Foreign Policy Scott Ritter Ukraine

Scott Ritter: Lithuania’s Brinkmanship

The restoration of Russia’s rail connection with Kaliningrad is urgently needed to avoid a conflict in the Baltics that has worried NATO for a long time.
Lithuanian government building in Vilnius. (Pofka, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By Scott Ritter / Consortium News

On June 18 the government of Lithuania acted on a decision by the European Commission that goods and cargo subject to European Union sanctions could be prohibited from transiting between one part of Russia to another, so long as they passed through E.U. territory.

Almost immediately Lithuania moved to block Russia from shipping certain categories of goods and materials by rail to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, encompassing the former East Prussian Baltic port city of Konigsberg and its surrounding environs. They were absorbed into Russia proper as a form of war reparations at the end of the Second World War.

Lithuania cited its legal obligation as an E.U. member to enforce E.U. sanctions targeting Russia. Russia, citing a 2002 treaty with Lithuania which ostensibly prohibits such an action, has called the Lithuanian move a blockade and has threatened a military response.

Lithuania, as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, is afforded the collective security guarantees spelled out in Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which stipulate that an attack against one member is an attack against all. Through its actions, Lithuania risked bringing Russia and NATO to the brink of armed conflict, the consequences of which could be dire for the entire world given the respective nuclear arsenals of the two sides.

From the moment Russia initiated its so-called “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine, the nations that comprise NATO have been engaged in a delicate dance around the issue of how to support Ukraine and punish Russia without crossing the line of committing an overt act of war that could prompt Russia to respond militarily, thereby triggering a series of cause-effect actions that could lead to a general European conflict, and perhaps World War III.

A formation of NATO fighter jets flying over Lithuania in 2015. (NATO)

In retrospect, the early debates in the European halls of power about whether to provide Ukraine with heavy weaponry seem almost innocent when compared to the massive infusion of weaponry that is taking place today.

Even Russia has softened its hardline stance going in, where it had threatened unimaginable consequences for any nation that interfered with its military operation in Ukraine.

Today the situation has evolved to the point where NATO is engaged in a de facto proxy conflict with Russia on Ukrainian soil which is designed, frankly speaking, to kill as many Russian soldiers as possible.

Russian Objectives  

Russia, for its part, has adapted its posture into one that is designed to absorb these NATO-linked blows while pursuing its stated military and political objectives in Ukraine with a single-minded purpose.

Ukraine has used NATO-provided weapons and NATO-provided intelligence to lethal effect on the battlefield, killing several Russian generals, sinking the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and killing and wounding thousands of Russian soldiers while destroying hundreds, if not thousands, of vehicles and pieces of military equipment.

The relative restraint of the Russian approach is evident when contrasted with the hysteria of the United States during its two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Qassem Suleimani, an Iranian general who oversaw an Iraqi resistance against the U.S. occupation of Iraq in the mid-2000’s that was purportedly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. servicemen, was assassinated by the U.S. government more than a decade after his alleged activities. And it was only a year ago that the U.S. media was in an uproar over allegations (subsequently proven false) that Russia was offering bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers stationed in Afghanistan.

The latter claim best illustrates the hypocrisy of the U.S. today. The “bounty” claim was premised on a single attack that left three U.S. servicemen dead. The U.S. today openly brags about killing hundreds of Russians in Ukraine. 

Red Lines

Russia’s red lines in Ukraine have evolved to encompass two basic principles — no direct military intervention by NATO forces on Ukrainian soil/airspace and no attack against Russia proper.

Even here, Russia has displayed great patience, tolerating the presence of U.S. special operations forces in Ukraine and holding back when Ukrainian forces, most likely supported by NATO-provided intelligence, engage in limited attacks on targets inside Russia.

Rather than respond by attacking the “decision making centers” outside Ukraine responsible for supporting these actions, Russia has engaged in a graduated campaign of escalation inside Ukraine, striking the very weapons being delivered under the oversight of U.S. commandos and the Ukrainian forces who use them.

It is in this context that the Lithuanian decision to impose a rail blockade on Russia seems to be a stark departure from current NATO and E.U. policy.

Russia immediately made its ire known, indicating that it viewed the Lithuanian actions as an overt act of war which, if not reversed, would result in “practical” measures outside the realm of diplomacy to rectify the situation.

