In International, National Security

Avdiivka has fallen, and with it, NATO’s credibility.

Fortress Avdiivka

Before the Ukraine war, Avdiivka was an industrial city with a population exceeding 31,000. It lies about thirteen kilometres from the much larger city of Donetsk.

Since early 2014, when “the most blatant coup in history” ousted the democratically-elected Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych,  Donetsk has been controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

Avdiivka, however, remained under the control of pro-Kyiv forces.

In November 2014, Amnesty International investigated civilians deaths caused by the fighting that had erupted in the Donetsk area after Yanukovych’s ouster. Amnesty concluded that both pro-Kyiv and pro-Russian forces had likely committed “indiscriminate attacks”, but that “the large majority of the deaths were in separatist-held territory in Donetsk, and were likely caused by Ukrainian government forces”.

For the next eight years, Kyiv and its NATO backers turned Avdiivka into a fortress. They constructed within the city a web of tunnels and concrete fortifications.

Also situated within Avdiivka was a large, Soviet-era coke plant. That plant was once one of Europe’s largest and provided excellent protection from attack.

Avdiivka also served as a major logistical hub for Ukraine’s military.

For Ukraine, the loss of this fortress and logistical hub is bad enough, but the manner in which it was surrendered raises serious questions about the dire state of Ukraine’s army.

This was no orderly retreat. On the contrary, and by all accounts, Ukrainian forces withdrew from the city chaotically, suffering huge casualties and losses of materiel as they abandoned their positions.

From the New York Times:

Soldiers reached by phone on Friday, who asked not to be identified given the ongoing military action, described a harrowing bid to escape the city. They gave accounts of racing past blasted-out buildings as shells thundered from all around and Russians pressed in from several directions.

“In one of the sectors in the town, fighters from the 3rd Separate Assault Brigade find themselves completely surrounded, but they are attempting to break through, and they succeed,” Maj. Rodion Kudryashov, deputy commander of the assault brigade, said in an interview with Radio Liberty.

Some expressed concern privately in interviews that the call to withdraw had come too late, or posted stark accounts on social media of their dangerous and chaotic retreat.

Viktor Biliak of the 110th Brigade, which has been defending the city for the past two years, described his evacuation on Thursday of the garrison known as Zenit, in a southern pocket of the city.

Mr. Biliak, who uses the call sign Hentai, said his unit was left no time for an orderly exit — neither to evacuate weapons and equipment, nor to burn papers and lay mines in the way of attacking Russian troops.

Ten men made a failed attempt to leave on Wednesday night, he said. They had to fight their way forward in a gun battle, but then came under artillery fire.

“Only three wounded made it back,” Hentai wrote on Instagram. He helped rescue one of the wounded men the next morning, he said, a dangerous movement in daylight that cost the unit four more wounded, including himself.

The troops made another attempt Thursday night, and the severely wounded were told to wait for an armored vehicle to take them.

“Groups were leaving, one after the other,” Hentai wrote. Still able to walk, he decided not to wait for the evacuation vehicle and led a group out.

“There was zero visibility outside. It was just plain survival. A kilometer across the field,” he wrote. “A bunch of blind cats led by a drone. Enemy artillery. The road to Avdiivka is littered with our corpses.”

The evacuation vehicle never came for the wounded, he said. The last group left the bunker, and he overheard a wounded soldier asking over the radio about the evacuation vehicle. The commander replied that no vehicle was coming and that they should leave the wounded behind.

Ukraine’s string of painful defeats

The high point of Ukraine’s military success was attained in September 2022, when the Ukrainian army completed a successful counter-offensive in northeastern Ukraine and Kherson oblast.

Since then, it’s been all downhill for Ukraine.

The success of Ukraine’s 2022 counter-offensive wasn’t due primarily to the inherent superiority of Ukraine’s military strategy or its weaponry. Rather, it was due largely to the inadequacy of the resources Russia had brought to bear in the conflict.

