About Ukraine

March 17, 2022

Human history is a tale of crime, oppression, exploitation, and mass murder, glossed over, camouflaged, and whitewashed by hypocritical sermons and hymns of kindness and compassion.

Human history is a tale of ruthless fights for food, land, natural and mineral resources, of fights to exterminate everybody who could challenge the rule of the feudal elites.

War is a crime

There is no doubt, that the invasion of Ukraine, under post-Nuremberg laws, is a criminal war of aggression. People suffer and die needlessly and it is the poor and marginalized who will suffer the most.

Russia has every right to feel threatened, betrayed, and angry. It has an existential interest in keeping NATO away from its border. Russia will no more tolerate US missiles in Ukraine than the USA would tolerate Russian missiles in Cuba.

But to understand is not to condone. There would have been alternatives. Russia could have fortified the Donbass region and Crimea. It could have targeted with precision strikes all Ukrainian artillery which constantly shelled Donetzk und Luhansk.

Russia could have made a showcase of Crimea and the Donbass, eliminating corruption, serving the people with good governance and ecologically sound development. To some extent this happened in Crimea, but in Donetzk und Luhansk corruption remained high and opportunists ruled.

As the Ukrainian military massed troops on the line of contact in Donbass, Russia did the same along all of the Russia-Ukraine border. If this would not have deterred an attack on the two Donbass enclaves Russia would have been in a good position to beat back the attackers and send them back across the line of contact with a bloody nose.

If the Ukraine would have pressed on with their attack, Russia could have targeted crucial military installations to cripple the Ukrainian forces and make the attack on the Donbass enclaves more and more costly for the enemy.

This would have still not been an invasion and would still not have caused civilian deaths. It would have been only a temporary solution and maybe would not have deterred NATO to send more weapons, especially missiles and anti-aircraft weapons, to Ukraine.

It would nevertheless have avoided thousands of deaths on both sides.

Many other opportunities of avoiding war were missed:

Russia could have organized a second vote in Crimea on unification under international observeation. People near the contact line could have been evacuated and resettled. Russia could have offered infrastructure development and cheap long-term loans, like it is done in China’s belt road initiative.

Russia could have tried tirelessly to increase cultural and economic ties, inviting artists, scientists, and other renowned public figures; it could have offered collaboration in technology, joint ventures, and participation in pioneering projects; it could have offered education, training, and jobs to unemployed Ukrainians.

There were admittedly some initiatives in this direction but it was far too little.

Russian President Wladimir Putin has destroyed his legacy. To start the war was not his lonely decision, the circle of advisors and high ranking officials around him surely contributed to the decision and they all share the responsibility for the ensuing carnage.

Many people in the West who hoped that there were at least two cool headed and rational acting eminent decision makers to block and placate the US-led imperium are deeply disappointed. Putin apparently has forgotten what he learned from judo and also has forgotten the lessons of Afghanistan 1989, Hungary 1956, and Czechoslovakia 1968.

Xi Jinping is the last remaining hurdle on the road to armageddon. One can only hope that, as he observes and evaluates the situation in Eastern Europe, he will ruminate about peaceful solutions and in the end show more imagination and vision that Putin.

Environmental impact of war

War makes all other human caused crises worse. Explosions and fires pollute air, water, and soil, infrastructure is destroyed, cities turned into heaps of rubble, gas guzzling military vehicles devastate fields, forests, and tear up sensitive wetlands.

Both the military build-up, and the short term and long-term impacts from the fighting have generated greenhouse gas emissions. Reconstruction, if it ever comes, will be a further and significant carbon cost caused by the conflict.

The Ukraine was already one of the worst air quality areas in Europe. Now, with missiles, shells, and tank rounds exploding, a wide array of materials are flung into the air, from heavy metals in industrial sites, concrete, cables, and pipes in roads, to asbestos from buildings. There are heavy metals and various carcinogens in the explosives themselves.

