The military operation of Russia in Ukraine, which began on February 24, came as a surprise both to the citizens of Russia and to other states. Especially for distant states, which have always perceived Ukraine and Russia as neighboring friendly and fraternal countries. And tourists who came to Ukraine and Russia only saw hospitable residents. Thus, we ask ourselves – why did this conflict begin and who is responsible? Let’s try to answer this question, although it will not be easy to do so.
In the first days of the operation, the reasons behind its commencement remained unclear. Apart from official statements by Russian leadership about the need to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, it was said that the West and NATO had crossed a red line, and Russia was forced to take these measures, which it had warned about in advance. However, more than two weeks after the outbreak of operation, numerous details became known that allow us to create a more complete picture and understand the reasons for Moscow’s decision.
The first major crisis in relations between Russia and Ukraine came in late 2004 when the so-called ‘Orange Revolution’ helped pro-Western presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko challenge the election results. It was under him that the glorification of former accomplices of Nazi Germany and the support of radical nationalist groups by local and state’s authorities began.
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In February 2014, after a coup d’etat openly supported by the US, the official lean towards Nazism was intensified, the Russian-speaking population was declared second-class people who do not even have the right to speak their native language. Protests broke out in many cities from Odessa in the south to Kharkiv in the northeast, and army units and militants of neo-Nazi groups were sent to suppress them. Due to the outbreak of the civil war in the South-East and the secession of Crimea, whose inhabitants held a referendum and returned to Russia, the course towards confrontation with the Russian Federation became obvious.
Moscow’s attempts to act as a mediator to resolve the situation in the South-East led to the signing of the Minsk agreements, according to which Kiev pledged to cease fire and resolve disputes through diplomacy. However, this did not happen. The territory of Donbass, where the local population proclaimed secession from Ukraine, was subjected to constant shelling, and its inhabitants were detained, tortured and subject to extrajudicial executions by the Security Service of Ukraine and neo-Nazi paramilitary groups, which received carte blanche from Kiev. And this situation lasted until the second half of February this year.
Both in 2020 and 2021, Ukrainian troops concentrated their forces in the southeast, and in response, Russia conducted exercises near the border with Ukraine. At the end of 2021, when there was another concentration of the Ukrainian military, Russia also deployed troops to the border and announced major military exercises. And if in 2020 the West did not react to the actions of Russia, in 2021 diplomatic hysteria and accusations of impending invasion began.
On February 22, the Russian leadership recognized the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR). The mutual agreement, which was immediately signed, included the provision of military assistance. At the same time, the Ukrainian side continued shelling cities (violating the Minsk agreements), which is why a mass evacuation to Russia was announced in the DPR and LPR.
A preventive defensive action?
Early in the morning of February 24, the Russian military space forces struck military infrastructure across Ukraine and land forces columns began to advance from various directions. Apart from the region in the South-East of Ukraine and the borders with the DPR and LPR, the Russian army did not face major resistance.
Why did the operation begin when it did and why did the West try to put pressure on Russia to withdraw its troops? The fact is that, as confirmed by the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergei Naryshkin, Ukrainian troops, with the support of NATO instructors, were already preparing a massive invasion of the territories of the DPR and LPR. It was scheduled for the first weeks of March, and Russia’s actions were several hours ahead of Ukraine. In other words, it was a preventive action aimed at preventing the genocide of the civilian population. Unfortunately, shelling of the LPR and DPR by Ukraine could not be avoided due to the large concentration of heavy weapons. Since 2014, more than 14 thousand people died in the Donbass due to Ukrainian shelling!
The West knew of constant #humanrights violations in #Donbass, war crimes, rise of radical and neo-Nazi movements, shelling of civilians by #Ukraine's forces, but regrettably did nothing to stop all of this. What we see today is a result of such negligence. https://t.co/c9brqk2YhJ
— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) March 9, 2022
Obviously, operational centers of the Ukrainian command, the NATO instructors embedded across Ukraine and large arsenals of Western weapons were destroyed by the first night’s airstrikes. Many weapon stockpiles, computers with documents and military plans were subsequently captured during the current operation. This indicates that the militarization of Ukraine was proceeding at a record-breaking speed – this also accounts for the violent hysterical reaction from the West.
Also, according to Russian intelligence, the United States intended to help Ukraine develop nuclear weapons in a secret regime. The words of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on February 20 that Ukraine would withdraw from the agreement on a non-nuclear status were not a bluff. If we add to this Ukraine has ballistic missiles and regular statements by Ukrainian politicians that they must “strike Moscow”, the Russian military operation looks like a preventive defensive action.
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Obviously, the nuclear talk was not the decision of Zelensky himself. The fact that he is a puppet of the United States is evidenced by many episodes. For example, Kiev pressured Motor Sich, an aviation-space industry factory, to cancel contracts with China. Following that, American media and US officials celebrated that the United States will not allow China to receive new critical technologies, including Ukrainian ones. Establishing control over nuclear plants in Ukraine (two are already secured by Russian troops) is also due to the need to prevent provocations and the leakage of any materials from nuclear plants.
