As we would expect the Western media propaganda operation is in full swing. The Guardian gleefully announces “first casualties in full-scale invasion”.  “full-scale invasion” is of course how the regime in Kiev is characterising it. The extent of the operation in fact remains to be seen. As far as casualties are concerned; it is a pity that the Western press has not been reporting on casualties in Donbass for the last 7 years. (Or that they did not report on the thousands of civilians casualties in Libya in 2011 or in Afghanistan with such readiness).
The big lie the Western media tell their audiences about Ukraine is that “the Ukrainian people” are ‘with us’ – i.e. pro NATO and the EU. So today Western leaders (the US, NATO for example) are making grand statements about how they will stand with “the Ukrainian people”. As this website has frequently pointed out the Western media (which is no more than the PR arm of Western finance capital who own them) and Western political classes (the very well rewarded servants of finance capital) have for the last 7 years simply denuded the people of Donbass out of existence. It is verifiable that many people, almost certainly the majority, in Eastern Ukraine are “pro-Russian”. Many in Donbass want to be annexed by Russia. But this is not just about Eastern Ukraine. There are also people in the centre who are “pro-Russian”. Ukraine has had a long history and has been fought over by rival Empires. In both World Wars people from Ukraine fought on both sides. The country is split between people who look West and those who look to Russia. Since before Maidan the West, especially the US, has been trying to make sure that Ukraine falls within its orbit. The Western backed coup in Kiev in 2014 was a key milestone in the campaign which also saw the US pump billions of dollars into the country to sway its population towards its way of thinking, and many Western countries send in weapons and military training. The West colluded in allowing the regime in Kiev to ignore Minsk 2 which could have solved the conflict in the East peacefully. Prior to the events of Maidan Russia of course tried to bribe the country with a huge loan to Yanukovych. After Maidan the EU signed a political agreement with a junta that came to power in a coup – an absolutely extraordinary move for an organisation which claims to be the benchmark of “democracy”, especially considering that Presidential elections were due in Ukraine just a few months away from when they had the coup.
When Western leaders and their PR team tell their publics that they are standing “for freedom” and “with the Ukrainian people” they are in fact engaged in an operation to take over Ukraine for Western finance capital. Where do the Ukrainian people stand on EU membership and NATO membership? This Gallup poll from 2014 shows minimal support in the East of Ukraine for EU and NATO membership (19% and 13% respectively) rising to 84% for EU and 53% for NATO in the West. The figures for the centre are: 43% and 32% (EU and NATO).  The reality is miles away from the narrative of EU and US political and (liberal) media classes. The facts appear to lend some support to the Russian narrative that Ukraine has been captured by the West and some Western leaning cliques – (who are really interested only in how much money they can get out of the West).
None of which is intended to justify the Russian “special operation”. At this stage the extent of this remains to be seen. I hope they aren’t trying to do a Western style regime change operation because I think that will likely end badly. But I just want to point out that this is a story with two sides. The West has tried to grab the whole pie. Had they been willing to share it matters might have worked out differently. (Only might; I don’t know if Russia would have been capable of sharing it any more than the West).