The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.
One can’t evaluate whether Putin’s campaign in Ukraine is succeeding without first knowing what its OBJECTIVES were.
In order to be able to understand what Putin’s (and, actually, virtually all of Russia’s) objectives were at the start of the current Ukrainian war (the war that started on 24 February 2022), the historical build-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (on that date) needs first to be not only known, but truthfully understood (since we are here discussing motivations, and those are shown ONLY by what people actually say and do — which is the actual history of the matter). Here that is:
On 15 December 2021, Reuters bannered “Russia hands proposals to U.S. on security guarantees”, which were demands (Putin’s “red lines” — the most prominent of which was for Ukraine never to become a member of America’s anti-Russian military alliance, NATO, because that would enable U.S. forces along Russia’s very border there to threaten on Russia’s border an invasion of Russia). On December 17th International Business Times headlined “EU threatens Russia sanctions as NATO backs Ukraine”, and reported that NATO and almost all of the EU rejected Russia’s demands. NATO’s chief emphasized Russia would have no say, whatsoever, on whether or not Ukraine becomes a NATO member. Russia’s RT News then headlined on December 20th, “Russia promises ‘military response’ to any further NATO expansion.” Then, on the 26th, it was a “‘life-and-death’ issue for Russia”. (Western ‘news’-media hid that major news, instead of published it.) Germany’s Die Welt even published on December 29th the EU’s V.P. and Foreign Policy chief arguing against Russia’s demands of limiting NATO, by saying “We are not in the post-war period. There are some European states that are not Nato allies.” (He was saying that for peace in Europe, all of its nations must be in the anti-Russian alliance.) On 7 January 2022, AP headlined “US, NATO rule out halt to expansion, reject Russian demands”. This was only two days before scheduled ‘negotiations’ between Russia and U.S. were scheduled to start on January 10th, and with NATO on the 12th, regarding Russia’s “demands.” The ‘negotiations’ turned out to be very brief, because both America and NATO refused to so much as even just consider Russia’s demand that NATO not ever accept Ukraine as a member. On 10 January 2022, RT headlined “US tells Russia NATO won’t stop expanding”, and reported that “US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has told reporters that Russia’s proposed limit on the expansion of NATO further into Eastern Europe is a ‘non-starter.’” Then, on February 24th, Sputnik News bannered “Putin Authorises Special Military Operation in Donbass”, and presented Putin’s speech explaining its purposes: preventing inclusion of Ukraine in NATO, protecting Donbass residents against any possible all-out invasion by Ukraine, and killing Ukraine’s nazi battalions, such as Azov. Putin said “Those who aspire to global dominance have publicly designated Russia as their enemy. They did so with impunity.” But no longer. On March 2nd. Mark Sleboda’s keen analysis described the coming consequences — the new world in which all of us are now living (regardless of which side wins this war).
However, the situation for Russia has unfortunately turned out to be even worse than that, as I argued in my April 11th article, “Putin Fell Into Biden’s Trap”:
By Russia’s invading Ukraine before Ukraine invaded its breakaway former Donbass region (which the U.S. and its NATO anti-Russian alliance had for years been training, arming, and preparing, Ukraine to do), Russia thereby became the international ‘villain’ in this war (simply by being the first of the two to invade, and, so, widely considered to be ‘the aggressor’ in it), and, thereby, scared so many people in the nearby neutralist countries, into wanting their own Government to join the anti-Russian alliance ‘for safety’s sake’ against a Russian invasion such as Russia had just done to Ukraine, even though (and few of these people probably even had thought much about this) by doing that, their own land will then become among the ones against which Russia’s missiles and nuclear weapons will become targeted against (and are not now being targeted against). It’s an invitation, in other words, to their own becoming direct targets in the U.S.-planned World War III, which the U.S. Government (ever since at least 2006) has been planning to ‘win’ — and no longer for the U.S., like Russia, to be using its nuclear weapons only in order to PREVENT a global nuclear war from ever breaking out.