Russia’s government therefore responded to Ukraine’s successful counter-offensive by launching a partial mobilization. It soon increased the size of Russia’s army by hundreds of thousands of men.

Simultaneously, Russia embarked upon the rapid expansion of its military industrial complex, which is mostly under state control. Because Russia’s arms manufacturers are controlled by the government, they respond more rapidly to the battlefield needs of the Russian military than Western arms manufacturers respond to the needs of Western militaries. The latter prioritize short-term profits over the needs of the state.

Once Russia made these adjustments, the defeat of the Ukrainian military was only a matter of time. With a population that is more than three times larger than Ukraine’s population, and with huge advantages in military industrial production, Russia was likely to prevail in any war of attrition.

I and others predicted such an outcome at the outset of this war, but we were summarily dismissed as Putin stooges.

A clear sign of Ukraine’s impending doom came in the battle for Bakhmut, whose pre-war population exceeded 70,000. In May of last year, Wagner PMC commandos, backed by regular Russian forces, captured the city after months of brutal warfare.

Then came Ukraine’s vaunted summer offensive. In the months leading up to it, NATO militaries poured huge quantities of weapons into Ukraine and trained thousands of newly conscripted Ukrainian soldiers.

By October, however, it was clear that Ukraine’s offensive had been a “colossal failure“.

As Le Monde reported at the time:

Close to five months after the launch of the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the south of the country, Western soldiers and analysts share the same bitter observation: Kyiv’s army has made very little progress and, above all, is no longer advancing. “Despite the determined efforts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), five months of offensive operations have not breached Russia’s defence lines,” observes Jack Watling, a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), in a note published on October 19. “Ukraine retains some options to make Russian dispositions uncomfortable, but it is highly unlikely that there will be a breakthrough (…) this year,” adds the ground combat specialist, predicting the conflict will continue until 2024 or even beyond.

Next came Russia’s capture of Marinka. After nearly two years of bombardment, the heavily fortified town in Donetsk Oblast finally succumbed in December of last year.

In the aftermath of Marinka’s fall, Russian forces began concerted assaults on Avdiivka. Gradually, inexorably, Russian forces tightened their grip around the city. They pummelled it relentlessly from the air, where Russia now enjoys near-unchallenged superiority.

Despite their courage and sacrifice, Ukrainian soldiers have now abandoned the city.

NATO never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity

Shortly following the launch of Russia’s “special military operation” in February 2022, the Ukrainian and Russian governments entered into intensive, mediated negotiations to bring an end to the war. During weeks of talks, they nearly concluded a deal that would not have required Ukraine to cede any part of Donetsk or Luhansk to Russia.

Then came Boris Johnson.

As Ukrainian media reported at the time – and as has been confirmed subsequently by participants in the negotiations – Johnson flew to Kyiv and pressured Zelensky to abandon the deal. That is precisely what the dutiful Zelensky did.

Months later, following Ukraine’s successful 2022 counter-offensive, General Mark Milley, who was at the time the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, argued that Ukraine’s recapture of significant territory might present an opportunity for a political solution to the conflict.

“You want”, Milley explained, “to negotiate at a time when you’re at your strength, and your opponent is at weakness. And it’s possible, maybe, that there’ll be a political solution. All I’m saying is there’s a possibility for it.”

At the urging of NATO hawks, Zelensky squandered that opportunity too. Instead of pursuing peace, Zelensky took the audacious step of signing a decree ruling out all negotiations with Russia.

After Bakhmut fell, Ukraine’s negotiating position weakened considerably, but Zelensky continued to take a maximalist position. He declared that there would be no negotiations until Russia had withdrawn all of its forces from the 1991 borders of Ukraine – including Crimea.

In effect, Zelensky demanded total surrender by an enemy who was winning the war.

At every step of the way, NATO governments emboldened Zelensky to reject negotiations and to maintain a maximalist position.

The result has been an unmitigated disaster for the Ukrainian people. They’ve learned the hard way that, when it comes to making peace, NATO never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Does Russia intend to attack NATO?

