By Daniel Margrain
In a recent speech to the UK parliament in the House of Commons, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson made a series of false and misleading statements against President Vladimir Putin inflaming the tensions of an already volatile situation in Ukraine. The overriding theme of the speech was the accusation that Putin’s defence of the Donbas was tantamount to imperialist aggression in Ukraine. Russia’s targeted intervention has been used as justification for both NATO’s and the Western media’s bellicose anti-Putin rhetoric.
Johnson’s speech was ironical given the fact that the war currently being fought by NATO’s proxies to allegedly defend Ukrainian territorial integrity is being used as a geopolitical staging-post by NATO as part of their geopolitical expansionist ambitions.
The corporate ‘mainstream’ media are unquestioningly repeating, as if with one voice, the Wests anti-Russia narrative and their demonizing of Vladimir Putin as a new Adolf Hitler. The narrative is that a fascist Putin is hell bent on conquering vast swaths of territory within the landmass that comprised the former Soviet Union in order to de facto re-establish its empire. An additional component is that NATO is acting defensively to protect Ukrainian ‘democratic values’ against the ‘tyrannical’ Russian invader.
Absent from the media’s analysis is any context and the particular set of political circumstances, that led ‘Vlad the Insaner’ as he has been dubbed by LBC radio presenter, Nick Abbot, to intervene in Ukraine. With such a narrow, one-sided and distorted analysis of the conflict, the public is being denied any counter narrative with which to make an informed critique about the unfolding situation in Ukraine.
The Western media have either omitted or dismissed the Minsk Agreement, as part of their analysis. The Minsk accords were prompted by the Ukrainian governments ‘anti-terror’ blitzkrieg attack against the eastern Donbas region that followed in the wake of the violent US-backed coup d’etat in Kiev in 2014. From 2015 to the present, the stated policy of the Ukraine government has been their unwillingness to both ratify and implement the accords.
Moreover, the Biden administration has not applied any pressure on the Kiev regime in this regard, even though it is obliged in law to support it. For the past 7 years, Kiev, Washington and London have engaged in obfuscation and sat on their hands. Had Minsk been implemented, the quid pro quo would have meant the lifting of sanctions by the EU. But this potential outcome was simply a non-starter as far as Western governments’ and their complicit mainstream media were concerned. Collusion between them, explains why both US/UK officials and the media commentariat have not mentioned the agreement in public.
The ousting of the democratically-elected government in Kiev in 2014 was devastating for the 4 million ethnic Russians in the Donbas region. Since 2014 they have been legally discriminated against, their language outlawed, opposition political parties banned and critical media voices of the then newly-installed regime, censured.
In addition, neo-Nazi paramilitary Ukrainian forces, the very people the US and the UK are arming, have been shelling them for the past 7 years. These forces have done so in the knowledge that the deliberate quashing of the Minsk Agreement by the Kiev and Western governments provided the green light necessary to allow the shelling to continue.
The Kiev regime are using these paramilitary forces to deny culpability and to prevent any progress towards a negotiated peace. The inability of Kiev and the West to act in good faith to prevent what is tantamount to Genocide in Donbas, meant that Putin felt his only option was to step in and provide military protection to the beleaguered people of the region and restore their food, water and electricity supplies.
The stated objective of Russia’s military operation in the country is based on the following four issues:
1. The guaranteed security of the people of the Donbas region.
This is precisely what the Minsk Accords were designed to achieve but were undermined at every turn by the US and the government it installed in Kiev.
2. The De-militarization of Ukraine.
What Putin is referring to here, is the vast array of weapons that have poured into the country from NATO-member states. Russia views Ukraine as a de facto unofficial member of NATO and therefore a threat to its territorial integrity, not least because NATO have goaded Kiev in that direction.
This is obviously a red line for Putin who expressed to the US State Department and other member NATO states his concerns in relation to security guarantees. These were rebutted by the West.
3. The de-Nazi-fication of Ukraine.
This refers to paramilitary neo-Nazi’s and ultra nationalists such as the Azov Battalion and Right Sector-affiliated groups, followers of Stepan Bandera who collaborated with Hitler during WW2. The US and UK supply weapons to these groups and their shells rain down on ethnic Russian communities.
In effect, both countries are arming and training neo-Nazis in Ukraine and have been doing so for many years.
4. Ensuring that the neo-Nazi’s are brought to justice.
Putin says he vows to hold a tribunal to help ensure that human rights violators are held accountable for their actions.
Given that, at the time of writing, Russia appears to have established operational control of Ukrainian airspace in the Donbas region, from a strategic perspective, the first and second objectives have effectively already been accomplished.
Currently, Russia is working with the respective military’s within the declared self-proclaimed enclaves of Luhansk and Donetsk, in the Donbas region to ensure their status as independent autonomous regions, in accordance with the principles of internal law on the right to self-determination, are respected. To this end, Russian forces are helping to push the Azov Battalions and Ukrainian military out of these regions.
It is within this rapidly shifting context that there has been a recent change of tone in the rhetoric of President Zelensky who now seems to be more willing to discuss neutrality and not being a part of NATO.