Friday, 4 December 2015

War in Ukraine and NATO

'... a complicated situation, but not impossible to understand ...' — Roger Annis

I have just watched a 1-hour video: 'The NATO Offensive in Eastern Europe and the Class and the National Dynamics of The War in Eastern Ukraine,' presented at the public forum: 'Eyewitness Report from the War Zone of Eastern Ukraine' held June 12, 2015 at the Institute for the Humanities, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia.

The author Roger Annis is a retired aerospace worker in Vancouver, a member of the Vancouver Ecosocialist Group, and is an anti-war advocate. He is an editor and writer at The New Cold War: Ukraine and Beyond, a website launched in November 2014 by delegates who attended an anti-war conference in Yalta, Crimea in July 2014, about which Annis reported in September 2014 at SFU.

February 2012 Minsk II ceasefire zone around Donetsk and Lugansk
In April 2015, as one of 11 international delegates (2 from Canada), Annis participated in a 5-day media tour to Donetsk city and region in eastern Ukraine. He presented the tour's findings and his observations and views with a slide presentation shown in split-screen (above) using 65 images (34 photos, 16 charts/lists, 12 maps). Though about 40 attended this forum, 4000+ watched all or part of it online so far.

I appreciated his clarity in context, facts, and interpretation rarely found in Western media. Here are some of his findings:
  • Minsk II — A ceasefire zone has been in place in the Ukraine since February 12, 2015, but violations are frequent and the underlying economic and political issues that sparked the war are unresolved.
  • The NATO countries are pushing a 'blame Russia' narrative, and three of them — the US, UK and Canada — have soldiers in western Ukraine training the Ukrainian army.
  • The Eastern regions of the Ukraine Donetsk and Lugansk have declared themselves as Peoples Republics. However, the illegal right wing government of Kiev does not recognize them, and instead calls them 'terrorists'. At least 6,350 people have been killed in the war.
  • Choosing Europe or Russia is 'an absurd choice'. Wealthy elite want to make much money by selling off the resources, but the majority do not agree.
  • Since 1991, the West has spent $5 billion in the Ukraine weakening the ties between Ukraine and Russia. The violent overthrow of the elected government of Yanukovych was illegal.
  • NATO expansion is threatening the world order. Russia is 'not' an imperialist country, but is only defending itself from NATO threats. The author suggests that Canada should pull out of NATO.
  • Economic sanctions against Russia are 'illegal and immoral'. Yet, Westerners seem to accept this as 'normal', supported by much of the mainstream media.
  • In the meantime, the nuclear arms race seems to be heating up, with US leading the pack. When climate change requires great resources, it is time that wars stop, militarization be curtailed, and people around the world turn their attention to this environmental crisis.
In brief, this is a no-nonsense first-hand explanation on the situation in the Ukraine. The author Roger Annis invites readers to subscribe (for free) to the website on The New Cold War — Ukraine and Beyond. Also see links, books, and updated related resources on Youtube.


  1. Lawrence Klippenstein, Winnipeg, Manitoba4 December 2015 at 19:34

    Thanks, Koozma. I guess this is really then NATO waging war with Russia by proxy, through the Ukrainian-Russian struggle with the real extent of NATO involvement actually a secret. In the Middle East It is NATO waging war against rebellious groups in several countries, notably in Syria and Iraq. Now that ISIS it would seem has struck in the USA in California, we can see escalation of this battle front ramping up in the near future. Thanks much for the video.

  2. Fred Samarodin, Vancouver, BC4 December 2015 at 19:43

    In a recent conversation with a member of another Protestant congregation, I learned that newly-elected Prime Minister Trudeau (or his government reps) made a commitment to stop censuring church/non-profit organizations by threatening to have the CRA audit them and use any evidence of impropriety by the organization as a form to levy tax penalties including confiscation of property (Union of Universal Brotherhood???). The censuring was directed by the former government against organizations that promoted social causes, etc. that were in opposition to the political agenda of the Harper government. Now we are left with an internally organized committee within the USCC that has been self-censuring what is permitted to be published in the pages of Iskra. I don’t know whether, in your position of being near “the centre of power” in Ottawa would help clarify this change in policy from the government’s side. However, I would appreciate having the opportunity to raise this “pink elephant in the room” through your blog medium in case my upcoming efforts to speak freely (read: write) on the pages of Iskra, which, with all due respect to the efforts of the present editors to circumvent the muzzling of the freedom of our speech during the preceding “historical” period.

  3. Ken Bilsky, Ottawa, Ontario4 December 2015 at 20:55

    An insightful, first hand report of the Ukraine from observer Roger Annis.
    Great post.

  4. D.E. (Jim) Popoff, Grand Forks, BC5 December 2015 at 00:28

    Thanks for this post, Koozma. It is vitally important to circulate this type of authentic information as widely as possible - just imagine the effect of having all Canadians gain a more accurate understanding of the actual situation that exists, and what NATO has been doing, in regard to Ukraine, and the Middle East, as Lawrence points out, and elsewhere as well!..

  5. The politicomilitary machinations of NATO are obviously involved in the redrawing of Eastern European borders. The nationalistic history of Russia, since being subjugated by the Golden Horde and onwards has contributed to the political psychology and actions of Putin's government to ignore "European-based political chivalry" that underlies Putin's popularity with the Russian public. However let us not paint the picture black and white! Read "The Man Without A Face-The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin" by Masha Gessen to add a more complete picture of who controls the Russian government and not place the Russian government in the role of a "victim"! It takes "two to tango" and, for example, I read very little political analysis about why Russia is so entangled with Syria, when it concerns the fact that since the demise of political stability in Libya, only Syria's Mediterranean Coast remains a viable military outpost for Russia on the Mediterranean, particularly with the effect of the recent Russian/Turkish incident that is having a choking effect on the "freedom" of movement of the Russian navy into the Mediterranean through the Bosporus! Is the take-over of the Crimea not "imperialist" in the same way that NATO's subterfuges into the former Warsaw Pact nations has been? I just encourage everyone to inform themselves of geopolitics as widely as possible before drawing premature conclusions as to what directions the Canadian government should take in these circumstances.

  6. Если в Канаде проживают такие люди как Кузьма Тарасов и Roger Annis, значит у страны есть еще шанс не скатиться к мракобесию и невежеству.

    1. Koozma J. Tarasoff6 December 2015 at 16:12

      Translation of Valery Kalmykov's comment from Russian to English: If there live in Canada, people like Koozma Tarasoff and Roger Annis, this means the country still has a chance not to slide into obscurantism and ignorance.

  7. Gordon Breedyk, Ottawa, Ontario7 December 2015 at 13:48

    Thanks so much Koozma,
    I would agree that this is a very important perspective that he offers, and necessary in order to provide some balance. However, I have to admit I find that it too does not provide the degree of balance that I would love to hear. Of course, he isn't really trying to provide a balanced perspective, rather he is countering other perspectives that are even more lacking in balance.

    None the less, I thank you for bringing it to our attention, because it does serve to educate us significantly with a view we do not hear.

  8. Dale Dewar,MD. Wynyard, Saskatchewan8 December 2015 at 12:52

    Posted to PGS [Physicians for Global Survival] - great review!