Today, NATO’s primary argument for prolonging its Ukrainian proxy war is that, if Russia doesn’t suffer defeat in Ukraine, Russia’s government will be emboldened to attack NATO.

The only flaw in this argument is that there’s zero evidence to support it.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has never expressed an intention to attack NATO. On the contrary, in his recent interview with Tucker Carlson, Putin scoffed at the suggestion that Russia would do so:

It is of course possible that Russia’s President is lying, but there’s no reason to believe that that is so.

For one thing, proponents of NATO expansion have consistently claimed that incorporating Eastern European states into NATO would deter Russia from attacking them, but that claim can’t be reconciled with the assertion that Russia intends to attack NATO after gobbling up Ukraine.

Moreover, whatever its flaws may be, Russia’s leadership is not suicidal. As Putin observed in his interview with Carlson, an unprovoked Russian attack on NATO would likely result in an existentially dangerous war between nuclear-armed states.

Further, Russia is the by far the world’s largest country. It possesses abundant resources to sustain its population of 146 million, including rich agricultural lands, vast reserves of oil, gas and minerals, and plentiful supplies of fresh water. Russia also enjoys access to the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

What do Europe’s eastern states possess that Russia does not already have? Any incremental benefits that Russia might obtain by conquering those states could not justify the enormous risks of nuclear war, or the ravages of conventional warfare against a peer enemy.

Defeat with dignity

Arguably, the most intriguing exchange between Carlson and Putin came at the very end of their two-hour interview. Carlson asked Putin whether it would be “too humiliating for NATO to accept Russian control of, what was two years ago, Ukrainian territory”.

Putin responded “let them think how to do it with dignity. There are options if there is a will”:

Given the stridency of NATO’s rhetoric, it’s almost unimaginable that NATO would ever allow Putin to accept defeat with dignity, yet Russia’s president has now offered that prospect to NATO.

Predictably, however, no NATO ‘leader’ seems to be listening.

Biden responded to Putin’s overture by berating Republicans for not throwing more money at Ukraine. Canada responded by donating hundreds of drones to Ukraine.

Ukraine now lies in smoking ruins. With each passing day, its negotiating position weakens, its citizens suffer, and its prospects for recovery evaporate. Sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine is a moral imperative, but prolonging this war is the height of cruelty. As I explained last September, Ukraine’s worst enemies are those who demand Russia’s strategic defeat.

It may well be that negotiations with Russia would fail, but the only way to know is to try. For the sake of peace, and above all, for the sake of the devastated Ukrainian people, that is precisely what NATO should now do.

Should NATO refuse even to try, its paltry credibility will be destroyed forever.

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Showing 39 comments
  • Tom Savage

    “Predictably, however, no NATO ‘leader’ seems to be listening.”

    I think they are listening, but only act when they are told to do so by the USA.

    Also, Canada should not be donating any drones. The Ukrainians have been targeting civilian in eastern Ukraine and Russia using weapons supplied by NATO. I am sure you have heard about these attacks on civilians, as you do listen to some non mainstream media sources.

  • Subhuti37

    Thank you for providing important details and for reading the all too often unreliable NYT, so we don’t have to. Re NATO. WWII never ended. Plans to destroy the USSR and then Russia have been ongoing, with Churchill’s plan to reinvade in July, 1945. NATO is the rebranded expression of Western 500 years of imperialism.

    Expecting it to voluntarily break that habit is unrealistic. But by sanctioning Russia, the West undercut its access to cheap energy, ensuring its own demise.

  • Eric Peter

    It is clear that the lunatics are running OUR asylum. Mr. T has obviously joined the ranks Joe and Boris. Not accepting Russia into NATO would have eliminated the need far a NATO war machine putting the shareholders and stakeholders of arms manufacturing at risk… so no deal. The cost… death and human suffering for the sake of profit. Speaking of lunatics, reference also Zelensky’s ties to Israel and one might see the connection to the suffering in Gaza. More cannon fodder for profit and/or land.

