The leaders of France, Germany and Russia and the head of the current regime in the Ukraine are meeting in Minsk, Belarus, since 10 February to discuss the sharply escalating crisis in the Ukraine. This crisis is a direct product of the deliberate strategies employed by US imperialism and its European allies to cut off Ukraine from its close neighbor Russia and thereby weaken Russia, as they had done earlier with other former republics of the Soviet Union in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The current crisis began a year ago when, with the direct backing of US imperialism and its allies, fascist and pro-Western forces in the Ukraine unleashed anarchy and turmoil there, forcing the downfall of the elected government of Yanukovych in February 2014. The fascist regime of Petroshenko was then installed with the full support of the US and other European powers. However, this coup d’etat was opposed and resisted by people in the southern and eastern regions of the Ukraine. The people of the Crimea voted to go over to Russia, while the people of the Donbas region, who have very close cultural links with Russia, have been fighting for independence from the illegal Kiev regime since then. With the Petroshenko regime using brutal force to put down the people opposing him there, the whole region has been turned into a war zone. Thousands of civilians and militia personnel have died in the last few months, and whole towns and cities have been turned into rubble.
Blaming the resistance on Russia, US imperialism has led an all-sided offensive against Russia and the government of Vladimir Putin. They have imposed crippling sanctions and manipulated global oil prices in order to destabilize Russia’s economy and bring it to its knees. However, they have not succeeded in bringing about Russia’s collapse or international isolation. Moreover, despite the support given by the imperialists to the Kiev regime’s military offensive, the armed resistance in the southern and eastern regions of the Ukraine has only gained strength in recent months. The key airport in the city of Donetsk has been retaken by the resistance fighters and thousands of troops of the Kiev regime have been surrounded in Debaltseve. The Kiev regime’s attempt to impose military conscription in an effort to throw more forces into the war has been resisted by the people of the Ukraine. The Ukrainian economy is also fast deteriorating.
The setbacks they are facing have led to some dissension in the camp of the imperialists who had encouraged and organized the coup in the Ukraine. The US and British governments are talking loudly about a military solution by providing more “defensive” weapons and “lethal force” for the military campaign of the Kiev regime. German Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande, on the other hand, have taken the initiative to hold another round of diplomatic negotiations directly with Russian President Putin at Minsk. The peoples of these countries on the European continent have very vivid memories of the catastrophic destruction suffered by thm during the previous two world wars which were ignited by conflicts in Europe.
Nevertheless, it is US imperialism that has been leading the campaign for engineering “regime change” in the countries of the former Soviet Union, drawing them into the NATO camp and turning them against Russia, using every trick in the book. US imperialism cannot tolerate that Russia has become something of an obstacle to its plans to establish unrivalled domination over Europe and Asia. It is deeply resentful of Russian support to the governments of Iran and Syria in their struggle against US imperialist pressure and aggression. In its drive to consolidate and extend its hegemony over all continents and regions of the world, US imperialism has destabilized one country after the other, invaded and trampled on their sovereignty, and left vast areas in utter ruin, including in countries that were once considered its allies. The once prosperous and industrialised Ukraine has been turned into a huge battlefield on account of US imperialism’s striving to extend its domination. The working class and people of India must draw lessons from what is going on. We must never allow traitorous elements in the ruling class to tie up our country more closely with the designs of an imperialist power that has no hesitation in laying waste to whole countries and regions in pursuit of its own interests.