On February 24, 2022, the army of the Russian Federation began the “military operation” in Ukraine, triggering war between states in the heart of Europe. A year of destruction of buildings, factories, power plants, bridges and strategic facilities. A year of armed clashes that have resulted (according to data provided by Reuters on 6/2/23) in 42,295 dead, 54,132 wounded and millions of refugees. A war that sees the clash of the Russian Federation with the Ukrainian army supported by all Western countries, NATO, the United States and the United Kingdom being at the forefront. A clash that will redraw the European map and is disrupting continental energy economies. Two post-Soviet boyar oligarchies are vying for territories once held by the Soviet Union

By Renato Franzitta

In this year of war, we have been inundated with one-sided information that has presented us with a democratic country (Ukraine) being attacked by a dictatorial country (Russia) with tsarist-style expansionist aims. A narrative that has turned into heroes the Nazis of the Azof battalion responsible for crimes against the populations of the Donbass and Odessa, that has glossed over the dictatorial system in Kiev responsible for thousands of arrests of members of leftist parties and inconvenient trade unions outlawed and excluded from the political and social life of the country. A narrative that fails to tell that a civil war has been going on in Ukraine since 2014 and has claimed at least 14,000 lives in the Black Sea regions and in the east of the country. These factors have allowed the other distorted narrative, [a narrative ] from Russian source, to justify a military operation with the tale of removing the Nazis and protecting the Russian-speaking populations of eastern and southern Ukraine, a narrative that hides the true expansionist and power aims of Putin’s Russia.

This one-way avalanche of information has generated Western military support for the Kiev government and has not allowed the opening of a negotiating table that could have ended the massacres and destruction.

In 12 months, the Ukrainian government demanded and received a huge amount of weaponry, from surface-to-ground missiles, to surface-to-air missiles, to antitank missiles, to long-range guns, to Soviet-era tanks (raked in from former Soviet or former Warsaw Pact countries now in NATO zones) and war equipment of all kinds; [this] to the tune of several hundred billion dollars. All [this armament is] supported by U.S. and British instructors. This happened despite the fact that the Ukrainian army already had more than 800 Soviet-era tanks and hundreds of sam- and katiuscia-type rocket launchers at its disposal.

In this year of war, we have witnessed the narrative that the Russian army is a Brancaleone-like army of proscribed soldiers with obsolete weaponry, scrappy strategists, and that there is extremely low morale among the troops. Narration that pilloried President Putin, depicted sometimes as crazy, sometimes as terminally ill and close to the cemetery; narration to distract Western public opinion from the real danger of the extension of the war beyond Ukrainian borders.

A year later we are witnessing the beginning of a new large-scale offensive by the Russians that is severely testing Ukrainian defense. The Russian offensive has caused a real earthquake within the Kiev government with the resignation of the defense minister [and] the general change at the top of the services; all this just days after the more than strange incident that resulted in the death of the interior minister, his deputy minister and the secretary of state, all men close to President Zelenskyi.

But within this framework, what do Western countries do? Do they move to prepare peace negotiations? No. On the contrary, requests by Zelensky to send new armaments are met with a commitment to send several dozen tanks (Leopard, Abrams, Challenger, Leclerc ) and new supplies of missiles that certainly cannot turn the tide of the conflict. The involvement of NATO countries is increasingly evident both politically and logistically. European chancelleries thunder daily against the Russian aggressor and do not bother to stop the conflict.

Already since the beginning of the war, NATO has given its logistical support by guarding the skies over Ukraine with drones that departed from the Sigonella base. With their information, these drones enabled Ukrainian artillery to strike the Russian fleet and Crimea, with the full operation of the MUOS control system in Niscemi, and with air teams deployed in Romania and the Baltic countries.

NATO, which has expanded eastward in recent years by absorbing the former Soviet Baltic republics and former Warsaw Pact countries, is at the forefront of the conflict. The candidacy of Sweden and Finland as NATO members is yet another act of force toward the Russian Federation, which sees NATO troops on its borders. The dreaded accession of Ukraine itself to the Atlantic Pact sanctions the muscular will of the capitalist West against the return to the strategic world stage of the Russian power, no longer Soviet but even worse in capitalist competition.

The danger of the extension of the Ukrainian war is more than real. Despite disinformation headed by British intelligence, the Russian military demonstrates vitality and operational competence. Russian ammunition and missile stocks seem inexhaustible; from what FORBES has learned Russian tank reserves are expected to amount to more than 35,000 assets, guaranteeing Russia’s possession on paper of the world’s most impressive armored force. Russia has at its disposal the facilities, industrial capabilities and resources to be able to sustain its war effort during the present Russo-Ukrainian War. (From DIFESAONLINE) if the war industrial apparatus is put into full production, the UralVagonZavod ” has the capacity to produce 800 tanks per week, which becomes 3,200 in a month for a single plant and 16,000 if we count the work of all the plants in the case of a total war situation; and this simply by making the ordinary organization of the two production shifts more effective, without even introducing the third daily shift.” The most valuable Russian tanks, such as the T14s, have not yet been sent to the front, and the Moscow government’s plan is to have an army of 1.5 million soldiers, certainly not in anticipation of a long war in Ukraine but as a buffer for a larger war.

According to the director of ANALISI DIFESA Gianandrea Gaiani, the delivery of a few dozen tanks to Kiev is more political than concrete. And it will be difficult for Ukrainian tankers to learn how to use them in time, with Russia regaining the initiative on the ground .

The only way out to avoid a major conflict that crosses Ukraine’s borders is to work hard to set up a peace negotiating table, stop sending arms, stop giving logistical support to the war, and stop unilateral sanctions. We must be on the side of the peoples suffering from the harshness of the war, on the side of all those who oppose it both in Ukraine and Russia; [we must] support the anti-war movements and give full support to those who desert this dirty war between nation states generated by economic interests of reactionary oligarchies and imperialist aims both Western and otherwise.

Negotiate immediately, stop war actions, stop sending arms and funding for war. Support war defectors in Ukraine and Russia.