A new phase of warfare threatens

An article by Dominique Ferré in the Tribune des travailleurs (France)

The clouds are gathering in the sky over Ukraine. The melting of the snow has prompted each side to prepare its offensive.

On the Russian side, after having sent 300,000 « mobilised » citizens into battle, decimated by the fighting, Putin’s regime plans to mobilise 400,000 « volunteers ». It has deployed nuclear weapons on the territory of the Republic of Belarus. As the head of an oligarchic regime that has nothing to envy its Russian and Ukrainian neighbours, Belarusian President Lukashenko is worried about this. An ally of Putin, he has not committed his troops to the conflict, aware of the Belarusian people’s deep hostility to the war. On 31 March, he declared: « Nuclear fires lurk on the horizon”, and called for talks « without prior negotiations ». This proposal was immediately rejected in Kiev and Moscow.

On the Ukrainian side, the heavy and offensive weapons promised by NATO arrived. On 27 March, eighteen German Leopard 2 tanks were delivered, according to the German Defence Minister, in addition to the fourteen delivered by Poland, as well as British Challenger tanks. They will be followed by dozens more from the Spanish ‘socialist’ government and, of course, the United States. Not to mention Polish and Slovakian fighter planes.

Confirming that it is mentoring the Ukrainian army, the US military has resurrected the old card game technique to teach Ukrainian troops to distinguish the names and functions of the various war machines, reports the New York Times (28 March). And, surprise, some of the cards correspond to equipment that, for the time being, the NATO states have said they do not want to deliver to Zelensky, such as the American Black Hawk helicopter or the French Leclerc tank. American journalist Jonathan Guyer notes: « The Biden administration is showing a growing commitment to Ukraine. Yet participants in the January White House conference call told me that the White House has been at odds with the strongest advocates of arming Ukraine. (…) There don’t seem to be any plans, for example, to give Ukraine nuclear weapons » (29 March). For the moment at least… but for how long? Let us repeat: the workers of all countries have no interest in the continuation of this imperialist war. The only beneficiary is the capitalist class. It says so with total cynicism in its newspapers: « International tensions are great for the arms industries. But wars are incomparable providers of orders. The one in Ukraine is no exception. Not only are weapons delivered in abundance to Kiev, but anxious countries, eager to strengthen their defence, also rush to the usual suppliers or not. In this game, the United States is crushing the competition: in 2022, its arms sales increased by half.«