Another important factor was the presence in Ukraine of a network of biological laboratories (at least 30 pieces), which were located in large cities of Ukraine and were administered by the Pentagon (Defense Threat Reduction Agency). As part of the UP-8 program in Lviv, Kharkiv, Odessa and Kiev, more than 4,000 Ukrainian military personnel are known to have participated in experiments with pathogens and combat viruses. Given the upcoming operation in Ukraine, the US Embassy preemptively removed information about the Ukraine BIOWEAPON LAB project from its website.
Glorification of Nazism
Now from Ukraine, one can hear exclamations that they do not have any Nazi groups. However, the facts show otherwise. During the vote at the UN on a resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism in recent years, only two countries opposed – the United States and Ukraine.
It is enough that in the cities of Ukraine, including the capital, there are monuments to Nazi criminals such as Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych, who, like other ideologists of Ukrainian nationalism, spoke of the superiority of the “Ukrainian nation” – an artificial ideological construct aimed at opposition, first of all, to Russians, but also to other peoples living on the territory of Ukraine.
Roman Shukhevych was the deputy commander of the Nazi battalion “Nachtigal” and participated in the extermination of the Jews of Lvov. He owns the words: “We should not be afraid that people will curse us for cruelty. Let half of the forty million Ukrainian population remain – there is nothing terrible in this.
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The current followers of Ukrainian neo-Nazism continue the same policy now. It is these neo-Nazi battalions that pose a serious problem and are the main target of denazification. They not only use Ukrainian citizens as human shields, but also foreigners (mostly students), preventing them from leaving through humanitarian corridors. They mine roads and civilian objects. They carry out provocations against Russian servicemen. In the already liberated cities, the distribution of humanitarian aid to the population is hindered by Ukrainian nationalist radicals. And, of course, they are forcing Ukrainian politicians to drag out the negotiation process as long as possible. And those who offer alternative options are simply killed.
On March 5, Denis Kireev, a member of the negotiating group from Ukraine, was killed in Kiev near the Pechersky Court. The Security Service of Ukraine, which was accused of killing the politician, said that it was not involved in his death. Maybe they are right. After all, the day before in Kiev they began distributing arms to everyone, without any verification or qualification. Criminal elements were released from prisons, who were also given weapons. Acts of looting and killings of civilians began, armed groups, without preparation and appropriate coordination, began to fire at each other. Kiev plunged into the bloody terror of banditry. It should be added that Kireev possessed valuable information about the financial connections of the Ukrainian authorities and the so-called volunteer battalions, which consist of neo-Nazis. Therefore, he could be eliminated due to the possession of important information. We add that now in Ukraine there are specialists from Western private military companies that protect key politicians and oligarchs. But they can also be used for ‘dark ops’ like killing unwanted officials.
Ukraine’s violation of international law
It is also necessary to consider some aspects of international law related to this conflict. Firstly, the use of the term aggression is unacceptable, since Russia does not intend to occupy the country. Secondly, Ukraine has already violated articles 13 and 17 of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War: the Ukrainian side distributed videos depicting Russian prisoners of war who were beaten and subjected to psychological pressure.
In addition, the Ukrainian military deliberately placed weapon systems such tanks and artillery on civilian infrastructure and did not evacuate the civilian population, which is a war crime under article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Since 2014, Ukraine has officially recognized the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, so these actions need to be investigated. Finally, the open appeal of the Ukrainian president and the arrival of foreign mercenaries on the territory of Ukraine, coupled with the uncontrolled transfer of weapons, is a serious threat to European security as a whole.
A hybrid war is being waged in Ukraine, the foundations of which have been developed in the West for over decades. A strange mixture of professional military, neo-Nazi militarized structures, part of the ideologically-possessed population, which was called territorial self-defense units and handed weapons, former prisoners, foreign mercenaries – they all oppose the Russian army, and along the way are engaged in looting, robbery and terror of the local population. To this, we add a huge amount of fakes, disinformation, and propaganda in the Western media, as well as new packages of sanctions against Russia, which have already led to the unraveling of the global economy.
Western hegemony to end?
Russia will achieve its goal of denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine – that is without question. Russia will have to pay a high price for this. But once Russia (the Soviet Union) already the paid for the liberation of Europe from fascism. Apparently, the time has come for our generation. ‘Thanks’ to the stupidity of European countries, the egging on by the United States and the aggressive actions of the Ukrainian leadership. And the sooner Ukraine (as well as the masters of the Ukrainian regime in the West) understand this, the better it will be for the whole world. But, above all, for Ukraine itself – on March 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that if the leadership of Ukraine does not meet Russia’s demands, then the future of Ukrainian statehood will be called into question.
It is safe to say that Russia’s future relations with the West will never be the same as before. To some extent, it can be said that, on the one hand, with its provocations, the United States succeeded in harming relations between Russia and the EU. But on the other hand, it also means that the time of Western hegemony is over.
Russia will diligently revive its economy and technological sector – without the influence of the West and imposing its own rules of the game. And Russia is ready to help other countries free themselves from the yoke of Western domination in order to form a new, more just, multipolar order. Without Nazism and similar anti-human ideologies. The current crisis in Ukraine is a complex and difficult step towards that bright future.
Leonid Savin is the Editor-in-Chief of the “Geopoliticа.ru” internet portal; Senior Expert of the Center of Geopolitical Research (Russian think-tank established in 2000), editor-in-chief of the “Journal of Eurasian Affairs”. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.