  • Eric Peter

    It is clear that the lunatics are running OUR asylum. Mr. T has obviously joined the ranks Joe and Boris. Not accepting Russia into NATO would have eliminated the need far a NATO war machine putting the shareholders and stakeholders of arms manufacturing at risk… so no deal. The cost… death and human suffering for the sake of profit. Speaking of lunatics, reference also Zelensky’s ties to Israel and one might see the connection to the suffering in Gaza. More cannon fodder for profit and/or land.

  • David Gutnick

    On can only hope – even pray – that Dimitri presents himself in a federal election.

    His brilliant (!) analysis must absolutely not remain hidden in blogs read by his few fans.

    Canadians deserve to have the chance to vote for Dimitri, he has shown us in the past – by running for the Greens – that he takes elections seriously. He obviously believes in the ability of working people to make decisions.

    Dimitri’s never ending attempts at speaking his truth to power are ignored by almost everyone as he basically has but this blog, a few interviews on websites and various shout outs at Federal Ministers as they are one stage or in meetings.

    Enough already. The time has for Dimitri to shine, to lead Canadians with his acute understanding of how things are and how they should be.

    There will be a Federal election within the next two years.

    Let’s hope the readers of this website can together convince Dimitri to run.

    Enough scribbling and shouting from the bowels,
    One, Two, Three: Dimitri for the sake of all Canadians show us that we need you to take us forward.

    Please, please, pretty please.

  • David Gutnick

    Hey folks it’s been 24 hours and I am not seeing a draft Dimitri movement to convince him to join or – perhaps if you think it better – found his own political party that he would naturally lead.

    Remember only two years – or less of the NDP pulls out of their agreement with the Liberals – for you to promote Dimitri as the best choice for all Canadians, a man in the shadows who deserves more sunlight!

    Dimitri spends hours writing these blogs and tweets constantly because he thinks he has something to say that is not being said anywhere else, he of course hopes to increase his audience and influence, hopes his truth becomes…well seen as THE truth.

    So get with it gang…why wait? …why should Dimitri be spending his valuable billable hours here, writing blogs, when he could be a candidate running to lead Canada.

    I can hardly wait to see the election results, hardly wait to see what percentage of Canadian working people are willing to trust in Dimitri, a man confident his own truth, in his own vision, proud to share his own brilliant and world class humility.

    • Eric

      And what are you doing for the world David other than making gratuitous remarks of no value?

  • David Gutnick

    So Eric I take it that you think it of no value that Dimitri run in a democratic election?

    May I underline that Dimitri ran to lead a political party that presents candidates in election

    Are you saying that Dimitri should only remain on the sidelines, travelling to Russia, travelling to Lebanon and not being able to test what Canadians think of him?

    Dear Eric Dimitri regularly refers to the opinions of Canadians found in Canadian polls, so obviously he trusts the judgement of our fellow citizens.

    And only today in a tweet he positively refers to a parliamentary committee that wants to explore federal defence spending, so Dimitri trusts some mechanisms of parliament.

    Eric I have no idea why my interest in seeing what Canadian voters – people like you me me – would think of Dimitri’s views on say Putin or Hamas or a new high speed railway or nuclear power is so upsetting to you. I would expect you to be someone who would vote vie him, not disapprove of those who would like to see him run and see what Canadians think of him.

    • Eric

      David, I think your sarcasm needs a muse.

  • David Gutnick

    Eric with all the respect that is due you, why do you think I am being sarcastic? I am very serious.
    I think that Dimitri, a bilingual lawyer with many skills, a good public speaker and apparently a good family man should see what Canadians from all walks of life , from different cultures, religious and political persuasions think of his ideas.
    It’s one thing to write blogs and tweet, quite another to stand up in an election and say «  these are my beliefs, vote for me, show everyone in the community what you think of me and my ideas. »

    Eric, to repeat, I am very serious, I so look forward to the day when Dimitri runs and his.votes are counted.

