By Felix Abt
U.S. President Joe Biden, Western politicians and their media partners agree that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “unprovoked.” The president of the country notorious for its numerous unprovoked wars of aggression called Putin a “criminal” for doing so.
That the war could have any connection to NATO expansion, which led to the deployment of nuclear-capable missiles in Poland and Romania with a flight time of less than 10 minutes to Moscow, is not even remotely addressed.
Neither is the Obama/Biden administrations’ push to annex Ukraine into NATO, with a 2,000-kilometer (1,243 miles) shared border with Russia and even more missile bases in the future. If Cuba deployed a single Russian missile, that would be grounds for Washington to go to war against the island; Russia, on the other hand, is expected to be surrounded by countless NATO missiles on its borders and in its vicinity without fighting back.
Russia allowed Germany to reunite peacefully after the West had promised diplomatically not to move NATO an inch to the east. Moreover, in 1999, Western countries had agreed to the principle in the Charter for European Security that “the obligation of each State not to strengthen its security at the expense of the security of other States.”
Russian Limits Ridiculed
The oh-so-trustworthy values West, however, did not give a damn about keeping promises and agreements with Russia. Moscow swallowed the big toad when NATO ballooned into a serious threat on Russia’s borders, not only in Poland and Romania, but for years held unabated to its demand that Georgia and Ukraine not be allowed to become NATO members under any circumstances. Western politicians and media have never taken this Russian “red line” seriously and have even ridiculed it.
Russia is well aware that NATO is not just a self-defense organization, as it claims, but an aggressive war alliance, at least since NATO’s wars of aggression in Yugoslavia, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.
It is therefore probably no coincidence that mainstream media consumers never learned that the same Joe Biden, when he was the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, assessed NATO expansion as a dangerous Western provocation of Russia and warned that it would provoke “a vigorous and hostile response from Russia.”
Instead of preventing this predictable response by providing a security guarantee to Russia, which would have been inexpensive and painless for all concerned, he actively helped provoke it! Well, to honest Joe Biden’s credit, he has outed himself as a corrupt politician who has to serve the donors: “I don’t think you should assume that I’m not corrupt. It takes a lot of money to get into office. And the people with that money always want something.”
Were you able to read anything about all this in your newspaper or learn about it from your TV channels? Exactly. So you can assume that a well-lubricated senator who wants to become president at least does not stand in the way of the expansionist urge of the all-powerful military-industrial complex and therefore adjusts his opinion: So it was Russia that provoked! Politicians and media loyal to Washington immediately added the reason for the NATO expansion: There is an imperialist tsar in the Kremlin who has turned into a dangerous new Hitler, and that is why a highly armed NATO is needed on as many of Russia’s borders as possible. Truly, the devil in the Kremlin provoked the NATO expansion!
It took 32 years from the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact to the almost complete NATOization of Europe—compare the state of affairs in 1990 with that of 2022, the year of the “unprovoked war of aggression.”
The illustration above shows that in 1990—year 1 after the fall of the Berlin Wall—the Russian-dominated Soviet Union included Ukraine, the Baltic States and several other now independent countries. The Warsaw Pact, an alliance also dominated by Russia, included six states, all of which are also independent today.
And in the chart below, you can see that in 2022—32 years since Germany reunified—all the former Warsaw Pact countries have joined NATO in the meantime. Three countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union—Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania—have also become NATO members.
Who started the Ukraine war and when?
Until now, the official and constantly repeated mantra of Washington, its European vassals and media partners has been that Russia was responsible for the crime of a completely “unprovoked” war of aggression, which it started in February 2022. Now NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has corrected the date of the start of the war—confirming what consumers of alternative media have known for years:
“…the war didn’t start in February last year.
It started in 2014.”
-NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on February 14, 2023
The war began eight years earlier, in 2014, when the democratically elected Yanukovych government in Kyiv was forcibly deposed in a U.S.-backed coup and replaced by an anti-Russian government that subsequently cracked down on Russian minorities.
By the way, it is not entirely coincidental that eight years after the coup in Kyiv, the year of Russia’s “unprovoked” war of aggression, the smoking gun for U.S. involvement in the overthrow of the government in Kyiv was removed from YouTube.
NATO began training and arming Ukrainian forces after the coup. The new, Banderist and Russophobic regime in Kyiv took advantage of the military buildup starting in 2014 and began bombing Russian-speaking civilians in the Donbas that same year, causing death and devastation. You could not learn about all this from your newspapers or TV channels either.
Reporting on Ukrainian terrorism in the Donbas is censored
Alina Lipp moved to Donetsk in 2021, a year before Russia invaded Ukraine to live there for a while and find out for herself what was actually happening in the Donbas. At that time, the freelance journalist from Germany was still comparatively unknown.
Germany wanted to punish her for this with three years in prison, although Berlin paradoxically proclaims to defend democracy and thus freedom of speech in Ukraine (nota bene with heavy German weapons, including German tanks rolling against Russia again)! Here is the first part of her new documentary about her time in Donbas. Watch it and form your own opinion about it. In a forthcoming piece I will add more examples.