The rhetoric was ratcheted up to high, however, when Andrey Klimov, a Russian senator who chairs the Commission for the Defense of State Sovereignty, called the Lithuanian action “an act of aggression” which would result in Russia seeking to “solve the problem of the Kaliningrad transit created by Lithuania by ANY means chosen by us.”

The Suwalki Gap

Close-up at the Suwalki Gap. (Jakub Luczak, Wikimedia Commons)

For years, NATO has worried about the possibility of a war with Russia in the Baltics. Much of NATO’s attention has been focused on defending the “Suwalki Gap,” a 60-mile-long stretch of border between Poland and Lithuania that separates Belarus from Kaliningrad. Western military experts have long speculated that, in the event of any conflict between Russia and NATO, Russian forces would seek to advance on the Suwalki Gap, joining Kaliningrad with Belarus and severing the three Baltic nations from the rest of Europe.

But while NATO has focused on defending the Sulwaki Gap, a Russian lawmaker has suggested that any Russian military attack in the Baltics would avoid involving Belarus. Instead, it would focus on securing a land bridge between Kaliningrad and Russia by driving north, along the Baltic coastline, to Saint Petersburg.

A series of wargames conducted by RAND around 2014 showed that NATO was, at the time, not able to adequately defend the Baltics from a concerted Russian attack. According to the wargame results, Russian forces were able to overrun the Baltics in about 60 hours.

Similar projections of Russian offensive prowess against Ukraine — where some military officials, including U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Miley, predicted that Russian forces would take Kyiv within 72 hours — proved wrong. But the reality is that the militaries of the three Baltic nations are not on par with those of Ukraine, either in quality or quantity, and there is little doubt Russia, even distracted in Ukraine, could deliver a fatal blow to the militaries of the three Baltic nations.

Escalating Rhetoric

The rhetoric out of Russia continues to escalate. Vladimir Dzhabarov, a deputy head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the lower house of Russia’s Parliament, has threatened that any continued blockade of Kaliningrad “could lead to an armed conflict,” noting that “the Russian state must protect its territory and ensure its security. If we see that a threat to our security that is fraught with a loss of territory, we will certainly take extreme measures, and nothing will stop us.”

If there is one take away from the Russian military operation in Ukraine, it is that Russia doesn’t bluff. NATO and the rest of Europe can rest assured that unless a solution is found that brings an end to Lithuania’s blockade of Kaliningrad, there will be a war between NATO and Russia.

With this reality in mind, the E.U. is working on a compromise arrangement with Lithuania that seeks to have the Russian rail connection  with Kaliningrad returned to normal in the near future. This deal, however, must work to Russia’s satisfaction, an outcome which is yet uncertain.

Unlike the Ukrainian conflict, a war in the Baltics will have existential aspects for both sides which brings the possibility — indeed probability — of nuclear weapons being used. This is an outcome that benefits no one and threatens everyone.

Scott Ritter

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. His most recent book is Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, published by Clarity Press.

30 comments

  1. Scott:

    Why do you continue to justify Russian belligerence?

    You have inserted yourself into a war that you have no investment in but your obsessive campaign against the MIC.

    While I do agree that the MIC can’t be trusted, neither can we trust Russia which is killing thousands of innocent people in their effort to bring Ukraine under their control.

    Why don’t you say something about that? Why do you limit your criticism to one side, especially when the other side initiated the war and is killing innocent citizens?

    Ukraine or NATO has not attacked Russia, has not entered its air space and bombed hospitals.

    I think that you are OCD and don’t have a balanced view of the situation.

    You might say they were provoked, but NOTHING justifies the murder and mayhem of a war initiated by a country trying to conquer someone. Sure, the MIC has done similar things but two wrongs don’t make a right. This is something we learn in grade school.

    When you start attacking Russia for its unethical and totally immoral murder of innocent people, then maybe I will listen to what you have to say. Otherwise, your position is morally bankrupt.

    1. Tom, while I don’t want to argue about whether the focus on Russian belligerence, Ukrainian deaths, immorality, or MIC is the worst aspect of this damn ‘ginned-up’ War — which nothing justifies.

      However, Scott’s point about the MIC certainly makes a very valid argument on even another factor — which, IMHO, is the question of which aspect of highly visible “totally immoral murder of innocent people”, as you say, is the worst crime.

