Endless War

At the time of writing both sides were preparing to observe the first anniversary of Russia-Ukraine war in their own way to assert their stated positions. It would be symbolic for Russia and Ukraine as well because after a year of bloody conflict the war is in a state of stalemate. Anticipating a massive Russian offensive in Spring Zelensky is frantically lobbying in the West to procure more sophisticated weapons, including fighter jets to continue the war to the end. In his second trip abroad since Russia started special military operation in February 2022, Zelensky met the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak before an audience with King Charles III and a visit to Ukrainian soldiers being trained to use Challenger battle tanks. Zelensky expressed his gratitude to Britain for its help and renewed his request for combat aircraft—or as he put it, “Wings of Freedom”. The UK is one of Ukraine’s most loyal backers, with parliamentary support unanimous across party divides. There is no difference between Conservative and Labour when it is the question of promoting Britain’s imperial interests. And Ukraine war means bonanza for defence industry. True, Britain hasn’t been the largest supplier of equipment but it is always one of the first, closely following the senior partner in crime —the US. As things stand today, it won’t be very long before the world witnesses western advanced aircraft being sent to Ukraine to aggravate the war situation. Already German and British tanks stationed in Poland, are to be delivered anytime. All this is aimed at keeping Ukraine in perpetual war trap and blocking the possibility of negotiations. Zelensky returned home with heaps of goodwill and commitments for latest military hardware. How enhanced military spending fuelling environmental and ecological degradation is anybody’s guess. Just a bomb is said to be releasing a slew of toxic heavy metals into Ukraine’s soil and ground water. And in Ukraine today it is being multiplied by thousands. A horrible scenario indeed! While ignoring the climate disaster America is not only spending to boost its own military powers but also providing Ukraine with missiles and modern air defence system in the current war that is now one year old. But Zelensky is demanding more bombs inviting retaliation from Russia only to write a script for climatic and human catastrophe. The course of war in Ukraine is being dictated by America and Britain, more precisely by America-led NATO and Ukrainians are cannon fodders. America’s total military aid to Ukraine of around $ 54 billion is now almost large as or larger than the entire defence budgets of several big economies like France, Germany, Japan and Australia. Ukraine is reportedly training its school boys to handle automatic rifles while in Russia boys are learning the art of firing from AK-47. In short war psychosis seems to have gripped both Russians and Ukrainians.

If this conflict remains conventional and limited to Russia and Ukraine then it will likely end with an agreed peace accord. Neither side can achieve an absolute victory that would allow it to dictate terms. So any understanding would involve compromise. No, America and its allies won’t allow that to happen unless Ukraine gets further marginalised in this war game, facing the possibility of disintegration and division. The stubborn reality is that Ukraine has a long way to go to retake the territory it lost to Russia in 2022, let alone since 2014. Ukraine while not winning this war at the moment, notwithstanding the western drum beat that Russians are losing on all fronts. In a time of misinformation and too much biased information truth remains blurred.

Now it is time for realism and restraint. If the continuing carnage—or a path to half a million dead and severely wounded—is allowed to go on, Ukraine will be ruined beyond repair. Already in some parts of the country people are experiencing existential crisis. There is no dignity in living as refugees in foreign countries, albeit able-bodied men are not allowed to leave Ukraine. Nor can obvious nuclear or other escalation risks simply be wished away. But Zelensky is opposed to any negotiated settlement because his master in the White House doesn’t want it.

Nearly all wars end in some form of negotiation. It is unlikely that Ukraine will return to 1991 boundaries by force of arms despite enormous western military assistance. What is needed is a global anti-war movement against America and NATO for not permitting Ukraine to come to a mutually acceptable agreement. Provided it continues to receive western military package regularly, the Ukrainian leadership is likely to hold out until Ukraine faces further destruction.


Back to Home Page

Vol 55, No. 35, Feb 26 - Mar 4, 2023