When the western-backed fascist junta in Kiev staged its recent provocation in the Kerch Strait, its president Petro Poroshenko did his best to bounce European powers into slapping on yet more anti-Russian sanctions and sending in the gunboats, remarking: “We need the presence of warships from Germany and allied nations in the Black Sea to send a message and deter Russia.”
The response was lukewarm, with German foreign minister Heiko Maas saying: “We do understand Ukrainian concerns, but what we do not want is a militarisation of this conflict.”
A former foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel put it more bluntly, denouncing Kiev’s “new edition of gunboat diplomacy” and warning against being “drawn into war” with Russia. (Provocation in the Kerch Strait, Lalkar, January 2019)
Britain’s defence secretary Gavin Williamson, by contrast, appears to be chafing at the bit, eager to pitch Britain in with Kiev’s war preparations. A speech last November that was leaked in advance to the Telegraph newspaper had Williamson announcing that Britain is increasing its military back-up inside Ukraine, training Ukraine’s special forces and sending in HMS Echo with a crew of 72.
Training teams from the Royal Marines and Royal Navy are due to be deployed early in 2019, working with Ukrainian special ops, in preparation for Britain’s shameful participation in the ‘Sea Breeze’ joint US-Ukrainian wargames. (More British troops will head to Ukraine to ‘defend democracy’, RT, 21 November 2018)
Williamson tries to justify this support for the infamous Kiev junta, installed after a US-backed coup in 2014 overthrew the democratically elected head of state, with the puzzling assertion that Britain’s intervention is in the defence of “our shared values of freedom and democracy”. He caps it all by professing to have “witnessed on the frontline the effects of the war in the east and this has completely reinforced my support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity”. (RT, ibid)
The effects of that war are indeed witnessed daily and hourly by the citizens of Donbass and Lugansk, who have refused to kowtow to the undemocratic authority of the junta. The people of the Donbass were obliged to take up arms in defence of their communities from the permanent Russophobe aggression visited upon them by a combination of the press-ganged Ukraine military and their numerous Banderaite fascist auxiliaries.
Perhaps Williamson might like to explain how the ‘shared values of freedom and democracy’ are upheld by the declaration of New Year’s Day as a public holiday in honour of the notorious Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera – an occasion marked by torchlight parades each year since 2016.
In fact, Gavin Williamson, despite his own personal record of exemplary stupidity (recently suggesting that aggrieved Gibraltarian Brits should be issued with paintball guns to take a pop at intruding Spanish vessels), is merely, on the question of war with Russia, cleaving to the common Anglo-American line. British imperialism is in lockstep with US imperialism, which is itself busily arming the Kiev junta to the teeth.
In December 2018, US special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker bragged about a “military financing package of around $250m” going through Congress, promising: “Within the next months there will be some announcements about the first tranches – and it will be ongoing.”
Volker made it clear that the purpose of all the sabre-rattling is to provoke Russia into furnishing imperialism with a pretext for further aggression. Making the entirely baseless claim that Ukraine is “under attack” by Russia, Volker went on to recommend a western military presence inside or near Ukraine in order to “raise the visibility of Russia’s actions” –ie, to provoke a defensive move on the part of Russia which could then be looped back as more supposed evidence of Russian aggression! (More weapons to Ukraine will only make conflict worse, RT, 17 December 2018)
With or without the compliance of US president Donald Trump, Anglo-American imperialism is gearing up for war with Russia.