The crisis in Ukraine, in a couple of pictures

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By ATILIO A. BORON*

A crisis invented by “Western democracies”

I invite you to look at this map created by the BBC. It proves the extent of the lies told by the leaders of the “western democracies”, who assured Mikhail Gorbachev, when the Soviet Union disintegrated, that “NATO would not move an inch to the East”. What they did, however, was encircle Russia with 14 new NATO members, encircling that country from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

What countries make up NATO

NATO was created in the midst of the Cold War (1949) and originally comprised 12 countries: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Iceland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal. In 1952, Greece and Turkey joined, and in 1955 the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1982, through the betrayal of Felipe González, Spain joined the organization. In 1999, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic joined. In 2004, NATO's fifth expansion took place with the incorporation of Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania. In 2009, the process continued with the accession of Croatia and Albania; in 2017, Montenegro, and in March 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, North Macedonia. In this way, this charitable organization has Russia completely cornered along its entire western border, with the exception of Belarus and Ukraine.

 

What does Russia claim

It is not necessary to be an expert in military matters to appreciate the extremely serious scope of this situation and the threat to Russian national security. For example, missiles loaded with nuclear warheads used in Poland and Romania can hit a target like Moscow in 15 minutes. Those who would settle in Ukraine, in case that country is engulfed by NATO, would arrive in just five minutes, making any type of defense impossible. That's why President Vladimir Putin was right when he asked, "What is not understood?" The issue is the national security of a country like Russia, which has been relentlessly attacked over the last twenty years with economic and diplomatic sanctions, media stigmatization and threats of all kinds, including a crude smear campaign against Putin, and which is now exacerbated by the Ukrainian crisis.

A crisis, it must be said, invented by the “western democracies”, in reality sordid oligarchies at the service of big capital and the arms industry of their countries, starting with the United States. Unfortunately, most European countries have resigned themselves to being the dutiful eunuchs of US presidents. That's why they were silent when, in one of his speeches, Putin asked how many military bases Russia had on the border of the United States, whether in the south, Mexico, or in the north, Canada. Or how many Russian aircraft carriers were in front of San Francisco Bay or in the vicinity of Manhattan. The answer was resounding: no bases, no aircraft carriers, nothing! How then to justify such an asymmetry, in which a powerful coalition of countries is surrounding Russia and the head of this criminal organization (because there is no other way to qualify NATO), the United States through its president and its political leaders (who are irresponsibly dragging Europe into a possible war in which none of the millions of refugees will ask the Americans for help, but will destroy the European social and cultural balance), stimulate a spiral of violence that jeopardizes world peace.

There is no possible justification for this US driven aggression. It is only the unconcealed decline of their global power that leads them to bet on a military adventure in Ukraine - which could trigger a thermonuclear confrontation - with the stupid argument that a victorious war would allow it to recover an irremediably eroded world leadership and that its leaders are reluctant in admitting. Unfortunately, the only statesman in this macabre game is Putin; the rest, starting with Joe Biden and the clown Boris Johnson (and beyond), are farmhouse politicians who irresponsibly put the world on the brink of a nuclear holocaust, as Noam Chomsky so often warned.

*Atilio A. Boron is professor of political science at the University of Buenos Aires. Author, among other books, of Minerva's Owl (Voices).

Translation: Fernando Lima das Neves.

Originally published in the newspaper page 12.

 

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