The eight-year conflict with Russian-backed separatists in the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk provinces already showed how war can compound environmental problems. This area is one of the world’s largest coal mining regions, containing 900 active and inactive mines. The mines are on average over 700 meters deep and need to be regularly pumped to prevent groundwater from flooding them. Before the conflict began, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources identified 4,240 sites as potentially hazardous, due to methane leaks, hydro-dynamics, biohazards, and radiation. Before the war started, the ministry monitored these sites to manage environmental and health risks.

Degrading and damaged infrastructure has interfered in trash removal and wastewater treatment. As of 2018, household and industrial sewage was flowing untreated into surface waters, increasing pollution in the Donetsk River, causing fecal coliform levels to surge.

Even more concerning, the ministry identified 35 mines in 2016 where groundwater pumping had ceased, so the mines flooded. Such floodwaters can dissolve heavy metals like mercury, lead, and arsenic and contaminate groundwater. In some cases, these sites were originally mined via nuclear detonations, meaning they are full of irradiated debris which could be carried out by floodwaters if they aren’t regularly pumped. By 2016, 55 of 66 drinking water sites that had been tested were deemed non-potable; three of them had significantly elevated radiation levels.

Environmental management of industrial sites will stop during the conflict. In the port city of Mariupol, residents until now endured the constant belching of soot and smoke from two steel plants.

The environmental management director of the plants blamed the slow progress of environmental upgrades on the ongoing conflict with Russia, which has indeed depleted the regional workforce of engineering and construction experts, forcing the company to direct limited resources to repairing neighboring facilities damaged by fighting.

Mariupol is now in ruins and the steel plants are nothing else than toxic waste landfills.

In the sea town of Berdianske, seven miles from Mariupol in the province of Zaporizhia, the beaches and fields are littered with land mines. Unexploded ordnance may leach toxic chemicals into soil and groundwater. Swimming and fishing are off limits.

There are many other local environmental catastrophes happening, like the explosions at an oil reservoir in the town of Vasylkiv, just outside of Kyiv, which spewed unknown toxins into the air.

Forest fires from military shooting or explosions are another danger. In 2020  20,000 hectares of forest in the Luhansk region burned down.

As the war disrupts electricity generation across Ukraine, people may switch to backup generators running on diesel, adding those fumes to the toxic mix of polluted air.

There is also the possibility that fighting could damage one of Ukraine’s 15 nuclear power reactors, located at four different sites around the country.

Fighting in the Belarus-Ukraine border area near the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone with artillery, mortar, and multiple rocket-launchers surely has dispersed radioactive debris in the soil.

War and the pandemic

It is not good to inhale particulate matter, not even natural materials like dust. Lungs have evolved to clear these foreign objects by coughing up mucus, but PM 2.5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers) can slip past these defenses and get deep into the lungs, eventually passing into the bloodstream. That can deliver heavy metals and organic pollutants all over the body, which then persist in tissues.

When particulate matter gets into the lungs, immune cells try to engulf those foreign objects and thereby get distracted from attacking microbes, making viral infections like COVID-19 worse.

War zones provide the ideal conditions for infectious diseases to spread. Distracted government institutions, faltering health services, and the congregation of large numbers of vulnerable people can create perfect conditions for a catastrophic infectious disease outbreak.

Large numbers of people crowding in basements, metro stations, or on trains and busses are perfect “super-spreader” events.

Only around 34 percent of Ukrainians have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine, and the country has reported 107,340 deaths from the virus so far.

Ukraine’s Covid-19 cases were “increasing significantly” between January and February, peaking on one day in early February with more than 43,000 positive cases recorded.

Until now the Ukraine has counted 107,340 death from COVID-19 (2,480 per million), while Russia has 363,039 casualties (2,486 per million), the USA 994,739 (2,976 per million) and China 4,636 (3 per million).

There will be a rise of COVID-19 in Ukraine tied to Russia’s invasion, but also a surge in other infectious diseases like polio, cholera, measles, tuberculosis, and HIV.

The presence of HIV and tuberculosis in Ukraine is among the highest in Europe, and the UN agency for HIV/AIDS has warned that the country has less than a month’s supply of HIV drugs left. The Ukraine’s rate of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis infections is also one of the highest in the world; left unaddressed, transmissions could increase and amount to another epidemic.