The connection which that invasion of Ukraine had to The West’s united repudiation of Russia’s life-or-death national-security demands (which had been presented to Biden and to NATO on 15 December 2021) was being hidden from Western publics — not being reported to them and honestly explained to them — and, so, Western publics (or at least those of them that trust their own nation’s government and its master, America’s government) aren’t even considering Russia’s life-or-death concerns in this epoch-making series of events that we’re all experiencing. The publics are, instead, being treated as mere pawns to be deceived so that they’ll support what ‘our’ government and ‘our side’ in this emerging WW III are doing — which is for nuclear-armed Russia to have only two possible realistic options: either to allow us (the billionaires who control the governments in the U.S. and in its vassal nations) to control Russia; or, else, for Russia to ultimately become conquered by us (our billionaires) militarily (via America’s ‘winning’ a WW III, which nuclear war would virtually destroy the entire planet).
After Russia demanded NATO to shrink, The West started what seems likely to be an intensified expansion of NATO:
On April 2nd, RT headlined “Finland can join NATO without referendum – president”. On April 7th, Reuters bannered “Prospect of Finland, Sweden joining NATO discussed at Brussels meeting: State Dept. official”. On April 8th, CNN headlined “US readies for long-term European security ramp-up after Russia’s invasion”, and opened: “The top US military general this week endorsed creating permanent US bases in Eastern Europe as a response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.” On April 9th, CNN bannered “Finland and Sweden could soon join NATO, prompted by Russian war in Ukraine”, and opened: “Finland and Sweden could soon join NATO, moves that would likely infuriate Moscow and that officials say would further underscore Russia’s strategic error in invading Ukraine.”
Also on April 9th, Britain’s Telegraph bannered “Jens Stoltenberg: We need a beefed-up Nato to face down threats to European security”, and reported: “In an interview with The Telegraph, the 63-year-old says he is preparing for that ‘reinforcement to be turned into a fundamental ‘reset’ of the alliance, which was born out of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty between the US, Canada and European nations. … He adds: ‘It is also of concern that we see that Russia and China are working more and more closely together. This is something that matters for our security.’” He was saying that for Russia and China to be “working more and more closely together” threatens NATO countries, but that for NATO countries to be in an actual military alliance against Russia is NOT a threat to Russians; and that, therefore, NATO must henceforth target not only Russia but also China, as the two primary nations to be ultimately conquered — though NATO has no aggressive intent, and is never an aggressor, not against Russia nor against any other country. The following day, Russia’s RT News headlined (much more honestly), “NATO to station permanent force in east – Stoltenberg”, and reported that, “‘We have now asked our military commanders to provide options for what we call a reset, a more longer-term adaptation of NATO,’ he said, adding that the decisions on the matter are expected at the bloc’s summit in Madrid, Spain in June. ‘This is part of the reset which we have to make, which is to move from tripwire deterrence to something which is more about deterrence by denial or [of] defense. This is already in process.’ Stoltenberg said last month that the bloc had 40,000 troops ‘under direct command,’ mostly in Eastern Europe. The group’s individual members are supplying Kiev with weapons, ranging from anti-tank and anti-aircraft missile systems to tanks and armored fighting vehicles.’” But, Stoltenberg has always said, “NATO is not a threat to Russia.” How much contempt, against the public, must such a person, who says such a thing, in such circumstances, and with such a long history backing it up — all of which has been to the exact contrary of that person’s statement — have? However much it is, that’s how much contempt of the public he has. The blatancy of his lying is shocking.
Further indication that Putin blundered badly to have preemptively invaded Ukraine, instead of waiting for Ukraine to invade Donbass first, became clear when The Times of London bannered, on April 11th, “Putin ‘purges’ 150 FSB agents in response to Russia’s botched war with Ukraine”, and reported that
A “Stalinist” mass purge of Russian secret intelligence is under way after more than 100 agents were removed from their jobs and the head of the department responsible for Ukraine was sent to prison.
In a sign of President Putin’s fury over the failures of the invasion, about 150 Federal Security Bureau (FSB) officers have been dismissed, including some who have been arrested.
All of those ousted were employees of the Fifth Service, a division set up in 1998, when Putin was director of the FSB to carry out operations in the countries of the former Soviet Union with the aim of keeping them within Russia’s orbit.
FSB officers carried out searches at more than 20 addresses around Moscow of colleagues suspected of being in contact with journalists
The service’s former chief, Sergei Beseda, 68, has been sent to Lefortovo prison in Moscow after he was placed under house arrest last month. The prison was used by the NKVD, the KGB’s predecessor, for interrogation and torture during Stalin’s Great Purge of the 1930s.
