Will the West Support Ukraine’s Attack on Crimea?

BALKANS AND EASTERN EUROPE, 10 Apr 2023

Stephanie Hiller – TRANSCEND Media Service

8 Apr 2023 – On March 22, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken addressed the meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to defend the Administration’s budget request for the coming year.

Blinken spoke of the lofty goals the budget supports: “The United States has a positive vision for the future: a world that’s free, secure, open and prosperous.”

Ukraine received an honorable mention. “This budget will sustain our security, economic, energy, and humanitarian support for Ukraine to ensure President Putin’s war remains a strategic failure.”

Ukraine was not discussed again. The rest of the meeting was largely about China.

Has there been a shift in U.S. policy toward Ukraine? Careful observers have noted other indications that western support for Ukraine is weakening.

In February, the Washington Post reported that French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with Zelensky in Paris and advised him to prepare for negotiations to end the war. Such negotiations imply that Ukraine would agree to Russian demands to cede conquered territories to Russia. Zelensky refused.

But Zelensky insisted that unless the U.S. did not send more weapons, Ukraine could not launch the counter offensive the US was urging.

On March 21, in an interview with The Atlantic, Zelensky replied to De Santis’ widely reported remark that Ukraine has “no strategic value to the U.S.”

“If we will not have enough weapons, that means we will be weak. If we will be weak, they will occupy us. If they occupy us, they will be on the borders of Moldova and they will occupy Moldova.” They will then move on to the other Baltic states. Then they will occupy NATO countries. At that point, America will have to decide whether to send its “sons and daughters” into battle.

In an editorial, Strategic-Culture commented that such claims were absurd. The allusions to American’s sons and daughters was so inflammatory that the mainstream media actually denied he had made them, according to the article.

Zelensky’s view that Russia is on the march to conquer the world appears to be prevalent among Ukrainians, as well as Americans who have blindly accepted the narrative we have been fed about this war. It is the old Domino theory revisited, that if we do not stop the evil Communists in, for example, Vietnam, they will take over the world and force us to live under a repressive autocracy. Yet there is no evidence that Putin’s “brutal” invasion was the first step toward world conquest.

There have been other indications that Kyiv’s relationship with Washington may be foundering. On March 29, the Associated Press reported that Zelensky had whined that if the besieged territory of Bakhmut falls to Russia, he would be forced to “compromise” with Russia. “Our society will feel tired. Our society will push me to have compromise with them.”

Perhaps the reason why Ukraine was largely ignored during the Senate meeting is that the Administration had not decided how to respond to Zelensky’s most recent demands. (In any case, Ukraine expenditures are outside the actual budget, as William Astore points out in a recent article.)

But on April 4, the President announced he had approved $2.6 billion in additional military aid to Ukraine. Will that help Ukraine attack Crimea in its “spring counter-offensive”? If so, we are on the brink of nuclear war. Crimea, which had been part of Russia for nearly 200 years, is a red line for Putin.

According to the U.S. and the United Nations, Putin “annexed” Crimea in 2014. According to Putin, Crimea, daunted by the violence of neo-Nazis in the Maidan, had asked Putin to intervene; the subsequent referendum had confirmed their approval.

The Crimean peninsula is a critical territory for both Ukraine and Russia because it is their only outlet to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Both countries are prepared to fight hard to hold it.

Britain is also making a sizeable contribution; the full content of its commitment has not been revealed but it is known to include depleted uranium weapons, which Putin considers, rightly, to be radioactive. The materiel includes fighter jets from Poland.

It’s likely to be brutal. We can only pray that it will not be nuclear.

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Stephanie Hiller is a free lance writer who blogs at Particle Beams, Sonoma Sun and Medium. She is an adjunct instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College, where she teaches autobiographical writing to older adults. She lives in Sonoma, USA.


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 10 Apr 2023.

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