There was a polio outbreak in 2021 and in 2011 Ukraine was the last country within Europe to have a cholera outbreak (in Mariupol, where water and sewage systems are in ruins now).

There are over 2.3 million people with diabetes in Ukraine (7.1 percent of the population), and the country is now facing an insulin shortage.

All this together constitute the perfect scenario for an unprecedented health catastrophe.

There are no informations how many Russian and Ukrainian soldiers are stricken by COVID-19, but toxic fumes from explosions, diesel exhaust fumes, crammed combat vehicles, and crowded quarters certainly will increase infections.

It could well be, that a COVID surge significantly impacts the capabilities of both invaders and defenders. Russian forces are said to have logistical problems and low moral, which both could be a result of a pandemic surge among the troops.

Cannon fodder shortage

A deluge of fairytales from Western media propaganda and maskirovka (Russian military deception) make it nearly impossible to guess the actual state.

There seems to be a shortage of cannon fodder on both sides.

Putin told his national security team that Russia should begin accepting “volunteers” from the Middle East, to fight in Ukraine. This probably will be mainly soldiers from Syria. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has reportedly traveled to Ukraine, where members of his feared militia force are believed to be fighting.

Private fighting forces are being sent from NATO countries to Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine would establish an international legion for its war against Russia, saying, “Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals.”

UK Foreign secretary Liz Truss said Sunday that she “absolutely” supported British citizens traveling to Ukraine to serve as combatants.

The networks for the deployment of these soldiers of fortune have been in existence since 2014. They have funneled far-right elements to Ukraine and back to their home countries, where they have on occasion been found guilty of white supremacist terrorism.

In Ukraine, these organizations worked with the Azov battalion and the Georgian National Legion. They are now receiving open assistance of the British and the US government. More than 60 fighters, most of them retired special ops forces, have traveled from the UK and at least six from the USA in the past week.

Details and photos of UK commanders meeting with the NGU (Ukraine’s National Guard) in Kyiv last year were recently posted. The NGU includes a thousand men strong neo-Nazi unit. Members of another far-right Ukrainian group were trained at Sandhurst in 2020.

The UK MoD told journalists it has no plans to train the NGU and that British commanders were misquoted. The UK military is engaging with the NGU and aware of “the peculiarities of its combat operations.”

These groups are displaying pictures of Stepan Bandera (a fascist politician who collaborated with Hitler), use the Wolfangel logo, and regularly shout the phrase “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!,” which was used by fascist nationalist groups in WWII. It was banned in the USSR.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s the slogan began to be heard at rallies and demonstrations. After Ukraine declared independence in 1991, the phrase “Glory to Ukraine” became a common patriotic slogan. In 1995, President of the United States Bill Clinton used the phrase in his speech in Kyiv (together with “God bless America”)

An Ukrainian hero

Ukrainian-Israeli-Cypriot Oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi was dismissed as governor of the Dnipro area oblast in 2014, and immediately turned around and helped ensure that “Servant of the People“, the show where Volodymyr Zelensky acted as president, was aired on his 1+1 network in Ukraine, of which he owns 70 percent.

This is the power behind Zelensky though, a grifter and mobster who has been ripping off Belarussian and Russian fellow oligarchs for billions.

Volodymyr Zelensky rode to power on pledges to clean up Ukraine, but the Pandora Papers reveal that he and his close circle were the beneficiaries of a network of offshore companies, including some that owned expensive London property.

Who is responsible for the war?

Red lines are only a deterrent when they are enforced. Washington tried to call Putin’s bluff and he had to show them that he is not bluffing.

The regime in Kiev, infested with neo-Nazis, is a threat to Russia and is actually on Russia’s border. The Ukraine wants to enter NATO and the military doctrine of the Ukraine includes the goal of the reconquest of Crimea by force.

Which means that in all likelihood the Ukraine intends to join NATO and then attack Crimea, which means that Russia will go to war with NATO.

