Tens of thousands of workers demonstrated against the rising cost of living, with many linking the crisis to the NATO’s war and Russia policies. Many demonstrators condemned the US-led NATO alliance and its involvement in the Ukraine war. Many linked their dire economic straits to the EU’s sanctions regime on Russia and with the NATO’s rush to arm Ukraine.
Protesters demanded that their leaders “spend money on salaries, not on weapons,” and chanted “stop NATO.”
Media reports said:
Workers marched through Brussels on Monday demanding government action to tackle sharply rising living costs, as one-day strikes at Brussels Airport and on local transport networks nationwide brought public travel to a near-halt.
War destructs and demolishes life, all forms of environment. It’s war’s powerful approach to contradictions within and with environment surrounding life. Wars including the current Ukraine War bear this signature of destruction of and on environment and ecology. The first victim is life; and, then comes surroundings of life that help sustain life. Activities to secure, nourish and sustain environment are hampered/suspended during war, and in war zones also.
Military activities, preparatory to war including training/drills/exercises, itself is threat to environment and ecology. Military/war expenditure is in direct and hostile contradiction with environment and ecology. The expenditure takes away a lot of resources, which can be allocated for life, steps to nourish and secure environment and ecology. The sphere of destruction of environment and ecology widens as the sphere of war widens. Today’s Ukraine is the witness. Iraq and Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and Vietnam are witnesses. Hiroshima and Nagasaki stand as witnesses.
As the Ukraine conflict enters its third month, the Kremlin looks likely to achieve its major military objective of securing physical control over the eastern Donbas region. Peripheral territorial acquisition of the strategic southern city of Kherson, as well as a swath of territory connecting Crimea to the Donbas and the border of the Russian Federation, also looks likely.
This will, however, fall short of expectations by both Russia and many military observers when the war began. Perhaps the greatest contributor is what appears to be a massive Russian intelligence failure over prewar assessments that organized resistance by Ukraine would be limited and easily overcome. Instead, the Russians were met by an organized, capable and determined Ukrainian military that has shown great resilience in defending against Russian attack. Instead of a quick campaign of less than a month, Russia found itself in a drawn-out fight that required its military to alter its approach — pulling back from supporting attacks against Kyiv and Odessa in favor of a more singular focus on eastern Ukraine.
As US news media covered the first shocking weeks of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, some media observers—like FAIR founder Jeff Cohen (Common Dreams, 2/28/22)—have noted their impressions of how coverage differed from wars past, particularly in terms of a new focus on the impact on civilians.
To quantify and deepen these observations, FAIR studied the first week of coverage of the Ukraine war (2/24–3/2/22) on ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News. We used the Nexis news database to count both sources (whose voices get to be heard?) and segments (what angles are covered?) about Ukraine during the study period. Comparing this coverage to that of other conflicts reveals both a familiar reliance on US officials to frame events, as well as a newfound ability to cover the impact on civilians—when those civilians are white and under attack by an official US enemy, rather than by the US itself.
Ukrainian sources—no experts
One of the most striking things about early coverage has been the sheer number of Ukrainian sources. FAIR always challenges news media to seek out the perspective of those most impacted by events, and US outlets are doing so to a much greater extent in this war than in any war in recent history. Of 234 total sources—230 of whom had identifiable nationalities—119 were Ukrainian (including five living in the United States.)
War is a crime against humanity and today war between the great powers threatens total annihilation. The only answer is to give peace a chance, which requires finding a solution that guarantees the security of all parties to the civil war in Ukraine as well as Russia. In the longer view, we must recognize that war is endemic to capitalism, and both Russia and the NATO powers are capitalist. Only a return to the socialist path in both Ukraine and Russia can offer a lasting solution.
In light of the current events in Ukraine we have decided to make the Notes From the Editors for the April 2022 issue of Monthly Review immediately available. —Eds.