The FSB purge was reported by Christo Grozev, executive director of Bellingcat, the investigative organisation that unmasked the two Salisbury poisoners in 2018. He did not reveal the source of his information.
The officer had been dismissed for “reporting false information to the Kremlin about the real situation in Ukraine before the invasion”, he said.
“I can say that although a significant number of them have not been arrested they will no longer work for the FSB,” Grozev told Popular Politics, a YouTube channel about Russian current affairs.
However, doing that (removing those individuals from Russia’s intelligence service) will not undo the damage, which has already been done to the prospects for a peaceful future for Russians, after the current hot war in Ukraine. NATO — that self-described purely ‘defensive’ military alliance against whatever countries America’s billionaires collectively decide to become the next ones to be placed upon their regime’s chopping-block, to carve up, carve out, and consume — is now booming as never before, and its expansion seems now to have been greatly accelerated, instead of ended and reversed, as Putin (and virtually all Russians) had been demanding — and as the entire would ought to have been demanding ever since the Soviet Union ended in 1991.
Barack Obama said it best, on 28 May 2014, addressing America’s future military elite shortly after his successful February 2014 coup had grabbed control over Ukraine and turned it sharply and suddenly against Russia:
The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. … It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world.
All OTHER countries are “dispensable.” NATO has proven that U.S. view, many times: Only America’s billionaires matter. Even their own subjects — America’s ‘citizens’ — don’t (but are instead “dispensable,” in Obama’s lingo).
On 13 March 2021, I headined “Why It’s Especially Necessary to End NATO Now”, and wrote that:
The way that WW III would start is that Ukraine would become more heavily armed by the U.S. and then would invade both Donbass and Crimea, Russia would then attack Ukraine for doing that, and the U.S. would then launch a blitz-attack against Moscow from Ukraine, and, simultaneously, launch against all other command-and-control targets in Russia, so that before those have become hit, Russia would already have been decapitated.
The United States Government is fortunately not obliged to allow Ukraine into NATO and has many ways to prevent it from joining NATO. Some of these ways wouldn’t at all embarrass the U.S. Government, and the reason for this is that if any one NATO-member nation refuses to okay Ukraine as becoming a member, then Ukraine won’t become a member, and the scenario that has been described [“Ukraine would become more heavily armed by the U.S. and then would invade both Donbass and Crimea, Russia would then attack Ukraine for doing this, and the U.S. would then launch a blitz-attack against Moscow from Ukraine, and, simultaneously launch against all other command-and-control targets in Russia, so that before those have become hit, Russia would already have been decapitated.”] won’t then happen. The U.S. Government has enormous clout with each existing NATO member-nation, because NATO was created by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the “Washington Treaty”) in Washington, DC, on 4 April 1949, at a conference that was chaired by U.S. diplomat Theodore Achiles, who subsequently retired to become a Director of the Atlantic Council, which also is in Washington, and which is the PR arm of NATO. The U.S. Government could easily get at least one NATO-member country to say no to Ukraine’s joining. However, if U.S. President Biden announces that the U.S. endorses NATO-membership for Ukraine, then that’s, in itself, virtually a U.S. declaration of war against Russia, and Russia might not wait for it to be made official before responding to it — blitz-invading the U.S. and its allies.
According to Achilles’s account of the creation of NATO:
The NATO spirit was born in that Working Group. Derick Hoyer-Millar, the British Minister, started it. One day he made a proposal which was obviously nonsense. Several of us told him so in no uncertain terms, and a much better formulation emerged from the discussion. Derick said, and I quote, “Those are my instructions. All right, I’ll tell the foreign office I made my pitch, was shot down and try to get them changed.” He did. From then on we all followed the same system. If our instructions were sound, and agreement could be reached, fine. If not, we worked out something we all, or most of us, considered sound, and whoever had the instructions undertook to get them changed. It always worked, although sometimes it took time. That spirit has continued to this day, I believe, although the size to which NATO has grown makes it far less easy. Two years later we began in London to put the “O” on the NAT by creating the organization. Some of the members of the delegations had been members of the Working Group, some had not.