The Ukraine’s leadership hinted that they will use spent nuclear fuel to make dirty bombs and use their existing rockets to shoot it at Russia.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the emergence of nuclear weapons in Ukraine would be a “golden dream” for Washington.

The US deployed its nuclear weapons on the territory of European countries. It’s not France and the UK that have their own nuclear weapons. This is Italy and many other countries that possess the US nuclear weapons but they do not have access to them. The US controls them there. It was a golden dream that they would appear in Ukraine.”

NATO mad clear, that it will not fight on Ukrainian soil against Russia and not try to impose a no-fly zone. Instead arms and equipment will be sent to the Ukrainian military.

Was NATO’s recently declared restraint an invitation for the Russian military? Was it intended as a trap?

Why couldn’t NATO give assurances that Ukraine will not join?

What we saw over the last few years and months and weeks was increased threats to contain and punish Russia and insistence that Ukraine could join NATO along with Georgia and any other neighboring nation.

US and European officials issued increasingly bellicose statements that they are planning for direct war with Russia. The addition of 7,000 US troops to Eastern Europe announced by the Biden administration will bring the total US deployment on the continent to over 100,000.

Increased attacks against the two Donbass enclaves made some kind of action necessary. There was a diplomatic solution for the two Donbass enclaves: The Minsk Agreements, which stipulated the granting of amnesty and autonomy to Donetsk and Luhansk. Ukraine deliberately chose to ignore those agreements for seven years and shelled Donetsk and Luhansk during that entire time.

Almost 643 attacks were registered on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic in the 11 days before the invasion. In this period, 15 people were killed and 34 more were wounded, as the representatives of the republic reported at the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire Regime.

The protection of Donbass and the neutralization of Ukraine though are only the most visible causes of the conflict. The second set of causes, and by far the most important, relates to the balance of strategic forces and the doctrine of mutually assured destruction in the event of a nuclear attack.

If Ukraine would fall into Western military orbit, NATO would be able to install its nuclear weapons there like in Poland and Romania, placing Moscow five minutes away from total destruction and preventing it from threaten to retaliate with equivalent nuclear fire.

This scenario would have ruined Russia’s independence and sovereignty. Just as the installation of Russian nuclear rockets in Cuba would have destroyed the ability of the USA to defend itself and force it to submit to Moscow’s will.

Russia feels all the more threatened as the United States has unilaterally denounced nuclear treaties INF (2019) and Open Sky (2020) that guaranteed a certain security and maintained a strategic dialogue. Under these conditions, the establishment of a buffer zone between Russia and US nuclear missiles in Europe (Ukraine and Georgia in this case) became an existential issue for the Russians.

Wladimir Putin surely had NATO’s air war against Serbia in 1999 in his mind, when he addressed the nation on February 24. From his speech:

Those who aspire to global dominance have publicly designated Russia as their enemy. They did so with impunity. Make no mistake, they had no reason to act this way.

Even now, with NATO’s eastward expansion the situation for Russia has been becoming worse and more dangerous by the year. Moreover, these past days NATO leadership has been blunt in its statements that they need to accelerate and step up efforts to bring the alliance’s infrastructure closer to Russia’s borders. In other words, they have been toughening their position. We cannot stay idle and passively observe these developments. This would be an absolutely irresponsible thing to do for us….

The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime. To this end, we will seek to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation.

Information warfare

While Western media channels report the destruction of hospitals, apartment buildings, and other civilian installations, depicting it as Russian atrocities and warcrimes, officials in Moscow insist that Russian troops only attack military targets and do their upmost to avoid civilian casualties.

Russian, Chinese, and a few dissident media channels claim, that neo-Nazi militias (Azov Battalion, Right Sector) deliberately setup firing positions in civilian buildings, use civilians as human shields or hostages, and fire on vehicles who try to flee the carnage via evacuation corridors.

Both sides warn of “false flag attacks.”

