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Volume 54 Number 15, June 22, 2024 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Evidence of NATO's Increasing Desperation

US/NATO Proxy War in Ukraine Expanded with No Limits

Demonstration in Finland - Photo: Yorkshire CND

On June 5, for the first time in the US/NATO proxy war, Ukraine used long-range cruise missiles provided by the US to directly attack Russia, having received the US go-head in mid-May.

This pronounced shift in the war alliance's approach to the US/NATO proxy war in Ukraine was made official at the Parliamentary Assembly meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) on May 30 and 31 in Prague, Czech Republic. There, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called for allies to lift restrictions on using Western-supplied weapons against targets in Russia.

US officials informed the Associated Press prior to this meeting that the US decision to remove such restrictions was actually taken on May 15 without any public statement by the Biden administration about the change of policy. Meanwhile, in typical irrational US double-speak, officials even continued to publicly deny the decision to expand military attacks by their proxy Ukraine into Russia while at the same time claiming they are only being given a limited use. In an official statement on May 31, the Biden administration claimed, "Our policy with respect to prohibiting the use of ATACMS or long-range strikes inside of Russia has not changed" and that the change in authorisation is for the "limited purpose of defending Kharkhiv."

Several other NATO countries have also given Ukraine long-range cruise missiles. The New York Times notes, "Britain weeks ago allowed Ukraine to use its Storm Shadow long-range missile systems for attacks anywhere in Russia, and France and Germany recently took the same position." France 24 reported on May 24 that French President Emmanuel Macron said Ukraine should be allowed to "neutralise" military bases on Russian territory that are firing missiles into Ukraine. While Canada has no such weapons, on May 29 it gave authorisation for whatever materiel it has provided to Ukraine to be used against Russia.

Up to this point, NATO countries had been going to great lengths to deny direct involvement in the conflict, so as to be able to claim that they are not escalating an already dangerous situation and to give credibility to so-called peace initiatives that do not get to the heart of the matter.

Besides calling for all NATO-supplied weapons to be used to attack Russia, the meeting in Prague was also for purposes of planning the agenda for the NATO Washington Summit in July. Stepping up the supply of weapons and funding the proxy war against Russia was the key agenda. Secretary General Stoltenberg highlighted the fact that "practically all military aid to Ukraine -- 99 per cent -- comes from NATO Allies," affirming it made sense that NATO should play "a greater role" in these efforts.

"Allies have provided approximately 40 billion euros worth of military aid to Ukraine each year," Stoltenberg emphasised. He added that, in order to accelerate the end of the war, NATO members must maintain "at least" current levels of support to Ukraine "for as long as necessary. Russia must understand that it cannot wait us out."

This confirms that the US/ NATO proxy war against Russia has, besides other things, been unsuccessful in mobilising the rest of the world behind its nefarious agenda. It is also known that Ukraine's military is critically short of ammunition, troops and training at current levels of support. Its eventual defeat is a forgone conclusion. NATO's decision to expand its war into one with no limits confirms its desperation and the dire situation it is forcing on the Ukrainian people by offering them more death and destruction.

Regarding the imminent deployment of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine by various NATO members, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on May 30: "The supply of increasingly destructive weapons to the Kiev regime indicates the West's lack of interest in ending the conflict. The delivery of American F-16 fighters will not change the situation on the front lines. These aircraft will be destroyed, just like other types of weapons supplied by NATO countries to Ukraine. It is important to note that F-16 fighters have long been a primary means of delivery in NATO's so-called joint nuclear missions. Therefore, we cannot help but view the supply of these systems to the Kiev regime as a deliberate signalling action by NATO in the nuclear sphere. They are trying to convey that the US and NATO are ready to go to any lengths in Ukraine."

For his part, then Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, speaking to the Defence Ministry's board on April 21, pointed out that Ukraine has lost almost half a million soldiers since the beginning of the special military operation in 2022. According to him, the Zelensky regime failed to achieve its goals in the counteroffensive prepared by NATO instructors. The Russian military has more intensively targeted Ukrainian logistic centres and storage facilities storing Western weapons, he said. "We will increase the intensity of strikes against logistics centres and storage bases for Western weapons," Shoigu said.

Shoigu pointed out that meanwhile, most of the $61 billion assistance package that the United States allocated to Ukraine will finance the US military industry. The Russian military industry will continue to increase the production of weapons and military equipment in proportion to the threats posed by the US and its allies he added.

The Russian Army will receive the first units of new-generation anti-aircraft systems, Shoigu said: "This year the troops will receive the first units of the new-generation S-500 anti-aircraft missile system in two modifications -- long-range anti-aircraft missile systems and missile defence systems; S-400, S-300V4, Buk-M3, Tor-M2U anti-aircraft missile systems; and new-generation radar stations."