Was that the beginning of the end of the world? Perhaps Biden will decide whether it is, or not.
Apparently, Biden has, by now, decided (like all other U.S. governments ever since Harry S. Truman’s in 1945) to go all the way — to expand NATO, and for it to conquer ultimately not only Russia, but also China (and any other country that resists U.S. demands — all of the other “dispensable” nations).
Russia’s Ukraine campaign is failing because Putin invaded prematurely. He didn’t wait Biden out and hold his fire until after Biden’s Ukrainian stooge (Zelensky) had first launched his blitz-attack against Donbass. If Putin had been the second to strike, instead of the first, then the Finns etc. would be far less likely now be in the grip of the fear that so stupidly has turned them (and Swedes and perhaps others) against Russia, and NATO would be far less likely now to be racing forward to expand, as it currently is. That premature invasion has thus produced exactly the opposite of its intended and declared purpose. It could end the world, because of NATO’s voraciousness (which reflects mainly the U.S. regime’s voraciousness — plus its stooges’ psychopathy and stupidity tolerating that voraciousness).
In other words: if what Putin did is going to expedite instead of prevent NATO’s expansion up to Russia’s very borders, then his war in Ukraine will not only not have won, but it will spectacularly have lost — it will have hurt (decreased) the safety of the Russian people, instead of increased it. And THIS is the reason WHY his having PREEMPTIVELY invaded Ukraine (on February 24th) appears now to have been a spectacularly wrong thing for him to have done. (Prior to February 24th, I had been expecting him to wait-out Biden. I was stunned that he did not, but I was hoping that his judgment on this crucial matter was better than mine. I now am concluding, very reluctantly and sadly, that I seem to have been right and he seems to have been wrong. I find my having been right about this matter to be very depressing, because it means a far likelier ultimate success of the neocons’ project, and maybe even of there ultimately being a WW III.)
The only possible way that I can envision out of this disaster now would be for Putin to publicly make an offer to all nations’ leaders: “If you do not want America’s billionaires, who control the U.S. Government, to come to replace the U.N. as being the sole and exclusive final source and authority regarding what is international law, then Russia and its allies will guarantee that your nation will not be targets, ever, but instead will democratically become allies building together toward a new and more lasting global era of peace and of mutually beneficial economic development, and we will all, together, be committed to eliminating nuclear weapons in ALL nations; and, so, Russia is now inviting leaders from throughout the world to meet with us in Moscow at a global conference to begin the process to replace the current depressing trend toward global control by U.S. billionaires (the U.S. Government that they control). We will instead together build further upon the existing U.N. as being the sole authorized source of international law, in order for the world to come to achieve, for all nations, the U.N. as being the global democracy of nations, that America’s anti-fascist champion, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had intended, for the U.N., that he had invented and named, to become — in order to COMPLETE the job that he had so nobly started, before America became itself a fascist nation, as it tragically did soon after his death (a democracy-in-name-only), when America’s billionaires took control of America’s government.”
Putin now needs to step his performance up to a higher level, addressing the global public, no longer merely the Russian public. The battlers in this war are not Putin versus Zelensky, but Putin versus Biden, and, at the present moment, Biden is winning. Biden (like the recent U.S. Presidents before him) represents America’s billionaires, and Putin represents, and speaks only to, the Russian public. If Putin can’t become widely recognized to also represent the interests of the global public — to build together a future world in which there will no longer be any international empires — then Biden’s team will win, and the entire world will lose. That is how stark the current stakes have become, in today’s geopolitics. An all-encompassing U.S. global empire won’t be able to be achieved without a WW III, which must be prevented, no matter what. And that is a global imperative — not merely a Russian one.
The present article doesn’t concern “military matters,” but instead it’s about winning the world-war that has begun and whose ultimate outcome already is being determined now, in these early stages, more by public opinion (specifically in the lands that border or are near to Russia and that haven’t (yet) committed themselves to becoming vassals of the U.S. empire, countries such as Finland and Sweden — not to mention Ukraine itself), than by “military matters.” It’s this, far more encompassing, “war” that is at stake. And Putin is losing it (even if he is ‘winning’ the military aspect of it). And that is, tragically (for everyone except U.S.-and-allied billionaires), an indisputable fact.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s next book (soon to be published) will be AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change. It’s about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.