When a theater in Mariupol was destroyed with dozens of people sheltering there dead, the Russian Defense Ministry said there had been no strikes against civilian targets in the city, and accused the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion of blowing up the theater and killing its hostages (the paramilitary Azov Battalion has made Mariupol its base, and reportedly prohibits civilians from fleeing to safety).

Western intelligence agencies announce, that Russia’s offensives in Ukraine have stalled on all fronts and troops continue to suffer heavy losses. “Ukrainian resistance remains staunch and well-coordinated. The vast majority of Ukrainian territory, including all major cities, remains in Ukrainian hands.”

There are also reports that at least four Russian generals have been killed, that moral of Russian units is low, and the offensive is hampered by misconceptions and errors. US intelligence estimates that more than 7,000 Russian troops have died during the invasion.

There is an acrimonious debate about 46 US-funded biolabs in Ukraine and alleged research in bioweapons.

Thousands of photoshopped and otherwise doctored images are put on social media to document Russian war crimes, Ukrainian heroic resistance, and heavy Russian casualties.

At the moment it is impossible to get a clear picture what is going on — only time will tell.

Global impact

The Ukrainian war is also one episode of a war for world supremacy, with the Anglo-sphere seeking to achieve complete hegemony by subduing as many Latin America, African, and Asian nations as possible. Europeans are already obedient vassals, while others are still fighting for a multipolar world.

It is also a new version of the centuries-old struggle of the white world against the coalition of Blacks, Colored, and Yellows. This explains why 40 Asian, African and Latin American countries (representing 4.5 billion human beings) refrained from sanctioning Russia in the United Nations vote, and are watching the spectacle from afar and with the secret hope that Russia will win its tug-of-war.

The World Bank warned that the war in Ukraine will cut global growth (good for the environment), but rising global energy prices and inflation in particular will hit the poor the most.

Both Russia and Ukraine are big food producers. Ukraine is the world’s biggest producer of sunflower oil, with Russia number two. Between them they account for 60 percent of global production. The two countries also account for 28.9 percent of global wheat exports. Wheat prices on the Chicago future exchange have been trading at 14-year highs.

About 39 percent of the EU’s electricity comes from power stations that burn fossil fuels, and Russia is the biggest source of that oil and gas.

The conflict in Ukraine has caused Western governments to hastily attempt to untangle themselves from a reliance upon Russian oil and gas. The European Union, which gets about 40 percent of its gas supply from Russia, is working on a plan to rapidly upscale renewable energy, bolster energy efficiency measures, and build liquified natural gas terminals to receive gas from other countries.

Joe Biden, meanwhile, has relented to pressure from US lawmakers to ban imports of Russian oil. The ban, the US president said last week, will deliver a “powerful blow to Putin’s war machine. We will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war.” Biden said the US will work with Europe on a long-term plan to phase out Russian oil and gas.

Hate and disdain

According to the universal accepted narrative, Russia invaded Ukraine because there is a monster called Putin, just as there were monsters named Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and Slobodan Milosevic.

US senator Lindsey Graham already suggested that Vladimir Putin should be assassinated,  “Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?” the South Carolina Republican asked. Later he was telling Fox News that Russians must “rise up and take Putin down.”

Europeans were flabbergasted by the violence. How could war happen here in civilized Europe, we are better than this, surely? Only the global south and the muslims and the asians should have to endure this. War on peaceful Europe is impossible, it only happens “over there.”

(The world cries for Ukraine, but when Middle Eastern and Afghan kids die, no one cares.)

It’s understandable that people are scared and angry. However, the pearl-clutching perception that “national sovereignty” and “international norms” have been violated in an unprecedented way is somewhat sickening given the various and longstanding interstate conflicts in the Middle East — many of which did involve blatant sovereignty violations and destruction far more brutal that anything Russia has done in Ukraine so far.

What’s going on

As millions of Ukrainians are fleeing the country, and thousands are joining the fight against Russia, the workforce has shrunk dramatically, which is making it difficult to keep the war time economy going. Production is collapsing and there are disruptions to vital food and energy supplies.