      IMHO, the emotional, immoral, and high visual content of this War, which is even more graphic than the Vietnam War that we began and insanely waged and watched on TV — is the counter-pointed ‘INVISIBLE’ impact of dumping massive ‘Negative Externality Costs’ on ‘we the people of our world’ — which may well be almost as great as what might be called ‘Unseen’ War Crimes.

      When all is said and done the greatest unseen ‘Negative Externality Cost’ pumping and dumping of the MIC War deaths by the “Merchants of Death” might well be compared to the “Quiet American” Empire’s unseen costs of this Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal Child-Killing & War-Starting EMPIRE, controlled by the ‘Ruling-Elite’, UHNWI, <0.003%ers, TCCers, arrogantly self-appointed "Masters of the Universe", and "Evil (not-so) Geniuses" [Kurt Andersen] — which hides Empire behind their totally corrupted dual-party Vichy-facade of faux-democracy.

      On this score, the damages wrought by Facebook, et. al. and other 'divide and conquer' crimes of destruction of anything approaching democratic socialism "drowning the baby in a bath-tub" (as Grover Norquist said) are globally destructive 'Negative Externality Costs' of the same scale as 'Climate Destruction', and slow-acting nuclear war (while Gary Wills' "Bomb Power" has become less likely to be employed).

      1. I guess I never could be a diplomat because I can’t weigh which amount of evil is greater than the other. All war is evil, period, but people keep fighting and dying for someone else’s lust for power.

    2. Start at the beginning and arm yourself with facts before making statements you don’t clearly understand.

    3. Your comment has very little to do with what is in the article. Where, exactly, has Ritter justified the Russian invasion? The invasion into Ukraine is not justified, but neither are the belligerent actions by the US and NATO (i.e. Lithuania).

    4. typical amerikan nazi—ukraine and fascist amerikans have murdered 14000 Russians since 2014—your nazi coup in 2014 has been reversed—NATO IS A FASCIST imperialist amerikan creation that attacked Serbia, Libya, Iraq Ukraine

      1. That’s false.

        Here’s breakdown:

        Civilians 3,393
        UAF, NGU, and volunteers 4,641
        DPR and LPR 5,796
        Russian military 400-600

        Sources for these numbers include the UN, Ukrainian govt, U.S. State Dept, and the Museum of Military History

    5. Tom, Russia had not wreak war and destruction and caused migration on the level of USA and Nato since the Korean Civil War. ( BTW we are still there).

      There are numerous articles written of the millions killed or injured by our endless wars.
      Trillions have been spent /wasted on our dubious wars. the rest of the world suffers, but USA and western powers makes enormous profits.
      Our mass media washes our indiscretions clean with patriotic songs, statutes, and parades.
      Our Country! Right or wrong!

    6. You seem to be ignoring the fact that the Ukrainian vast Nazi contingents were bombing and terrorising their Russian speaking population killing 14,000 people before Russia stepped in to try and stop it.

      If Россия wanted to ‘kill innocents’ they would have immediately dropped bombs нато style and taken over command in the first week. Their military operation is about sorting our the Nazis from the Ukranians, and removing their access to military equipment. It is slow, concise and successful. The public have only hurt where the Ukranians have set them up as human shields.

  2. He’s making his hay from tip toeing. Ritter is not deep into the reality of Capitalism, Collectivism of the Capitalists, the Deep Perversions of EU and UK and USA.

    “NATO have been engaged in a delicate dance around the issue of how to support Ukraine and punish Russia without crossing the line of committing an overt act of war that could prompt Russia to respond militarily . . . . ”

    So, recon, satellite, IT, on-the-ground training, that isn’t warring against Russia? He’s looking at some legal framework for what “an act of war is” tied to international legalistic BS?

    Trained in USA, in EU, and troops committed by Poland, and, well, you get the picture. Russia is pussy-footing since the country cannot sustain a proxy war against these psychopaths. Putin can’t think like a soiopath. So, Russia will lose this one.

    All the yammering about Finland and Sweden joining Nato, not a big deal? Really? And turncoat Turkey?

    The West is winning the economic war, the psycho war of penury, and it’s the old rabid dog still able to scare the crap out of the town, even as its brain begins to melt into stupor and then death.

    So Snake Island was bombarded with USA and French equipment, with USA AWACs and other war tools to assist the Nazi’s. That’s not an act of war?

    There will be ground troop throughout Nato-landia, and that is, without citing sick bs legal terms, a huge act of aggression and war.

