Ukraine is haemorrhaging tens of thousands of soldiers, the west is pumping in trillions of US dollars, and the EU is pumping in billions of euros, yet there is no end in sight to this senseless slaughter. By the time this war ends, as it will, Ukraine will be a shadow of its former self.
It’s been a long eighteen months for the Ukrainian people, suffering the loss of tens of thousands of its soldiers, a significant number of civilian casualties, and the destruction of large sections of its infrastructure.
The 26th of September was the first anniversary of the blowing up by the United States of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, sanctioned by the Biden government, pipelines bringing Russian gas to western Europe and in particular Germany. It was a significant blow to the supposed independence of the European Union from the shadow of the United States. It has seen the end of any independent political action on the global level by Germany and France, using the EU as their cover story. The inter-imperialist rivalries between the United States and the European Union have been temporally put on ice.
As this US-NATO proxy war with Russia drags on, and as we approach another harsh winter, the United States and the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, continue to reject all overtures for a ceasefire.
The war is escalating by the week—not from any victories by the Ukrainians on the battlefield; on the contrary, their much-heralded counter-offensive has collapsed. What ground they have gained can be measured in metres. The United States is stepping up its logistical support for Ukraine with ever-increasing supplies of ever-greater amounts of sophisticated weapons and the training of Ukraine air force personnel.
The Irish government is getting in on the act by declaring that it was prepared to send a military training operation to Ukraine—a far cry from a neutral state. The taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, speaking at the recent United Nations General Assembly, called for greater support from member-states for NATO’s war effort, a call that in the main fell on deaf ears. The majority of the nations of the world neither support the Russian invasion of Ukraine nor support the US-NATO war strategy in Ukraine. Most support the call for an immediate ceasefire, a position that Ireland should be championing if it was truly neutral and really wanted to end this senseless war.
Zelenskyi attended the same General Assembly and addressed an almost empty hall, as most of the world see him as nothing more than a puppet of the United States. Clearly his presence was intended to shore up support, particularly within the United States itself. Disillusionment with this war is growing among millions of American citizens while the Biden regime pumps trillions into this unwinnable war, when the United States itself needs trillions of dollars invested in failing infrastructure, a non-existent public health service, housing, and decent jobs. Globally, the United States and the European Union continue to lose ground in relation to their proxy war.
Zelenskyi himself recognises that the writing is on the wall for his regime, a regime mired in corruption, a regime selling off public property to foreign agri-corporations, particularly American corporations. He has had to stand down numerous generals who have refused to see their men slaughtered for the sake of the United States and the European Union.
In mid-September, Zelenskyi, in an interview with the London Economist and in a desperate bid to ward off the growing unease with the course of the war, his failed counter-offensive, and the growing calls for a ceasefire, stated: “There is no way of predicting how the millions of Ukrainian refugees in European countries would react to their country being abandoned.”
In the same interview he stated that refugees from Ukraine who are now living in many countries in Europe, including Ireland, have “behaved well . . . and are grateful” to those who have sheltered them, but it would not be a “good story” for Europe if a Ukrainian defeat “were to drive the people into a corner.”
The most honourable position for any Irish government would be to be at the forefront of calls for a ceasefire and peace negotiations. It is clear that the US-EU-NATO triumvirate will fight this war to the last Ukrainian, regardless of the cost in lives, mostly from the urban and rural working class.
By the time this war is over Ukraine will not be the same country. The most likely outcome is that it will end in some form of armistice, with Russia in effect taking control of Russian-speaking Ukraine. Russian-speakers suffered greatly after the US-organised coup in 2014. They have had their language banned, schools closed, and newspapers shut down, suffering widespread harassment and discrimination at the hands of both the state and the ultra-right Ukrainian nationalist forces.
It is also quite possible that both Poland and Hungary will demand the return of territories historically claimed by both, areas populated by Polish and Hungarian-speaking minorities, who have also suffered at the hands of the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian ultra-right since the 2014 coup.
Ukraine will be a rump, under the total control of the United States. The Ukrainian people are learning the hard way, with the loss of thousands of soldiers, that imperialism does not have friends, only interests to secure. The real losers will be the working people of both Ukraine and Russia.
Here in Ireland we need to step up the demand for an immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations, as well as demanding that neutrality be enshrined in the Constitution of Ireland, to tie the hands of the political and economic establishment and weaken imperialism’s triple-lock grip on our people.