The failed bid to assassinate Russian president Vladimir Putin in May, whether directly ordered by the west-backed junta in Ukraine or the work of freelancing fascists, signalled a new level of provocation and threat against Russia.
The drone attack on the Kremlin, taken together with the supply by Britain and others of long-range weapons capable of striking deep into Russian territory, and especially the announcement that the Challenger tanks sent by Britain had been equipped with depleted uranium warheads, all confront Russia with a level of provocation that cannot be tolerated.
Russian ambassador to the USA Anatoly Antonov responded to the botched assassination bid, saying: “Russia will respond to this insolent and presumptuous terrorist attack. We will answer when we consider it necessary. We will answer in accordance with the assessments of the threat that Kiev posed to the leadership of our country.”
Defence minister Sergei Shoigu, recognising the deployment by Britain of depleted uranium shells as tantamount to an invitation to nuclear war, noted that Britain’s decision left the world fewer and fewer steps away from a “nuclear collision”, adding for the sake of clarity: “Naturally, Russia has something to answer this with.”
As a first provisional response to the failed assassination Moscow unleashed a massive barrage of drone strikes on Kiev the like of which had not been seen since the early days of the war.
And from the deputy chair of Russia’s security council, Dmitry Medvedev, came this blunt assessment: “After today’s terrorist attack, there are no options left except for the physical elimination of Zelensky and his clique.” (Zelensky regime’s fate is sealed by MK Bhadrakumar, 5 May 2023)
Ignoring all these warnings, the west continues to pour more weapons into Ukraine, staking everything on the much trumpeted ‘spring offensive’, which, when it arrives, will supposedly strike a blow that will alter the course of the war to the west’s advantage.
Kiev has been dangling this much delayed offensive in front of its imperialist sponsors for months, using it to keep the money and materiel flowing. When put under pressure to name the day on which the promised offensive will eventuate, actor-president Volodymyr Zelensky pushes back, saying that the sooner the allies come up with more weapons, the sooner Kiev will be able to deliver the long-awaited offensive.
This moral blackmail delivers diminishing returns, though. When Zelensky came to visit British prime minister Rishi Sunak, he received promises of lots of drones but no fighter jets, scotching his grand plan of a “jet coalition”.
And the symbolic potency of the do-or-die spring offensive drained pretty rapidly when Ukrainian foreign minister Dmitro Kuleba blabbed to Das Bild: “If Ukraine does not succeed in its counteroffensive against the aggressor country Russia, it will prepare for the next one,” lamely advising everyone “not to consider this counteroffensive as the last one because we do not know what will come of it”.
These words were not reassuring to European governments whose economies have already been sacrificed on the altar of sanctions, and who are now faced with the prospect of going through it all again, with no end in sight. (Ukraine SitRep: Delayed counteroffensive, Russian defence lines, weapon efficiency, Moon of Alabama, 11 May 2023)
Still less reassuring for the USA’s allies was hearing top brass General Mark Milley expressing doubt to Foreign Affairs magazine that Kiev would even launch its ‘counteroffensive’ at all. Other voices have suggested slowing the supply of weapons to Kiev to delay an offensive that could prove to be premature. (Russia launches barrage of drones at Kiev as counteroffensive looms by Roman Olearchyk, Financial Times, 8 May 2023)
The more obvious it becomes that the proxy Ukrainian forces are just the failing tool of US imperialism, the wilder the historical distortions coming out of Zelensky’s mouth have become.
“In a video address on Monday morning, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky honoured the millions of Ukrainians who fought and died during the second world war. ‘We fought then and we fight now so that no one ever again enslaves other nations and destroys other countries,’ Zelensky said. ‘And all those old evils that modern Russia is bringing back will be defeated just as Nazism was defeated,’ he added.”
This grotesque parody of the truth is a reminder that whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. Millions of Ukrainians did indeed fight and die to help rid the world of Nazis – Nazis like Stepan Bandera, the collaborator who is now held aloft as a national hero by the Kiev junta, but who is remembered by most of the rest of us for sending thousands of jews to the gas chambers.
The clown Zelensky dishonours the memory of all those Ukrainians, whether speaking Ukrainian or Russian, who really did fight and die to save the world from fascism. It is to those Soviet heroes that all honour is due.
So gross a distortion of reality as that purveyed by the puppets of US imperialism cannot long fool even the most credulous of holocaust deniers.
Zelensky’s mock-heroic poses on the world stage do not stack up with the political sewer he inhabits, as admirably charted by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh (hotfoot from his recent exposure of US president Joe Biden’s hand in the sabotage of Nord Stream):
“Zelensky has been buying the fuel from Russia, the country with which it, and Washington, are at war, and the Ukrainian president and many in his entourage have been skimming untold millions from the American dollars earmarked for diesel fuel payments.
“One estimate by analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency put the embezzled funds at $400m last year, at least … ‘Zelensky’s been buying discount diesel from the Russians,’ one knowledgeable American intelligence official told me.
“‘And who’s paying for the gas and oil? We are … Many government ministries in Kiev have been literally competing,’ I was told, to set up front companies for export contracts for weapons and ammunition with private arms dealers around the world, all of which provide kickbacks …
“The issue of corruption was directly raised with Zelensky in a meeting last January in Kiev with CIA director William Burns. His message to the Ukrainian president, I was told by an intelligence official with direct knowledge of the meeting, was out of a 1950s mob movie.
“The senior generals and government officials in Kiev were angry at what they saw as Zelensky’s greed, so Burns told the Ukrainian president, because ‘he was taking a larger share of the skim money than was going to the generals’.” (Trading with the enemy, 12 April 2023)
Presumably he is saving pennies towards an early retirement?