    Play the hair-splitting game. Play the game that sanctions, asset seizures, blockades, those aren’t acts of war.

    Here we are, again, in 1500 Century Europe with 21st century computing and guidance systems. What a fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves in, Ollie.

    1. hader wrong—Russia has 1.2 million active military; this does not include reserves—committing less than 10% Russia is obliterating nazi Ukies, now liberating 25% of ukie territory and gaining more each week….due to moron sanctions rouble stronger than ever, Russian reserve fund increases by 13 billion euros each month…..the mistaken belief that money will win a war was long ago examined by Vico and machiavelli—USA defeats in Korea, Syria,, Vietnam, Afghanistan demonstrate machiavelli was correct

      1. It’s Haeder , Skim-null. Russia ain’t gonna get crap with constant bombardment. The your dirty USA DARPA disease. Virus and toxins. The USA is criminal, and criminals with banks and merchants of death win, cretin. Win what? The unholy war trophies of this sick Nazi USA, UK and euro trash and, well, you get the picture. Russia is valiant, but capitalism wins…. Theft and oil and gold and, that’s your evil seed. Lies can’t wrestle Russia free from years of bombing and sanctions. Done.

  3. It looks like a NATO move: pressure Lithuania to block transport in the hope of Russian retaliation. Thereby hoping for a second Russian front and the perfect excuse NATO has been longing for to enter the war before winter. Because once the economic crisis hits home hard here in Europe, they know that the popular support for sanctions and war will melt like snow before the sun. But if in war, like always, fear will close the ranks. Time is against the West. So expect more and more NATO provocations in the coming time.

    But the best move of all is for Europe to step out of NATO because that will end the war and give Europe hope for a better future. It is shameful that Ursula Gertrud baroness von der Leyen is willing to sacrifice the European people for nothing. US hegemony is history, it’s time for us to accept and adapt.

  4. Scott, your excellent Strategic Analysis of this War for sovereignty and sovereign territory is accurate and beyond anything that I could envision.

    However, I do believe that in addition to Wars (and even Empires) fighting over territory, pride, and power — that vast amount of $ Money, are also a significant portion of what Wars & Empires contest to the death.

    IMHO, it’s not only about War, but also “Empire-Thinking” & the
    $ Big Money:

    The GINI Coefficient of Wealth INEQUALITY is a simple scale, where a GINI of 0.0 equates with all people in a country having the SAME Wealth, and where a GINI of 1.0 equates with ONE single person in a country having ALL the Wealth.

    The GINI Coefficient of Wealth INEQUALITY of China is 0.70 (below the global mean).

    The GINI Coefficient of Wealth INEQUALITY of Russia was (in 2021) 0.879 (highest/worst) in the world.

    The GINI Coefficient of Wealth INEQUALITY of America was (in 2021) 0.858 (the second highest/worst) in the world.

    The clear Projection of Russia’s GINI Coefficient of Wealth INEQUALITY for this 2022 year (when the figures are produced) — based on Russia having been dispossessed of vast oligarchic wealth, vast Russian/national wealth ‘currency reserves’, and significant beggaring of Russian citizen’s wealth — will IMHO, cause Russia’s 2022 GINI Coefficient of Wealth INEQUALITY to precipitously DROP to somewhere closer to China’s moderately low level near the 0.70 mean for all countries.

    However, the U.S. GINI Coefficient of Wealth INEQUALITY is likely to RISE precipitously to above 0.90 – “We’re #1”, “We’re #1”, “We’re #1” of our GINI Coefficient of Wealth INEQUALITY.

    Which proves that Our Oligarchs are the greediest in the World.

    1. I’m not sure what you’re saying or its conclusion but what does it matter, really?

      1. EMPIRE & “Empire-Thinking” matters greatly.

        IMHO, EMPIRE & LOVE, which are polar opposites, matter as much as anything in our world.

  5. Ritter provides some of the best analysis of what’s going on in this war. Too bad that other alternative news sites don’t use him and retired colonel Douglas Macgregor so their viewers would know what’s actually going on. Ritter from the left and Macgregor from the right would strike a perfect balance.

