The News Journal

Reckless US, NATO security threats drove Russia to invade Ukraine

- Your Turn Desmond M. Kahn Guest columnist Desmond Kahn is a biologist and anti-war activist.

Sen. Chris Coons wrote in The News Journal last year that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was unprovoked. Surprising­ly, the senator either did not see or did not understand the multiple ways that actions by the U.S., NATO and the current government of Ukraine threatened Russia’s security and provoked the invasion. By moving NATO missile bases (which can instantane­ously switched into offensive mode) right up to the Russian border in Poland and Romania, and stating repeatedly that Ukraine would join NATO, which could bring NATO missiles within six minutes of Moscow, the U.S. and NATO created severe threats to Russia’s national security.

When Russia reacted to these threatenin­g Western moves and warned the U.S. that it was crossing Russia’s red lines, President Joe Biden ignored the warnings. Why? American experts on Russia and foreign policy had warned U.S. politician­s that pushing NATO right up to the borders of Russia would be seen as a severe threat by Russia, and stated that that perception was very reasonable.

Think what the U.S. would do if Russia engaged in a military alliance with Canada and Mexico and constructe­d missile bases right on our borders in those countries. In fact, when Russia brought missiles into Cuba in the 1960s to prevent a U.S. invasion of the island, the U.S. threatened a blockade and an invasion, both of which were totally illegal. After secret, behind-the-scenes negotiatio­ns, the U.S. agreed to remove its missiles from Turkey and Italy. Russia then withdrew the missiles and Kennedy, in turn, removed U.S. missiles from Turkey and Italy. The Russian missiles in Cuba were close to the U.S. border, but not nearly as close as those in Poland and Romania are to Russia, nor as close as NATO missiles threatened for Ukraine would be.

Our other provocatio­ns include our withdrawal from two treaties with Russia that limited missiles: the Antiballis­tic Missile Treaty and the Intermedia­teRange Nuclear Forces Treaty. Our withdrawal increased Russian vulnerabil­ity to a U.S. first strike. We have also conducted many NATO military exercises near Russia’s border, including live-fire exercises simulating attacks on Russian air defense systems.

The U.S. has conducted a long-term campaign, beginning after WW II, to pull Ukraine away from its traditiona­l close relationsh­ip with Russia. This campaign culminated in the U.S.-directed coup in 2014, which violently overthrew the democratic­ally elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. In a secretly taped telephone call, U.S. Undersecre­tary of State Victoria Nuland is heard planning the coup and picking the person the U.S. wanted as president after the coup. That person emerged as president, along with at least four high officials that were well-documented as far-right fascist or Ukrainian nationalis­ts, mostly from the western region of Ukraine. In the call, which is available on YouTube, Nuland states they could get assistance from then-Vice President Joe Biden, who handled Ukrainian issues in the Obama administra­tion. This regime-change action is one more case that shows that U.S. claims to support democracy are falsehoods. The U.S. supported, armed and trained the military of the far-right-wing, unelected fascist-influenced Ukrainian leadership, which outlawed the then-widespread speaking of Russian in Ukraine and adopted a hostile and uncompromi­sing stance toward Russia, which had a centuries-long close relationsh­ip with Ukraine.

Many Ukrainians refused to accept the unelected government, which led to a massacre of protesters in Odessa in 2014, where over 45 people were deliberate­ly burned to death by right-wing coup supporters. Thanks to the U.S. coup-plotting, Ukraine erupted into a civil war. The Kiev military forces had bombed and shelled civilians, to the extent that by 2022, this civil war had taken the lives of over 14,000 Ukrainians, mostly civilians in eastern Ukraine, according to the United Nations. Over 2 million refugees had fled the country due to the civil war, which was largely ignored in the U.S. mainstream media. Just before the Russian invasion early last year, the Kiev forces, under Zelensky’s leadership, had intensifie­d their shelling of eastern Ukraine and built up what was apparently an invasion force, despite the fact that the Russian army had mobilized along the border region. One or more openly Nazi units was part of the Ukrainian military. It is the only country on Earth to include openly Nazi units in its military.

The extreme recklessne­ss of Biden’s continuous escalation of our role in this war is greatly endangerin­g the survival of not only the people of the U.S., but also humanity as a whole. We bragged that we targeted Russia’s flagship in the Black Sea so Ukraine could sink it and have constantly escalated the weapons, now including advanced tanks, that we are shipping to Ukraine. Escalation can easily get out of hand. Russia could flatten the U.S. several times over with its nuclear arsenal.

The Peaceseeke­rs, a new Delaware group, a member of the Peace in Ukraine Coalition, demand a cease-fire and negotiatio­ns to avoid this potential end of humanity. Since Ukraine has conducted atrocities and relentless­ly assaulted the eastern part of Ukraine for eight years, it has lost its claim over these areas and should be forced to relinquish them to an independen­t state or to annexation by Russia.

 ?? WILLIAM BRETZGER/DELAWARE NEWS JOURNAL ?? The flag of Ukraine and messages targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia are held by participan­ts during a rally against the invasion of Ukraine on March 5, 2022, at Wilmington's Rodney Square.
WILLIAM BRETZGER/DELAWARE NEWS JOURNAL The flag of Ukraine and messages targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia are held by participan­ts during a rally against the invasion of Ukraine on March 5, 2022, at Wilmington's Rodney Square.

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