As we write these notes at the beginning of March 2022, the eight-year limited civil war in Ukraine has turned into a full-scale war. This represents a turning point in the New Cold War and a great human tragedy. By threatening global nuclear holocaust, these events are also now endangering the entire world. To understand the origins of the New Cold War and the onset of the current Russian entry into the Ukrainian civil war, it is necessary to go back to decisions associated with the creation of the New World Order made in Washington when the previous Cold War ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Within months, Paul Wolfowitz, then under secretary of defense for policy in the George H. W. Bush administration, issued a Defense Policy Guidance stating: “Our policy [after the fall of the Soviet Union] must now refocus on precluding the emergence of any potential future global competitor.” Wolfowitz emphasized that “Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia.” Extraordinary efforts were therefore necessary to weaken Russia’s geopolitical position permanently and irrevocably, before it would be in a position to recover, bringing into the Western strategic orbit all of those states now surrounding it that had formerly either been parts of the Soviet Union or that had fallen within its sphere of influence (“Excerpts from Pentagon’s Plan: ‘Preventing the Re-Emergence of a New Rival’,” New York Times, March 8, 1992).
“…In some countries, the political turf for governance will turn hot for the present faction of the ruling capital – a part of arithmetic of this war.
“Whatever the last calculation of gain and loss, the work of redrawing the map of hegemony by the world imperialists has begun as Russia will make a gain in a number of terms. At the end of this part of fire spewing war, as compromises will follow, the dominating part of the world capitalist system has to give away a certain amount of space to Russia – a net gain that will be made by Moscow. Now, that, extent and form of space, is being ascertained in capital cities and cities including Versailles in formal and informal meetings.
“Ukraine has been made a pawn in this weeks-long war…
A thick cloud is now shrouding Ukraine, once a part of the erstwhile Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Sufferings of about two million people from Ukraine are now overwhelming all around the world, as sufferings of refugees in many parts of the globe always pain humanity. There’s the dark cloud of a confrontation over the land. The darkness of imperialist intrigues and intervention covers everything in and around Ukraine.
Two million people have been made homeless. They are fleeing away from their abodes, but they don’t know their destiny, and address of a peaceful life. There’s cold, there’s hunger and there’s fear haunting them all the time. The old, the infirm, the persons unable to walk don’t know the path to survival and shelter. The children, walking along parents or being carried by parents, don’t understand the intricacies behind their suffering, background of the burning buildings they are leaving behind.
There are many aspects to the ongoing Ukraine crisis which are not reflected in the mainstream media coverage. JoP feels that it is its duty to bring analyses of those aspects to the attention of our readership. In that spirit, we publish four posts from Indian Punchline which may help readers understand the ongoing situation in Ukraine. However, we would like to clarify that the articles posted here are for non-profit, non-commercial, educational purpose. The views expressed in this article are that of its author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the JoP
It didn’t have to come to this. If leaders and policymakers had shown some wisdom and understanding over the last few decades, things never would have reached this point. In fairness, a few of them did, only to be overridden by the short-sighted, the greedy, the arrogant, the ignorant, the power-hungry and the downright evil.
Clearly we all lose in a nuclear conflagration, a distinct possibility in these chaotic, reckless times.
Editor’s Note: Founded in 1945 by Albert Einstein and University of Chicago scientists who helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock two years later, using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet. The Doomsday Clock is set every year by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 11 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and disruptive technologies in other domains.
To: Leaders and citizens of the world
Re: At doom’s doorstep: It is 100 seconds to midnight
Date: January 20, 2022
Last year’s leadership change in the United States provided hope that what seemed like a global race toward catastrophe might be halted and—with renewed US engagement—even reversed. Indeed, in 2021 the new American administration changed US policies in some ways that made the world safer: agreeing to an extension of the New START arms control agreement and beginning strategic stability talks with Russia; announcing that the United States would seek to return to the Iran nuclear deal; and rejoining the Paris climate accord. Perhaps even more heartening was the return of science and evidence to US policy making in general, especially regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. A more moderate and predictable approach to leadership and the control of one of the two largest nuclear arsenals of the world marked a welcome change from the previous four years.