Geo-political readings on the Russia / Ukraine conflict 8.6.22

Yet again, we find ourselves presenting more geo-politically orientated readings on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. If anyone is serious about stopping wars, it’s vital to understand how they get started. That means getting a grip on the power dynamics at play between the protagonists, who is backing each protagonist and most important of all, why they’re backing them.

The first two readings we feature decisively argue that Ukraine is being used as a proxy by the West to weaken Russia and eventually, bring about some form of regime change. Weakening Russia means prolonging the conflict. The consequence of that is more lives lost on both sides. Anyone who thinks this extra loss of life is an acceptable cost in the pursuit of the geo-political objective of attempting to preserve Western, particularly US hegemony, seriously needs to give their head a wobble.

The last reading explains why Russia sees a waterway linking the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov and then onto the United Deep Waterway System of European Russia as a vital strategic asset. This may seem a bit nerdy to some but the point is that if we can’t make the effort to understand why Russia is trying to secure certain areas to defend what it sees as its interests, we’ll never reach a full understanding of why this conflict is happening.

Those of us of an anti-imperialist bent have been told by some elements in the anarchist movement to basically shut up if we have no connection to the area of conflict and the surrounding countries impacted by it. Given that some of those elements have taken it upon themselves to assume a gatekeeper role over who can and cannot be considered a ‘proper anarchist’ without any meaningful dialogue, we’ve no intention of shutting up about this conflict any time soon!

American weapons will ensure more deaths in Ukraine, but won’t change the conflict’s eventual outcome – Scott Ritter | RT | June 7, 2022

The US is doing everything possible to extend the suffering of the Ukrainian people by creating conditions that appear to mandate an expansion of Russia’s military effort, and the subsequent destruction of the Ukrainian nation.

US President Joe Biden has approved the transfer of at least four M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine. In a “guest essay” published in The New York Times, Biden declared that “[The United States has] moved quickly to send Ukraine a significant amount of weaponry and ammunition so it can fight on the battlefield and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table. That’s why I’ve decided that we will provide the Ukrainians with more advanced rocket systems and munitions that will enable them to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine.”

Ukraine War! What Is It Good For? Transformation – Iain Davis | OffGuardian | June 7, 2022

While it is perfectly normal for countries to run joint military exercises, given the nature of the political standoff and the ongoing war in the Donbas, to imagine that these exercises weren’t openly provocative to Russia is ludicrous. The calculation, at the very least, was that Russia’s national security concerns were irrelevant to NATO and Ukraine.

Russia responded with manoeuvres of its own. Russia already had troops permanently stationed on its side of the border with Ukraine, including in Crimea. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that the 58th Army of the Southern Military District, the 41st Army of the Central Military District, the 7th and 76th Airborne Assault and 98th Airborne Divisions were sent to areas where combat training missions were underway.

Black Sea Geopolitics and Russia’s Control of Strategic Waterways: The Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov – Prof. Michel Chossudovsky | Global Research | June 5, 2022

Historically, the Kerch strait has played a strategic role. It constitutes a gateway from the Black Sea to Russia’s major waterways including the Don and the Volga.

During World War II, the Kerch peninsula was occupied by Nazi Germany (taken back by the Red Army) was an important point of transit by land and water.

In the coldest months of Winter, it became an ice bridge linking Crimea to the Krasnodar region.

The Kerch strait is about 5 kilometers in length and 4.5 km. wide at the narrowest point between the tip of Eastern Crimea and the peninsula of Taman. Kerch is a major commercial port linked to railway, ferry and river routes.

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