    Perhaps I can ask you Eric, do you have another way of putting governments in power?

    • Eric

      LoL … my remarks were based on prior discussions and perhaps I confused you with someone else. The praise seemed almost too good to be true and the intent of “votes are counted” could be misinterpreted. I say this because Canadian voters unfortunately seem to be in an American-like two-party goat path. So if I got it wrong, my sincere apologies. And, if you are indeed sincere, I couldn’t agree more. Perhaps I have to do a better job with my memory and related homework. I supported Dimitri for the Green Party leadership which, sadly, Elizabeth May for some reason derailed by supporting the resultant winning candidate. It was, for many of us, a major disappointment and the fall-out was obviously a significant problem for the party.That said, thanks for the clarification!!!!

    • Rahul Majumdar

      Electoral politics today is about as valuable as, say, a frustrated CBC alum who can’t argue the issue at hand…

  • David Gutnick

    Thanks Eric, no I truly do believe that Dimitri should run for office. given the parties out there I have no idea what party …up to Dimitri to decide. He may of course run as an independent…

    As for Rahul, well sir I assume by your remarks that unlike Dimitri (unless he has changed his position) you dont’ believe in elections, don’t believe that voters can or should be trusted, and as you say don’t believe in the trustworthiness of the Canadian electoral system.

    That’s fine, in this liberal democracy, yes a flawed capitalist democracy that needs much much x a gazillion improving, you don’t have to believe in voting, you don’t have to trust the opinions of your fellow citizens and refuse and challenge their opinions all you want, and you can even ridicule them ridicule all you want, nothing stopping you.

    All I am saying here is very simple: Dimitri is highly critical of all Canadian parliamentarians, finds all of them sorely lacking.

    Totally cool that, totally his right to fundamentally disagree with the NDP, the Liberals, the Conservatives, Quebec Solidaire, the Parti Quebecois, the Bloc Québécois, the CAQ, and the Greens on …well basically everything from foreign policy to labour policy to environmental policy to communications policy to policing policy to..…you get the picture.

    So get the Dimitri gang together, form a party, or polish him up as an independent, raise some cash and get a website up. Put down the deposit, print some cool posters…and knock on doors, put together rallies and attend debates.

    And then come election night help count the votes and see what Dimitri’s fellow citizens think of him.

    You call that cynical.


    • Rahul Majumdar

      I don’t call that cynical. I call it condescending and patronizing. Then again, I guess that’s what comes out of the Mother Corp. these days in News and Current Affairs…

  • David Gutnick

    Dearest Rahul;
    As a fellow citizen I am sorry you don’t believe in elections do not trust the rest of us when it comes to governing our daily lives, from planning childcare to healthcare to manufacturing policy to foreign policy.

    Dude – may I be so bold- are you real?

    • Eric Peter

      Rahul may have a point. As long as political parties fear the loss of corporate money and the contributions from the infamous wealthy one percent, we will never have a true democracy. That combined with our out-dated first-past-the-post electoral system gives impetus and, to some extent credibility, to such distrust. Sadly, it’s all we got right now. The “goat-path” I referred to and the necessity for funding makes it extremely difficult even to get a small party’s candidates elected, never mind an independent. Just look at the problems the Green Party is having… although some of it was self inflicted (reference my rant above).

    • Rahul Majumdar

      Am I real? Buddy, I gave a 20-minute speech in front of Premier Legault’s
      Montreal office in opposition to the tuition fee hike/Oral French requirement
      imposed on McGill and Concordia. In it, I suggested lawsuits against the
      CAQ government which, horror of horrors, were just announced today (February 23rd).

      And yeah, I have witnesses. You? A personal vendetta against Mr. Lascaris, whose
      blog you signed off with in a rambling post last year, only to return to vent your
      spleen yet again in 2024.

      So, smart guy, the moral of the story is: Electoral politics is a necessary evil, but
      direct action from the ground up is the spark that leads to actually getting things

  • Eric Peter

    PS: BTW… although perhaps a useful debate, it seems we are off-topic.