Some of the larger Ukrainian anti-aircraft systems may be still operational. In addition it appears Ukraine has received another few hundred man-portable anti-aircraft weapons. It also possible that Ukraine got some smaller vehicle mounted anti-aircraft systems which would be a step above the man-pads.

Thus the Russians are likely to be not yet willing to risk too many aircraft as they continue to grind down the Ukraine forces.

The conflict on the ground seems to be going pretty well for Russia so far, as the best units of the Ukrainians seem to be close to complete encirclement in eastern Ukraine.

Only the Russians know what they intend to do in the coming weeks. Based on Russias past experiences in Syria and Chechnya the Russians believe that the majority of opponents can be pressured/persuaded/bribed into surrendering or changing sides. Some of the most impressive advances in Syria occurred because weeks of intensive negotiations meant that local warlords simply switched sides before a major advance.

In simple terms, while the US tries to sort people into “who is with us, who is against us”, the Russians sort people into “who can be persuaded to surrender”, and “who will fight to the last man”.

The strategy would be to use the initial shock to sort out the two elements. Once they work out who will surrender, and who won’t, they’ll go for all out assault on the latter. The danger of this approach is that some elements may simply go underground, and wait for an opportunity to strike back.

Despite the optimistic talk in the mainstream media of Ukraine steadfastly holding out against the invading forces of Putin and claims that the Russian offensive has become bogged down, the reality is that Washington expects the Ukrainian government to eventually fall.

Dusting off a proxy war strategy from the 1980s, the USA is planning to direct a long-term insurgency fight in Ukraine modeled on the CIA’s Cold War clandestine interference in Afghanistan. That imperialist action fueled a deadly civil war and empowered the forces behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

This time, it would mean raiding public coffers in the USA to arm a hodge-podge army that includes not just well-intentioned Ukrainians struggling to defend their homeland but also neo-Nazi elements fighting a war for ethnic cleansing.

To avoid a bloodletting like in Afghanistan the Russian leadership would be well advised to look for a dignified or at least face-saving exit and a compromise which guarantees Ukraines neutrality and the acceptance of Crimea’s annexation.

Some links

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a hero in Western news channels, but his reputation is tainted by solid evidence of corruption.
A useful compilation of articles.

Older articles:

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine criticized from a socialist point of view.
A campaign to promote anti-Russian hatred.
What could go wrong?
NATO floods Ukraine with weapons.
France openly declares that “Russian people will suffer.”
Ukrainian security forces’ mistreatment of Africans fleeing war.
More stonewalling by the White House and US media about the Ukrainian biolabs.
Sanction backlash.
A view from the other side.


  1. Thanks so much for this. I haven’t been able to find this perspective anywhere else, and I was hungry for it. Hope you and the cats are safe and well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on an important and well-balanced post. It is the best one I have read since the war began. So few people know (or care about) the history of what was happening before the Russians attacked.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  3. You argue that “The regime in Kiev, infested with neo-Nazis, is a threat to Russia…”

    Do you have any actual proof or sources for this claim?
    I find it hard to believe that a president born to jewish parents is a neo-Nazi. but more importantly, academia on foreign and international affairs agrees that there is no more nazism in ukraine than there is in the rest of europe. which means it is a sad but marginal amount of extremists. but by all means no reason to start an invasion.

    You claim that “Russia could (…) eliminating corruption, serving the people with good governance and ecologically sound development.”

    But I have a feeling that you are downplaying (or ignoring?) the fact that the russian government itself is threatening and silencing its own people. How could russia serve the people when it is itself full of corruption (like the oligarchs putin created to hold his empire) and the threats russians face if they are to raise a voice against the own government or happen to be gay? there is a reason why huge amounts of russians are fleeing their own country.

    It is a terrible war and I think it is crucial to clearly name the responsible party. not the EU and not the US is bombing cities to the ground in ukraine, killing woman, children and animals. the fact that the US is and has waged other unjustified wars for power does not make this killing and destruction any more justifiable.


  4. Thank you for this posting. Now its possible to understand some things much more better. May God (or who ever) help us out. ;-/ Best wishes, Michael


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