End of the long battle for Bakhmut, West attempts to use Ukraine as a tool to curb Asian, African countries independence
As the so-called Bakhmut meat grinder concluded, it inflicted major losses on the Ukrainian armed forces, giving Russia time to set up defense and rest and refit its forces in preparation for the next phase.
In May, the long battle for control of the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk Republic of Russia came to an end. It was one of the bloodiest battles in the current conflict in Ukraine. The city became effectively a trap for the Ukrainian military, which sent a stream of reinforcement into the increasingly destroyed city, sometimes consisting of entire battalions, only to die.
It is not known exactly how many Ukrainian soldiers died in Bakhmut. Many bodies lie underneath the rubble. There were possibly tens of thousands of military deaths, most of whom would have been forcibly conscripted and inexperienced soldiers on the Ukraine side.
For nearly one century, Bakhmut has been called 'Artyomovsk' by the people of Donetsk. It was named in 1924, in honour of local Bolshevik leader Fyodor Sergeev who died in 1921. He had used the pseudonym 'Comrade Artyom' during the years-long fight against the Western military intervention that began in 1918 aiming to overthrow the new government of Russia led by VI Lenin (merged into the government of the Soviet Union in 1921). Ukraine stripped the city of its name in 2016. It lies some 70 km north of Donetsk city and had a pre-war population of 70,000.
For months, the president of the governing regime in Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelensky, said that Bakhmut would never be surrendered. But in the same breath, Ukrainian and Western military leaders said the city had no strategic significance. In late March, Zelensky told an interview that if Ukraine does not win the protracted battle in Bakhmut, Russia might gain additional international support for "a deal that could require Ukraine to make unacceptable compromises". In addition, Zelensky said that if Ukraine were defeated in Bakhmut, the pressure would mount on his government, both inside the country and internationally, to make peace with Russia.
In reality, holding the city was nothing more than an attempt by Ukrainian authorities to prove their military effectiveness to their sponsors in NATO and thereby obtain yet more military funding and equipment. For Russian forces, it was an opportunity to systematically destroy the very weapons being supplied by NATO, including advanced rockets and artillery.
"This operation was being worked on since October of last year in the headquarters of the United Group of Russian Forces in Ukraine. Naturally, only a narrow circle of people knew the plan and the tasks to be accomplished," says Gennady Alekhin, a Russian military analyst.
Evgeniy Prigozhin, commander of the 'Wagner' private military force of Russia, said the idea behind Russia's military planning has been to draw Ukrainian forces into a bloody but strategically senseless offensive, as though to impose on them "a suitcase without a handle". Ukrainian forces would be pinned down and ground down, while Russian forces could gradually be transferred to other fighting fronts. This is, indeed, how matters turned out. The battle for Bakhmut devoured a huge mass of Ukrainian troops and equipment. It turned into a real vortex in which forces and funds were drawn in and disappeared.
Ukrainian media broadcast constant images of vehicles and military equipment moving in endless streams along the highways and dirt roads to reinforce the city, while wounded and killed soldiers were transported in the opposite direction.
For the U.S., Bakhmut was a testing ground for the Russian army and the capabilities of its weapons, says Alekhin.
The internationalization of the conflict in Ukraine
Nikolai Vavilov, a Russian expert in the study of China, draws parallels between the end of the battle for Bakhmut and the current situation around Taiwan. "The fall of Bakhmut coincides chronologically with the beginning of the implementation of the 'Taiwan track' of U.S. foreign policy in which arms are supplied to Taiwan which may ultimately be used against the Peoples Republic of China."
"Taiwan will still go a certain way toward war," he says. "But it will take some time. It is noteworthy that Taiwan's domestic politics show that neither the National Party (Kuomintang) nor the Democratic Party (DPP) want to take on the public role of instigator of war. The main initiator of the war is Washington, trying to recoup its loss in Ukraine through stoking a crisis over Taiwan. This requires presenting China as the 'aggressor power'," says Vavilov.
The Ukrainian conflict is thus increasingly acquiring the features of an international confrontation between the West and the countries of the global South. In this context, Volodymyr Zelensky is playing the role of an instrument of pressure upon the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. With his help, London and Washington are trying to return into their orbit of political and economic dominance or influence those countries which they have been losing.
In May, Zelensky and his foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba made frequent visits and speeches at international venues in an effort to influence the leaders of the Third World and convince them to acquiesce to NATO's war in Ukraine, if not outright support it. On May 19, Zelensky attended the 32nd summit of the Arab League in Saudi Arabia. In his speech, he chided the countries of the Arab world for "ignoring Russian aggression in Ukraine" and continuing to cooperate with Russia. What was remarkable about Zelensky's speech is that the leaders of Syria and Saudi Arabia did not bother to wear headphones to hear the speech translation.