  • David Gutnick

    Thanks for your very civil comments Eric.
    I am of two minds.
    In one way we are off topic: looking at Dimitri’s take on the Russian war on Ukrainian civilians.
    But it is easy to get lost in the forest by counting t je trees.
    Dimitri is not an expert in any way shape or form on the topic, speaks none of the languages and has never published a peer reviewed article on the subject of Eastern Europe. He is of course complete within his rights as an activist to say what he wants.
    He is like the rest of us non- experts, he looks at the situation from afar and comments.
    Which brings me to why I brought up the necessity of his running for election.

    We all deserve to know what percentage of people in our society (in a riding) support Dimitri, and what percentage do not.

    A blogger’s job is to lobby for their ideas. This is what Dimitri does tirelessly.

    Some people agree with him, we see the results in the comments section here.

    But other than that we have no clue. Does Dimitri represent .02 percent of public opinion (communist vote in last federal election).
    5%? 25%

    We need to know as we need to understand how serious to take him.

    Do Canadians believe someone like Dimitri or is he just a noise to be ignored, a squeaky wheel?

    We have no idea.

    Yup we do not have a perfect democracy (whatever that is, or would be? ) what we have is what we have, so we live with it and try and make it better. Proportional representation seems like a good way forward… experts have many ideas on the many ways how to do it.

    But what we have is what we have.
    The best of worse solutions (Rahul for example does not believe in elections.)
    It means for sure that big money has lots of clout. That is disgusting.

    It means also that Quebec Solidaire has a dozen socialists in the Quebec National Assembly.
    It means that a Communist – Fred Rose – was elected to parliament by Montreal voters.
    It means a terrible right wing government in Alberta and it means very progressive Indigenous members in the Yukon.

    It means the late Ed Broadbent was leader of the NDP and in his recent memoir he says he deeply studied Marx and agreed with much.

    It is what we have. We work to make it better.

    So back to Dimitri.

    It takes courage to put one in the public eye and say choose me or not.

    .02 percent like the Communist Party?
    Or winning a riding like Quebec Solidaire with more than45% of the vote in a winning by election.


    • Rahul Majumdar

      As usual, you misrepresent and confabulate fact and fiction.

      So, I’ll repeat – electoral politics is a necessary evil.

      The “First-past-the-post” system prevalent in Canada, the US
      and the UK is hardly democratic and produces distorted results.
      Predictably, citizens have responded with lower turnouts, greater
      apathy, and less civic engagement.

      Now, finally, to get back on topic…

      Mr. Lascaris presents a rationale case for the folly of this
      ongoing war, with supporting references from Le Monde and
      even the Gray Lady herself, i.e. the New York Times.

      He is actually complimentary of Ukraine, the Ukrainian
      military, and the Ukrainian people (the biggest victims
      of events post-2014).. How and why this post and others
      bring out your ad hominem diatribes is truly beyond me.

      Does someone have to be a so-called “expert” to express
      an opinion, especially an informed one? Seems that
      you’re guilty of projection with your accusations of
      fascism, etc.

      I certainly don’t claim to be an expert on Russia-Ukraine,
      but if you want to go, let’s go. In a civilised manner,
      if that’s possible…

  • Eric Peter

    My final comment… hopefully… It neither takes a rocket scientist nor an expert in either eastern European and/or middle-east politics to recognize that American meddling sparked the Ukraine-Russia war and that the killing of thousands of children is premeditated murder with the intent of genocide. At least Dimitri is doing a much better job of educating people than our corporate controlled main-stream media. Have a nice day while people are suffering!!!!

  • David Gutnick

    Eric you call it sarcastic to believe that someone should have the courage to run in an election to see what the population thinks. Rahul calls elections «a necessary evil. »

    Let’s leave it there, in black and white,


    • Rahul Majumdar

      If you were sincerely promoting Mr. Lascaris’ future run for
      public office, then perhaps you’d be taken more seriously.