  6. Russia has terminated the amerikan nazi war in ukraine—all objectives achieved…if USA does not surrender soon Russia will liberate more nazi occupied territory….ukieland may cease to exist. I do not need Hegel to distinguish the immorality of amerikans from the morally justified denazification of Ukraine by Russia….Hugo Chavez described by the fascist Bernie Sanders as “a dictator” described the Marxist philosopher Istvan Meszaros “the pathfinder to 21st century socialism”. meszaros writes, “United States is the most aggressive nation in modern history”
    it is unsurprising that amerikan fascist side w ukraine nazis
    “from the inception of amerika it has been informed by ubiquitous sleaze and hustling”. Walter MacDougal

    1. There is absolutely no moral justification for killing innocent women and children to satisfy the brutal imperialist aims of a dictator like Putin. Stop with your irresponsible pseudo-intellectual nonsense.

  7. As we live in Orwellian times where past is erased by those who control present it is always good idea to recall the past and give current developments broader context without which no understanding is possible.

    West is losing war NATO/EU started to wage openly in 2014 against Russia accused of invasion of Donbas that never happened despite provocation of US organized Kiev Nazi coup that ousted legitimate president supported by majority of 25 millions of Ukrainians.

    The war was predominantly economic to weaken Russia while building up Ukrainian army to NATO standards to attack LDPR and Crimea to provoke Russian intervention and to escalate ongoing Economic war (2014-21) to crash Russians economically and defeat Putin.

    The Minsk agreements, as former President of Ukraine Poroshenko stated, were signed by his administration only to buy time to rearm and to take back Donbas and Crimea by force.

    Zelensky in 2021 officially rejected Minsk I and II and ordered military to take back those territories by all means including by force.

    It was open declaration of war by Kiev regime against LDPR and Russia. At that moment Russia could have used Article 51 of UN charter and based on US precedent, preemptively attack Ukraine to eliminate imminent threat of war.

    They didn’t and instead according to UN charter called for negotiations to prevent war and warned Kiev regime of possible military response to concentration of Ukrainian military in eastern Ukraine.

    Russia wanted peace all along. NATO and its puppet regime in Kiev wanted war to happen and took aggressive pasture and by that justified UN charter based international law permitting Russian military intervention.

    Unbounded by Minsk agreements Russia also signed, the agreement that specified condition of peaceful return of Donbas to Ukraine, Russia recognized LDPR and committed itself to their defense against ongoing large scale Ukrainian aggression against Donbas.

    And that aggression happened in the early morning of February 16, 2022 when opening salvo of this war (up to 2000 shells against Donbas military positions and cities) began prompting ad hoc emergency evacuation of 150,000 of LDPR citizen to Russia. On that day AFU crossed military demarcation line set in Donbas by OSCE in 2015.

    It was that day 130,000 strong NATO trained and equipped Ukrainian Donbas group attacked 40,000 of poorly armed combined LDPR militia. The new escalated phase of 2014 Donbas war commenced.

    Nine days later on February 24 Russian military intervened on behalf its ally LDPR as US would to defend its NATO ally.

    The initial (2014-21) economic war utterly failed as Russia became stronger, almost completely independent from the west for its economic survival. Russia almost completely eliminated its sovereign debt. West increased its economic dependence on Russia.

    But as usual such a failure caused no reflection but instead west doubled down on that failure and proceeded with the plan of unprecedented war of economic and military aggression.

    By the end of 2021 Ukrainian army of 260,000 active and about 300,000 in reserve matched or exceeded all NATO standards. AFU became the most formidable army among all NATO armies except for US. Defeat of AFU means likely defeat of any NATO army when confronted with Russia.

    600,000+ Ukrainian army, was put under direct NATO control either directly or via entire AFU general staff being trained and controlled by NATO.

    On February 24, 2022 AFU army was fully capable of repelling and defeating small 190,000 Russian intervention force.

    They did not, in fact they did not even try to do that on orders of NATO as confirmed by top Pentagon officials who wanted to weaken Russia militarily by luring it into costly protracted conflict while main economic thrust of this war was being unleashed.

    Ukrainians were betrayed as they were trained by NATO not to quickly defend themselves and win but to slowly and painfully lose.

    As this current all out economic war against Russia was unleashed it quickly became utter failure as well causing deep and costly self inflicted wounds to US and EU economies as over 100 of world countries with 4 billion population either stayed neutral or joined Russian side and continued economic relations as usual.

    China’s de facto support for Russia is a critical factor that restrains Russia and made them sensitive to upholding UN charter.

    US in a desperation is trying to put a wedge between China and Russia to provoke Russia to act in a way unacceptable to Chinese leadership.

