What Goals are DC & Kiev Pursuing by Peddling Story of Russia's 'Imminent Invasion' of Ukraine?
US officials had warned their European counterparts that Russia may be planning a potential invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on 11 November, falling short of providing any evidence to back the claims. What's actually behind the latest "Russian invasion" story?
During a Wednesday meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken justified Washington's suspicions by mentioning Russia's "playbook", admitting, however, that the US has zero "clarity into Moscow's intentions". The US secretary of state referred to the 2014 post-coup events in Ukraine – when Crimea held a peninsula-wide referendum on reunification with Russia – as an example of Moscow's "invasion" politics.
Western Media Crying Wolf Over Potential Russian 'Invasion'
"Washington knows that Russia is not going to invade Ukraine", says Dr Paul Craig Roberts, ex-assistant secretary of the treasury under Ronald Reagan and former member of the Cold War Committee on the Present Danger. "The Kremlin doesn't want Ukraine. Putin would not even accept the Russian populated Donetsk and Lugansk Republics that voted to be reincorporated into Russia. So the real questions are: Are the Biden regime foreign policy advisers incompetent? Is the Biden regime scaring Europe in order to achieve European approval of Ukraine as a NATO member? Does the Biden regime intend to provoke a Russian invasion of Ukraine?"
Moscow has nothing to gain from war, echoes Dan Lazare, investigative journalist and author of "America's Undeclared War", stressing that the accusations against Russia are ridiculous. Kiev, however, does benefit from a buildup in tensions, according to him.
"The goal is more US aid, more US military support, and more American muscle aimed at forcing Moscow into some sort of humiliating retreat – or so the Zelensky government hopes and believes", Lazare says.
This is not the first time the US and its NATO allies have sounded the alarm over Russia's alleged plans to enter its neighbour's territory. In mid-March 2021, western media circulated warnings about Moscow's potential preparations for a war with Ukraine, citing internal movements of Russian troops within the country's western regions. In particular, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg dubbed Russia's internal manoeuvres "the largest massing of Russian troops since the illegal annexation of Crimea". However, none of the fears cited by the western press has translated into reality.
20 October 2021, 18:30 GMT
In October 2021, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin revived the debate over Ukraine's NATO membership and groundlessly accused Russia of "occupying" Crimea and "perpetuating the war in eastern Ukraine". For its part, Moscow warned the US that any expansion of NATO military installations in Ukraine would cross its "red lines".
Last week, 15 GOP House lawmakers called upon Joe Biden to increase the amount of lethal aid for the Kiev government and deploy American forces to the Black Sea. "Russia's behaviour is becoming more aggressive, and it has intensified rhetoric critical of Ukraine on topics ranging from Ukraine's military modernisation and military partnerships to Ukraine's admission into NATO", the congressmen's letter said as quoted
by the New York Post
20 October 2021, 13:00 GMT
US-NATO Drills in the Black Sea
Earlier this month, the US Sixth Fleet announced that its flagship, USS Mount Whitney, was heading to the Black Sea for routine maritime drills with the nation's NATO allies and partners. The Russian Defence Ministry noted on 11 November that US and NATO military activities in the Black Sea region had dramatically increased.
In particular, four NATO reconnaissance planes were detected and escorted by Russian anti-aircraft missile forces. The transatlantic alliance's unscheduled drills in close proximity to Russia's borders have been called a threat to regional stability by Moscow.
11 November 2021, 17:28 GMT
"It makes no military sense for Washington to have its Navy exposed in the Black Sea where the ships could be easily sunk", suggests Dr Roberts. "Maybe the Biden regime is offering bait to the Russians hoping for an incident that will renew European fear of Russia and advance NATO membership for Ukraine".
The root cause of Washington's belligerent rhetoric and brazen maneouvres is that "the US military/security complex needs Russia as an enemy for its power and profit and for its hold on Europe", highlights the former Reagan official. "President Trump threatened this need by saying he intended to restore 'normal relations' with Russia and was removed from office", Dr Roberts adds.
Poland-Belarus Border Crisis
The situation has been exacerbated by the migrant crisis on the Poland-Belarus border, says Dan Lazare. Warsaw has already blamed Russia and Belarus for the influx of migrants, while Ursula von der Leyen described the situation as a "hybrid attack" against the EU. For its part, Washington is mulling over a fresh batch of sanctions against companies and state actors allegedly involved in transferring Middle Eastern and Central Asian refugees to Poland's border. Moscow has dismissed the allegations as false and beyond the pale
, while Minsk explained that it cannot hold the refugees due to the pressure of western sanctions on the Belarusian economy.
"Then there's the migrant crisis, which is further driving up tensions throughout the region", says Lazare. "While the US wants everyone to think it's all Lukashenko's fault, it conveniently forgets its own role in creating the migrant crisis in the first place".
12 November 2021, 15:36 GMT
Lazare notes that the refugee crisis was originally caused by the US-NATO invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, and a proxy war on Syria. In addition, the US created further chaos by backing a coup d'etat in Kiev, the investigative journalist underscores. "Yet now [Washington] insists that the problem is exclusively that of Belarus", he stresses.
"This is outrageous; and yet the Biden administration is incapable of learning from past mistakes", Lazare states.
The investigative journalist insists that conflict must be avoided at all costs, adding that "it's hard not to be pessimistic about how all this will end up".