He pointed out that NATO has deployed up to 33,000 servicepeople, about 300 tanks and more than 800 other types of armoured vehicles near borders of Russia. Shoigu also said that NATO drills involving up to 90,000 servicepeople were taking place at that time, and the exercises are mimicking supposed impending Russian aggression. The defence minister also said that NATO is trying to strengthen its activity in the Arctic, while Sweden's accession to NATO has increased tensions. "Sweden's entry into the North Atlantic Alliance in early March has increased military and political tensions in the Western and Northwestern strategic directions," Shoigu said.

Response from Russia

On June 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated to media that Russia has no illusions about what is going on in Ukraine. While Ukrainian troops might be pulling the trigger, the US and its allies are providing the intelligence and targeting information. In response, Russia will boost air defences and destroy these missiles, Putin said, while reserving the right to respond in like manner.

"Secondly, if someone deems it possible to supply such weapons to the war zone, to strike our territory why shouldn't we supply similar weapons to those regions of the world, where they will be used against sensitive sites of these countries? We can respond asymmetrically. We will give it a thought," he said. If the US and NATO countries continue to escalate such actions, it "will completely destroy international relations and undermine international security," Putin added.

"If we see that these countries are being drawn into a war against us, and this is their direct participation in the war against Russia, then we reserve the right to act in a similar way. This is a recipe for very serious problems," he warned.

Putin warned prior to this in remarks made May 28 while in Uzbekistan that long-range strikes on Russian territory using weaponry supplied by the US and other NATO countries represent a conflict escalation and will lead to "serious consequences."

Putin explained that long-range precision strikes require space reconnaissance assets -- which Ukraine does not have, but the US does -- and that this targeting is already done by "highly qualified specialists" from the NATO countries, without Ukrainian participation.

The Russian Security Council's Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev warned on his Telegram channel, noting that the participation of NATO specialists could be seen as a casus belli: "All their military equipment and specialists fighting against us will be destroyed both on the territory of former Ukraine and on the territory of other countries, should strikes be carried out from there against Russian territory." He added that Russia is basing itself on the reality that all long-range weapons supplied to Ukraine are "directly operated by servicemen from NATO countries," which is tantamount to participation in the war against Russia and a reason to start combat operations.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview that this development "is not only significant for us. In a joint statement following the recent visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to China, it was noted that such destabilising actions by the US represent a direct threat to both our country and China. Therefore, we have agreed with our Chinese partners to increase cooperation to counteract Washington's irresponsible behaviour, which undermines international stability. The implementation of US plans to deploy ground-based INF missiles [ground-based intermediate and shorter-range missiles] will not go unanswered by us. Specifically, in this scenario, the abandonment of unilateral self-imposed restrictions introduced by Russia after a US withdrawal from the INF [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces] Treaty is inevitable. Additional steps in the field of nuclear deterrence are also not ruled out, as forward-deployed American missiles could target our command posts and lo cations of our nuclear forces. Decisions on these matters are within the competence of the president of the Russian Federation. [...]

"Let's hope that sooner or later, political forces will emerge in Ukraine that care about the interests of the people. For now, there is no other option but to continue the Special Military Operation until its goals are achieved."

Speaking of Russia's participation in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a body that is meant to enforce how such weapons are used, Lavrov gave the view that "the OSCE is in deep crisis. This is the result of the West trampling on all the principles upon which this organisation was founded. The total 'Ukrainisation' of its agenda nearly nullifies its activities in traditional areas: military-political, economic-environmental, and humanitarian. Perhaps the only reason for Russia's continued participation in the OSCE is the opportunity to directly convey our position on current issues to the other 56 participants, including those Western states that have 'frozen' dialogue with us in other formats. Additionally, the organisation's consensus rule allows us to block proposals from unfriendly countries that do not suit Russia."

Concerns Expressed by Other Countries

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 30 expressed his concerns about the prospects of an ever-expanding NATO war on Russia. "Next to us, the war between our Black Sea neighbours, Russia and Ukraine, is in its third year. Unfortunately, the Istanbul Process, which we worked for and which aimed to reach fair peace agreements, was sabotaged and blocked by war lobbyists who obstructed it," Erdogan said. He also pointed out that "no one knows when and how the war will end," which "constantly increases the financial costs for the region and the world."

The government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for its part has for some time been expressing its concerns about NATO's ever-expanding war against Russia. In April he said he would be ready to declare Hungary neutral if NATO were to send troops to Ukraine and thereby get involved in a direct war with Russia. The European Union (EU) is openly talking about retaliatory measures against Hungary for its opposition to escalating military and financial aggression against Russia. for example reported that Hungary is to be meted out a dose of "punishment" by fellow EU leaders for its staunch opposition to arming Ukraine. Hungary has resisted pressure from all sides to march in lockstep with other EU and NATO patrons of Ukraine.

It is noticeable that all the British cartel parties standing candidates in the general election campaign are out-and-out supporters and eulogises of NATO. This emphasises how important it is to vote for anti-war candidates where possible.

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