukraine. Russia may be close to achieving its goals in Ukraine. Once there is a defeat of Ukrainian forces in the Donbass Region, will Ukraine begin to fall apart as a country? Will this lead to a gargantuan refugee crisis? The United States may have opened up Pandora’s Box and closing that box may prove to be extremely difficult. It is time for regime change in Washington, not Moscow.
Originally published: People’s Party of Oregon on June 1, 2022 by Mark Rolofson.