Chinese expert Xu Jiqun said afterward, "The meaning of this gesture was very clear. The two Arab leaders signaled, 'Say whatever you want, we just won't listen to you.' The picture of the shifting world order was made clear. Ukraine has received support from the West, including the United States and the European Union, but receives no sympathy from the global south. Some leaders of the Arab world did not even put on headphones to listen to the translation of Zelensky's speech."
The next venue for voicing calls for a return to submission by the global south was the G7 summit held in Hiroshima, Japan from May 19 to 21. The New York Times reported on May 18 that Zelensky was expected to attend the meeting. "Mr. Zelensky will almost certainly have a one-on-one meeting with President Biden. The leaders of India, Brazil and other nations who have been reluctant to support Ukraine are also at the meeting as observers. Mr. Zelensky’s presence could make it more difficult for them continue a neutral stance."
The report on the G7 meeting by The Economist asked in its headline, ‘Can the West win over the rest of the world?’ It wrote, “Japanese officials have been on a listening tour ahead of the gathering in Hiroshima. In the past two months, Prime Minister Kishida has visited Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mozambique, and Singapore, while his foreign minister, Hayashi Yoshimasa, has toured Latin America.
"In the midst of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, some global south countries are facing great difficulties…There is also a movement to try to divide the world by taking advantage of such situations,” Kishida told an interview with The Economist. "In private, Japanese officials and diplomats are blunter: the West is losing to China when it comes to outreach to the global south," the magazine reported.
British officials are pressing Latin American leaders along the same lines, reports Politico on May 24. "South America has attracted particular attention from Western leaders in recent months as Ukraine’s allies roam the world in search of critical minerals for high-tech supply chains, as well as ammunition and weapons to help Kyiv recover Russian-occupied territory."
For the same purpose, in late May, Dmytro Kuleba flew to Ethiopia, the first visit of a Ukrainian foreign minister to this country. There, he also met with the head of the African Union.
Russian-Ukrainian political analyst Alexander Savko commented on the tour of the Ukrainian minister. "Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba began his own African tour last week, visiting Morocco, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Mozambique, and Nigeria and clearly trying to seize the diplomatic initiative from his counterparts from Moscow. However, these efforts are doomed to failure because most Africans consider the Ukrainian government to be completely dependent on the West, against which they have more and more claims."
Western countries are well aware of the predominantly negative attitudes towards them due to the history of colonialism and then modern neocolonialism, using international financial instruments to gain dominance. Thus they do seek to use a compliant puppet, the Zelensky-led regime in Kyiv, to convince the leaders of Africa and Asia to support the Western course and to sell to the Wests the resources they require for their war machines.
On May 25, 26, an annual Kyiv Security Forum took place. The event was held under the shameless theme of 'For Our Freedom And Yours: Fighting for NATO'. Among the most notable participants were George W. Bush, the 43rd U.S. president who launched the infamous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003 using fabricated pretexts; former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson; and U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland, one of the key U.S. agents in helping launch the 'EuroMaidan' movement in Ukraine in 2013. Other guests attending were Condoleezza Rice, who served as U.S. secretary of state under George W. Bush, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst.
Francis Fukuyama of Stanford University was on hand, he who once proclaimed "the end of history" in favour of a permanently triumphant capitalism and U.S. empire. He has been training "future leaders" for Ukraine at Stanford University for the past several years.
John Herbst spoke to the gathering about 'freedom and democracy'. He advocated a 'pragmatic' approach to the current conflict in which the costs to the U.S. government budget are carefully weighed and considered. In his opinion, if Ukraine regains its "recognized" borders, that is its 1991 borders including Crimea and Donbass, "Russia will, in the long run, cease stop being a threat to us, too."
Herbst said that the "Russian assets" that Ukraine would acquire in defeating Russia militarily would pay for its future budgets and no further financial assistance would be needed from the United States and member countries of the European Union. In other words, Ukrainians are now dying so that the U.S. can spend less in the distant future on its military adventures against Russia.
The main organizer of the Kyiv Security Forum was former prime minister and 'Euromaidan' leader of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk. He frankly stated to the Forum that Ukrainians are fighting not only for their own interests but also for those of NATO countries. "We as Ukraine are fighting for membership in the Alliance. But we as Ukraine are also fighting for NATO itself, for the security of every member country of the Alliance."
Here again is evidence that the Kiev regime is but a proxy structure of the North Atlantic bloc. Every member of Ukraine's armed forces and everyone in Ukraine who helps maintain the Kiev regime's army should know this and ponder the terrible consequences the country is presently living.