    That is why Putin assures utmost compliance with UN charter, international law and law of war in dealing with this proxy war despite high cost of such strict compliance.

    That wedge US hopes to create could become issue of Kaliningrad.

    Kaliningrad is a focal point. The suicidal Lithuanian regime as Kiev regime itself, both .founded on Nazis
    ideology and hatred for Russians, pushing for dangerous provocation by violating international law and Russian Lithuanian binding treaty that was signed as a condition of recognition of Lithuanian statehood, Russian guarantees of Lithuanian territorial integrity and to avoid war. Breaking the treaty unilaterally means provoking war. EU rules and sanctions cannot not invalidate international treaties as they are international laws legal under UN charter.

    The treaty declares Lithuanian responsibility for unimpeded, customs free internal to Russian Federation movement of people and goods. It provides paid transportation line via Lithuanian sovereign territory without actually entering Lithuanian passport and custom zone.

    Only declared Russian exports through Kaliningrad may be subject to Lithuanian customs inspections within EU sanctions regime.

    In vast majority of cases It is not a transit of the territory in order to leave Russia or export Russian goods which were covered by EU sanctions but internal movement of goods within Russia proper between two Russian cities which is exempted from restrictions according to Brussels. What that means to Lithuanian alone expanded NATO Russia proxy war to its own territory with all the consequences of international law and that includes permissible military intervention.

    Is such interpretation unusual? Is such transport of goods and people within sovereign state but outside its custom or passport zone unusual? Not at all.

    For examples during worse tensions of Cold war rail transportation between West Berlin and West Germany was conducted on East German railroad tracks outside of East German custom and passport Zone.

    Been there saw that.

    Goods and passengers were sealed by East German guards in the train cars at leaving west Berlin and that included windows shut with shutters and then unsealed by these guards at the East and West German border and moved into West Germany with no border inspections whatsoever as it was considered internal German transfer not export.

    Similar arrangement was made between Poland and Soviet Union in East Carpathian Mountains where Polish rail line (with Polish/ European narrow gage) was passing through Soviet Union sovereign territory (now western Ukraine) without entering Soviet custom or passport zone while connecting two Polish cities without need of extraterritorial corridor.

    It is nothing but an attempt at blockade, a blatant act of war and that is the only interpretation of international law possible.

    1. Your commentary is polar opposite to others I have heard.

      They allege that Russia instigated the Donbas War as a first step to bring Ukraine into the Soviet orbit. Now, one thing that really puzzles me is that if anyone is a Nazi, it’s Putin. And this whole Nazi narrative about Ukraine seems like so much BS. There are more Nazis in the U.S. aka Trump supporters and now SCOTUS.

      In any case, reading your commentary really shocked me because it is so much the opposite of what I have learned.

      1. No Nazis in Ukraine Tom? Really?

        Stepan Bandera a leader of OUN-B (organization of Ukrainian Nationalists ) was a Nazi collaborator supported creation of Ukrainian state under Nazi protectorate and under German discrimination laws against Jews.

        He supported and encouraged creation of Waffen- SS divisions Galicia and Nightingale to fight against WWII allies.

        He designed and executed plans of formation of Ukrainian state by means of ethic cleansing of other minorities, a genocide officially recognized by NATO member Poland just few years ago based on Polish and international archives.

        The programmatic genocide started in 1942 and lasted until 1948 when UPA, a military wing of OUN-B, that massacred 250,000+ men, women and children of Polish, Jewish, Russian, Hungarian ethnicity as well as 60,000+ of his political opponents of Ukrainian ethnicity was finally defeated by combined Soviet and Polish forces in operation called “Vistula” while the rest of Bandera’s sympathizers fled to Austria and Germany where Bandera was under US protection until he was executed/assassinated in Munich for his crimes against Russians by GRU in 1952.

        All that would be irrelevant to the question if Nazis are in Ukraine today if not for one thing.

        Today Bandera is considered a Founder of Ukrainian nation, his birthday is National Holliday, dozens of Bandera statues were erected in Ukraine in last twenty years while Nazi victims’ monuments were being dismantled. Every morning in Ukrainian K-12 school children are singing song of “Father Bandera” who gave them country and freedoms.

        What is worse that Bandera is in fact a hated figure, considered war criminal by majority of Ukrainians including Russian ethnic majority and ethic minorities of Poles,Jews and Hungarians.