      Instead, your diatribe has been exposed for what it is – a
      disgraceful shaming exercise to avoid a full discussion a
      brutal war in Ukraine – now approaching its tenth year (not
      two, as most of the mainstream press erroneously claims).

      So, take your incomplete, out-of-context quotes to the

      And leave them there, for all to see…

  • Rahul Majumdar

    Clearly, you are a pro-war, pro-censorship, neocon apologist – masquerading as a progressive, or perhaps even a boutique socialist. If anything, you seem to be selling the extreme fascistic, Galician nationalism that’s inflicted Ukraine since 2014 and is well on the way to turning that country into a rump, failed state – if it isn’t already. All at the altar of U.S. hegemony.

    Even as a salesman for endless war and militarism, you need much better arguments. Up to now, all you offer are mindless rants and calls for censorship. I had no idea that CBC’s standards had fallen so low over the years.

    Russia has violated the UN Charter and international law by invading Ukraine, but the current war is merely the logical result of a provocative 30-year NATO expansion towards Russia’s borders, the 2014 coup d’état (Maiden), and especially the 8-year Ukrainian civil war in the Donbas that took 14,000 lives before the Russian invasion, most of whom were ethnic Russians. This is, in effect, a U.S.-N.A.T.O. proxy war on Russia with Ukraine as the convenient staging ground.

    Every serious attempt at peace, or at the very least an armistice, is being thwarted by the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) and neocons bent on destabilization and/or regime change. Revelations in 2022 from Angela Merkel, François Hollande, and Petro Poroschenko about the Minsk Agreements’ use as a delay tactic to beef up Ukraine’s military should have raised alarm bells. However, they didn’t. You can throw in Naftali Bennett and Boris Johnson – especially if the latter ever comes clean in his role in thwarting an actual peace and full Russian withdrawal deal in April, 2022.

    $110 billion plus for Ukraine from the U.S. Treasury, $13 billion from Canada (!), all for what? To continue sacrificing Ukrainian and Russian lives in a never-ending war? We look for leaders in government and media to expose the folly of war, which is after all a racket (U.S. Major-General Smedley Butler). Sadly, what we get instead is a black and white portrait of conflict, something war rarely, if ever, is.

    So, when it comes to analysis of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in its entirety, I’ll take a pass on those who only offer virulent ad hominems, calls for censorship, and repetitive half-truths…

    • Eric Peter

      Thank you Rahul. You speak my heart and that of other intelligent, knowledgeable, and humanitarian thinkers.

  • Rahul Majumdar

    What is truly sad is the spectacle of a once respected CBC documentary producer reducing himself to harassing blog commentators, let alone libelling the host with truly vile accusations.

    Neo-McCarthyism is alive and well in Canada, it appears…

  • Eric Peter

    Rahul; I meant to add the following about being “lost”…. Regarding D’s comment: “Let’s say Trump turns America full on fascist. Are you saying that would give Canada the right to invade? You see how insane that argument is?”. It would make more sense if the hypothetical case were presented as follows… “Let’s say Trudeau turns Canada fascist and a friend of Russia. USA/America would invade Canada in a heart-beat… as they have so many times in the past… Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan et al.” You see how insane D G’s argument is?

    • Rahul Majumdar

      The United States of America lost their democracy decades ago – President Trump the game show host is merely what society coughs up when the working class – hurt and angered by an elite-driven agenda anchored on collusion, corruption, and political payoffs – feel that they have no other choice. Thinking people should be able to see this a mile away.

      As for the issue at hand, you hit on a good point, but I’ll adjust it slightly. In the real world, the global superpowers should recognize each other’s geographic spheres of influence, if for no other reason than to avoid the type of carnage and destruction we’re seeing today in Ukraine. So, yes, if Russia every decided to invade Canada and/or Mexico, the U.S.A. without question would responded militarily with ground, sea and air forces. And unfortunately, we would have the spectre of a nuclear superpower exchange on Canadian soil.

