‘Putting the situation into a bit of a context’ readings on the Russia / Ukraine conflict 27.4.22

Below is an eclectic range of readings about the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine which is looking ever more like a proxy war between NATO and Russia. Eclectic because they cover the geo-politics of the situation, the way the narrative has been simplified to ‘Zelensky good, Putin bad’ and last but by no means least, some badly needed historical context.

We make no apology for continuing to bring you readings about the conflict in an attempt to try and break through the narrative we’re being fed and foster some critical thinking about what’s going on. That’s not critical thinking for the sake of intellectual grandstanding and point scoring but to help build the genuine anti-war movement we so desperately need. It’s needed because day by day, with the UK amongst others supplying an increasing amount of military equipment to Ukraine, we’re heading towards a dangerous escalation.

We realise that we’re not going to win friends by doing this and will most likely end up making more enemies. So be it, we’d rather be trying to get it right than try to fit in with a crowd we no longer have anything in common with. As ever, constructive criticism and comradely debate are welcome, abuse and worse are not.

US weapons, European supplicants block peace in Ukraine – Aaron Maté | The Grayzone | April 25, 2022

What is perhaps most disturbing, and something which I’ve been thinking about a lot is, where’s the peace movement? What is interesting is that I’ve been involved with the anti-war movement, and we’re regularly…[Members of Parliament] Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Diane Abbott and so on, we are regularly condemned. And worse than that, the leader of the Labour Party in the UK, Kier Starmer, has announced something astonishing. It’s that anti-NATO sentiment and Labour Party membership are incompatible.

An Intellectual No-Fly Zone: Online Censorship of Ukraine Dissent Is Becoming the New Norm – Alan Macleod | Mint Press News | April 25, 2022

While support for Russia has essentially been prohibited, glorification of even the most unsavoury elements of Ukrainian society on social media is now all-but-promoted. In February, Facebook announced that it would not only reverse its ban on discussing the Azov Battalion, a Nazi paramilitary now formally incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard, but also allow content praising and promoting the group – as long as it was in the context of killing Russians.

Facebook and Instagram also instituted a change in policy that allows users to call for harm or even the death of Russian and Belarussian soldiers and politicians. This rare allowance was also given in 2021 to those calling for the death of Iranian leaders. Needless to say, violent content directed at governments friendly to the U.S., such as Ukraine, is still strictly forbidden.

Cheering On The Soap Opera War – Gillian Dymond | OffGuardian | April 24, 2022

Carefully moulded by the insistent voices of press and television, public opinion here in the UK appears to have decided that the total humiliation of Russia is the only acceptable outcome of the conflict. But what would that same public opinion be if mainstream journalists, instead of refusing to acknowledge the fact that every day of warfare increases the threat of escalation, stopped acting as cheerleaders for a “fight to the death of the last Ukrainian”, and reported the present conflict even-handedly?

A historic sham”: Zelensky’s speech to Greece’s parliament sparks national outrage, opens WWII-era wounds – T J Coles | The Grayzone | April 20, 2022

The decades of torture, both physical and psychological, inflicted on Greece by the US and its fascist and quasi-fascist, post-War partners have insulated a large sector of the Greek citizenry against NATO’s propaganda. Instead of making the public cower and internalize their imperial subjection, Greeks have retained their traditional anti-war mentality.

As Athens brushes aside Greek popular opinion to join NATO’s war party, some Greek citizens are taking direct action to signal their disgust and concern over being used as pawns in the great game of power rivalry.

This April 10, Thessaloniki-based rail workers at the TrainOSE company launched a strike to protest the transportation of US military vehicles. Workers and the 12 unions backing them wrote: “We will not become complicit in the passage of the war machine through the territories of our country.”

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