Valued minorities versus criminally neglected minorities
When it comes to the rights of a minority like LGBTQ, the megaphones of the “values West” loudly demand support. But when it comes to minorities in Ukraine, they are silent. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto lamented on his Facebook page that minority rights, including language rights, of the more than 150,000 ethnic Hungarian Ukrainians have been severely curtailed by the Kyiv regime.
For example, Hungarian-speaking children were denied the right to be taught in their language. Unlike the case of the Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang province, where a wave of international protests erupted against what was alleged to be a similar cultural genocide (although Uyghur children are taught in both Uyghur and Mandarin), there has, of course, been no outcry here.
In addition, at least 19 million Russian-language books were taken out of circulation, denying the Russian-speaking minority access to literature in their native language. NBC correspondent Richard Engel witnessed the burning of Russian-language books at a checkpoint in Kyiv, including, for example, the war-important book Fire Resistance of Burning Structures.
The political party, which had come in first behind Zelensky in the presidential election, was banned by the latter along with other opposition parties representing mainly Russian-speaking Ukrainians. Critical media, especially those close to minorities, have also been banned or put on a state leash.
Several Russian-speaking Ukrainians, including a democratically elected former president, have had their Ukrainian citizenship revoked, and others have had their property confiscated. The list is not exhaustive, as the Kyiv regime is in the process of eliminating as much “Russian influence” as possible. It seems to want to fulfill the wish of its national hero, Nazi Bandera, who is buried in Germany, to create a “pure” Ukraine.
Was Russia provoked into invading Ukraine?
NATO’s claim that “Russia wants to conquer Europe” to justify its omnipresence in Europe is nonsensical. Russia precisely does not want to trigger Article 5 (mutual assistance clause in case of attack) of the NATO treaty: First, it invaded Ukraine before Ukraine could officially join NATO to militarily resolve the Donbas issue—where the majority of Russian-speaking Ukrainians live, threatened by the Russophobic Kyiv regime.
The West and Kyiv had not been ready for a diplomatic solution before; while Russia was accused by Western politicians and media of not wanting to comply with the Minsk agreements to resolve the conflict in the Donbas, the fact is that, according to main protagonists Angela Merkel, François Hollande, Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky, these agreements were not meant to be complied with at all, but only had the purpose of buying time so that the Ukrainian Army could be rearmed by NATO and prepared for war with Russia. And secondly, precisely because of NATO Article 5, one can assume that Russia does not want to and will not intentionally invade a NATO country.
To answer the question of whether Russia felt provoked to invade, one must consider the situation before the actual invasion, which was as follows: By mid-February 2022, the civil war waged by Kyiv in an inhumane manner—with aircraft, artillery and tanks—against the Russian-speaking civilian population in eastern Ukraine had resulted in more than 13,000 deaths, about a million people forced to flee, and countless destroyed towns and villages.
No concession could be expected from a Ukraine equipped with state-of-the-art U.S. weapons in the Donbas autonomy efforts; instead, there was Zelensky’s threat toward Russia to acquire nuclear weapons. The West’s refusal to negotiate legitimate security guarantees for Russia and the Russian-speaking minority in Ukraine also played a role in Russia’s calculations.
And despite the genocide caused by years of bombardment of Russian-speaking civilians in Donetsk and Luhansk by the Ukrainian Army, irregular volunteer units, and the “fascists who overran the country” (Jerusalem Post), the Western-dominated UN Security Council has not intervened—even though it was obligated to do so under the following paragraph 6 of the International Criminal Code a.k.a “Völkerstrafgesetzbuch”:
“Whoever, with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, racial, religious, or ethnic group as such, kills a member of the group, inflicts serious bodily or mental harm on a member of the group, particularly of the kind specified in section 226 of the Criminal Code, places the group in conditions of life likely to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part … shall be punished by life imprisonment.”
In his book “Ausnahme Zustand: Geopolitische Einsichten und Analysen unter Berücksichtigung des Ukraine-Konflikts” (State of Emergency: Geopolitical Insights and Analyses Taking the Ukraine Conflict into Account), German lawyer Wolfgang Bittner explains that Russia can invoke its Responsibility to Protect (“R2P”) vis-à-vis the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine—a generally recognized requirement under international law to prevent serious human rights violations. R2P, however, is a problematic doctrine that was originally introduced into international law by the United States and NATO—primarily to justify the war of aggression against Yugoslavia.
Former NAZI’s vs. former Communists, both led by thugs. Let them kill each other. We footed the bulk of Europe’s defense bill for decades to keep Communism from expanding. That is how those European nations were able to fund their socialist agendas without going bankrupt which they surely would have done had they paid their fair share for their own defense. Now we are doing the same thing all over again. Funny how the only military action of ours that Europe supports are the ones that benefit them. Other than those, they adamantly oppose them.
Putin just one upped biden. We are involved in hi tech surveillance to assist the Ukrainians. Putin is telling biden to keep it up and we will take down more.
Thankfully biden is losing his ear against Russia.