        In fact President of Ukraine Yanukovitch rescinded Bandera title of Hero of Ukraine as he won on this electoral promise only to be reinstated after 2014 Kiev coup.

        The cult of Bandera, a Nazi collaborator and responsible for genocide is present in lives of Ukrainians today with absolute no reflection on the dark past of this controversial, to say the least, political figure who does not represent all Ukrainians.

        Canadian German and US continuously supported thriving in Ukraine Fascist political parties despite the fact that they were condemned by EU parliament just a decade ago as dangerous ideologues of Nazism threatening Ukrainian constitutional order.

        I won’t even go into ideology of Azov, Aidar, Donbas or other worshippers of Nazi cult incorporated into Ukrainian Armed Forces and Ukrainian administration and by that representing Ukrainian government.

        That is just a sliver of how Nazism is still alive and well in Ukraine west supported all along from WWII on.

      2. All this may be true, but how was this Nazism affecting Ukraine today? Nazis hate Jews, yet their President is a Jew. Are Jews and other minorities being discriminated against today in Ukraine?

        I don’t see NATO worried about the threat of Nazis — they’re worried about Russian aggression.

        So, who is the greater threat to the peace and welfare of Ukraine — their nation’s Nazis or the Russians? Who is a greater threat to NATO, Ukraine’s Nazis or Russia?

        These political views are being used as pretext for invasion by Russia. But I don’t see a Holocaust happening in Ukraine. The mass murders are being caused by Russia.

        There are plenty of Nazis in the U.S. — just look at our Republican Party. Maybe NATO ought to invade the U.S. and take out Trump.

    2. Ya, but…. The whole point is : we are never sick and tired of war. Like a junkie, war mongers crave a bigger and bigger war-fix.
      There ain’t a war we don’t love, or spend obscene amount of money.
      The so called bottom half of America complains of inequality but does nothing.
      Someday, maybe, some one might think– pause all wars, right or wrong, until we fix America, or at least stop its decline.
      For example : 4 trillion$$ wasted in Afghanistan and Iraq wars would have been greatly improved American infrastructures.

  8. Tom, your arguments reveal you to be a bog standard propaganda eater with little real knowledge of the situation in Ukraine. Your moralistic crap about killing of civilians never being justified rings hollow, given that the US and its western vassals have been doing precisely that since 1945 with little protest and no recriminations. Your statement that Putin is the Nazi shows that you don’t understand what Nazism is. You say NATO and the west have done nothing to start this war, which shows you to be (willfully) ignorant of the constant eastwards expansion of NATO since the end of the cold war, at the US’s behest, and of the US’s involvement in the overthrowing of the pro-russian leader of Ukraine in the Maidan revolution of 2014 and his replacement with a pro-western cabal; you similarly ignore the sanctions placed on Russia – sanctions who’s effect is to destroy the economy and starve the people, ultimately resulting in thousands of civilian deaths (you must surely know that US led sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s killed over 1/2 a million Iraqi children – a figure that US secretary of state M. Albright stated was “an acceptable price to pay”). This war has not come out of nowhere. Putin has been continually corralled, provoked. and his protests ignored since the end of the cold war. We knew this war was coming (well some of us did). We knew because Putin told us. The West has deliberately ignored his attempts to integrate with Europe and preserve the European security status quo and instead chosen to cross Russia’s “red lines”, pushing them into a position from which military action is the only way out. So don’t come here with that simpleton argument that “Ukraine or NATO has not attacked Russia, has not entered its air space and bombed hospitals.” because there are plenty more ways to start a war than that, and the US has been pushing those buttons for decades. You ask this childish question “So, who is the greater threat to the peace and welfare of Ukraine — their nation’s Nazis or the Russians? Who is a greater threat to NATO, Ukraine’s Nazis or Russia?” – the correct question to ask is “Who is the greater threat to world peace” and the answer, as always, is the US and its European vassals.

    1. Nothing justifies murder. I don’t care how much provocation. Your logic is very flawed.

  9. Hahahaha! You think Russia can take the Baltics within 60 hours? They have only been able to take 25% of Ukraine in 4-5 months!

    Do you know how many high-tech weapons the Scandinavia countries has? The whole Swedish and Finnish army is built to kill Russians.

    Air superiority will be established in 24 h

    St Petersburg will be in rubble within 120hours.

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