Whilst the collective west hypocritically chides Russia for supposedly disrespecting the rights of sovereign nations, misrepresenting Russia’s justified measures to defend its own borders as a war of aggression, it is imperialism itself that continually tramples underfoot the sovereign rights of other nations. And this is nowhere better illustrated than in the gross disservice it has done to Ukraine itself.
By persistently interfering with Ukrainian elections and repeatedly conspiring to overthrow elected governments in favour of the west’s own leadership choices, imperialism flagrantly disregarded the sovereign right of Ukrainians to determine their own fate. This process culminated in the western-backed fascist coup of 2014, installing a government for which nobody had voted and whose first act on seizing power was to strip Ukrainian Russians of their language rights, heralding an era of publicly promoted russophobia and the drive to an ‘ethnically pure’ Ukraine.
Owing no allegiance to an unelected fascist junta installed in Kiev, and effectively disenfranchised, the populations of Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk declined to live under the rule of the jackboot and seceded, with those in the Donbass (Donetsk and Lugansk regions) fighting a courageous resistance war under constant shelling by Kiev’s forces.
It was the Kiev junta and its western backers, now getting hammered by the Russian resistance forces, that fatally undermined the unity and sovereignty of Ukraine.
It was imperialism’s gross interference in Ukraine’s internal politics that compromised Ukraine’s independence, not Russia. What has fatally destabilised Ukraine’s sovereignty is the use to which that country has been put to fight a proxy war against Russia: a stick with which to beat the independent government of Vladimir Putin.
Now that the stick is broken and Ukraine torn apart, it is somewhat late in the day for the ‘international community’ to get into a lather about ‘violations of sovereignty’ for which they themselves bear sole responsibility. Behind all the hot air and protestations declaring that We Stand With Ukraine, the imperialist architects of war in reality could not give a damn about the sovereignty of Ukraine or the rights of its citizens, currently being slaughtered by the thousand in defence of finance capital’s quest for the total domination and unbridled looting of the globe.
With doubts multiplying about what to expect from Kiev’s much-trailed ‘spring offensive’, there are signs that western minds are already concentrating on a postwar settlement that salvages something for the west out of Kiev’s predicted humiliating failure – and some of these plans appear to juggle with existing borders with scant regard for anybody’s sovereignty.
Under the arresting headline, ‘It’s time to bring back the Polish-Lithuanian union’, Dalibor Rohac recently asked the readers of US Foreign Policy magazine to imagine that “at the end of the war, Poland and Ukraine form a common federal or confederal state, merging their foreign and defence policies and bringing Ukraine into the EU and Nato almost instantly.
“The Polish-Ukrainian union would become the second-largest country in the EU and arguably its largest military power … For the United States and western Europe, the union would be a permanent way of securing Europe’s eastern flank from Russian aggression.
“Instead of a rambling, somewhat chaotic country of 43 million lingering in no-man’s land, western Europe would be buffered from Russia by a formidable country with a very clear understanding of the Russian threat.
“‘Without an independent Ukraine, there cannot be an independent Poland,’ Poland’s interwar leader, Jozef Pilsudski, famously claimed, advocating a Polish-led eastern European federation including Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine.”
Rohac went on to point out that early on during the war “Poland passed legislation allowing Ukrainian refugees to obtain Polish ID numbers, giving them thus access to a host of social and healthcare benefits normally reserved for Polish nationals. The Ukrainian government vowed to reciprocate, extending to Poles in Ukraine a special legal status not available to other foreigners.”
And on cue, on his recent visit to Warsaw, puppet actor-president Volodymyr Zelensky delivered himself of some fulsome flattery of all things Polish, exclaiming “Great Polish people! Great Ukrainian people! Side by side here – united on this square, by the spirit of freedom, great history and glorious victory, which we are bringing closer together!”
Underneath all the pious flannel about the ‘inviolable sovereignty of nations’ (a right that has only ever been meaningfully recognised and defended by the communists), it all comes down to imperialism, armed with an atlas, scissors and paste, trying to stitch up the world to its own advantage.