      Exchange Ukraine for Canada, with its 2014 Maidan coup, the eight-year civil war in the Donbas targeting ethnic Russians, and the ongoing meddling of Victoria Nuland and the U.S. security state in Ukrainian affairs, the whitewashing of Ukraine’s Azov Nazis, the blowing up of Nordstream pipelines, etc. and you can see how and why that situation is such a powder keg.

      With Taiwan to follow?

  • Eric Peter

    Thanks for the response Rahul. I have long considered the American presidency and its antics as a store-front distraction to the real issues and to provide the illusion of a democracy. I asked an (intelligent) American; “why do Americans elect a Democrat as president and then elect a Republican house two years later?” His answer was; “to ensure nothing gets done”. Americans still believe in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and that their government runs the country. Oh yes, and lets not forget the belief in bringing democracy to the world by bombing countless countries and supporting fascist dictators while at the same time not having a bonafide democracy in their own country. BTW, sadly we Canadians are not far behind, in my opinion.

  • Rahul Majumdar

    I don’t make so-called “pro-Putin” arguments – I educate myself on the Cold War, the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse, and the events leading up to the current military operation/war in Ukraine. Then, I present the facts. You’re free to dispute them, but in all seriousness, silly ad hominems and false assertions make you look like a fool, not me.

    For all your bluster about Ukrainian socialists, it’s a shame that they won’t be able to express their views in a free and fair election. President Zelensky cancelled them last year, and has extended martial law until at least May, 2024. This on top of banning and seizing the assets of 11 political parties in 2022, including the largest opposition party Opposition Platform—For Life and, horror of horrors, the Socialist Party of Ukraine.

    Yes, I very much want to know what Ukrainians think about the war that has decimated their country and bled it of millions of people. Your patronizing attitude appears to be part of the problem here.

    You’re falsely rewriting history to suit a twisted narrative. After the Ukrainian military took back and/or secured Kharkiv and Kherson in Fall 2022, former U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley (ret.) recommended that Zelensky negotiate a peace settlement with Putin, because his bargaining power would never be higher. Unfortunately, Miley’s advice was overridden by neocons and other assorted warmongers in the Biden Administration.

    This after the U.S.-NATO cabal sabotaged the Istanbul agreement in April, 2022, which included a full withdrawal of Russian troops and agreeing to a militarily neutral Ukraine. Now, are you going to accuse General Miley of being a Putin puppet, too?

    14 years? Russia invaded Ukraine two years ago. It had a brief, NATO-provoked war in Georgia in 2008. Even the Ukrainian civil war started only 10 years ago, at best. You know all about the post-Maidan coup civil war (2014-2022), the one mostly ignored in the West?

    Ukrainians have the right to a secure future in their own country. They don’t deserve to be pawns in the U.S.-NATO drive to degrade Russia at their expense…

  • Rahul Majumdar

    What am I thinking? I’m anti-war and anti-imperialist. What are you thinking? You’re the colonialist here – two years of devastation and a quarter of a trillion dollars later, yet your hunger for war never ceases.

    Provide your references for your 2010 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Yes, Russia retook Crimea in 2014, after the U.S.-backed coup d’état overthrew the Viktor Yanukovych government, and they supported the ethnic Russians in the Donbas during the Ukrainian Civil War before invading in February, 2022.

    There is no military solution to this conflict, and if you truly cared about the people of Ukraine and the preservation of the Ukrainian nation-state, you would raise your voice to call for a cessation of hostilities and immediate negotiations leading to a peace agreement. That’s what a genuine socialist, especially a genuine Ukrainian socialist, would do. Otherwise, Ukraine risks becoming the Afghanistan of Europe – breadbasket devastated, generations lost. Assuming it isn’t too late already.

    Your incessant name-calling and false bravado is becoming truly reprehensible and counterproductive – even to your colonialist cause. Time to follow your own advice from October 23, 2023:

    “Rahul I am out of here now. And to Dimitri, thanks again for allowing me to write here but it is clearly not a space where I want to spend anymore time.”

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