In the first twelve months of the war in Ukraine (up to end of January 2023) the estimated number of people who died directly due to the conflict is over 300,000.  This includes soldiers and civilians. 

Vladimir Putin, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Joe Biden, Rishi Sunak, European Union and NATO are steadfastly opposed to any action that could end the war.  They want continuity.  They also desire escalation.  

King Charles and President Zelenskyy, 8th February 2023

A couple of days ago (8th February 2023) professional actor and khaki cosplayer Zelenskyy continued his overseas tour with a visit to UK where he met unelected head of state Charles and spoke in Westminster Hall to a gooey-eyed audience of British politicians.  In his address he asked for military planes.  He has already received tanks but planes can cause much more damage and raise the kill count considerably. 

He did not ask for diplomacy to end the war.  He sought assistance to “win” the war.  “We know freedom will win.  We really know that victory will change the world.  The United Kingdom is marching with us towards, I think, the most important victory in our lifetimes.”  An actor read a bad script.  300,000 bodies produced by a war fought with tanks and infantry.  A war where civilian buildings are destroyed by weaponry that should be in museums.  A war where conscripted fighters battle and counter battle over the same destroyed towns.  A war where not one civilian in Ukraine is winning.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine suits the arms industry.  Flow of weaponry to Ukraine from NATO countries, gratis, means governments (in Europe and North America) spend money on replacements.  Arms industry’s profits stagnate if there is no war: The weapons have to be used. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine suits the fuel industry.  The first statements from politicians in NATO countries after the invasion were declarations of intent for higher fuel bills.  Repeatedly over the next year they blamed price rises for customers on the conflict.  Every time they made that claim they lied.  The most devastating price rises are in UK and are not due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; it is straightforward exploitative price-gouging and is supported and assisted by Tory government.  Governments of Norway and USA collaborated to stop flow of gas from Russia to Germany by damaging a pipeline via an explosion; fuel prices rose in Germany as a consequence.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine suits agribusiness.  Ukraine is a large exporter of wheat.  “Investors,” otherwise known as thieves, seek control of the country’s economy – it’s income, it’s land.  It is being handed to them by the country’s president. 

On 23rd January (2023) Zelenskyy delivered a speech to USA’s National Association of State Chambers (NASC).  NASC’s stated mission is “to connect, and leverage state chambers of commerce so they can unite and mobilize the collective impact of employers in the promotion of free enterprise.”  On post-war Ukraine Zelenskyy told NASC

It is already clear that this will be the largest economic project of our time in Europe.  It is obvious that American business can become the locomotive that will once again push forward global economic growth.  We have already managed to attract attention and have cooperation with such giants of the international financial and investment world as Black Rock, J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs.  Everyone can become a big business by working with Ukraine.  In all sectors – from weapons and defence to construction, from communications to agriculture, from transport to IT, from banks to medicine.” – Zelenskyy speech to NASC, 23rd January 2023

Last year Ukrainian government destroyed workers’ rights, blocked trade union representation and handed exploitative power to employers.  Serhiy Guz explained that

In March, the Ukrainian parliament passed wartime legislation that severely curtailed the ability of trade unions to represent their members, introduced ‘suspension of employment’ (meaning employees are not fired, but their work and wages are suspended) and gave employers the right to unilaterally suspend collective agreements.  People who work in small and medium-sized firms – those which have up to 250 employees – would, in effect, be removed from the country’s existing labour laws and covered by individual contracts negotiated with their employer.  More than 70% of the Ukrainian workforce would be affected by this change.” – Serhiy Guz for OpenDemocracy, 20th May 2022

Zelenskyy is very wealthy.  His wealth was accrued recently.  It is not a consequence of income from his acting career nor from his salary as president.

The reception he received in Westminster Hall, statements made by MPs in the House Of Commons and public comments by politicians were adulatory.  He was greeted and applauded as a hero.  Prime Minister Sunak enjoyed some larping with him.

Zelenskyy Sunak
President Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Sunak

Proclamations of glorious victory and FREEDOM were declared.  Nominative indeterminate Tory MP James Cleverly spoke on behalf of all enemies of critical thinking. 

Cleverly’s party colleague Tobias Ellwood’s enthusiasm for “defence spending” never wavers and he expressed a keenness to enhance BAE Systems’ profits. 

Labour leader Keir Starmer and his front bench colleagues were supportive without nuance of continuation of the war.  In a ugly display during Prime Ministers Questions he became an assimilation of several characters from Dr. Strangelove as he sought to demonstrate his conservative principles.  He was so scared of being labelled an opponent of freedom or a prevaricator on Putin.  As “leader of the opposition” the only concept that Starmer is opposed to is being opposed to anything. 

Absence of critical thinking, of nuance, of contemplation, of preference for factual accuracy and of basic intelligence infused all commentary from conservative and liberal voices on Zelenskyy’s visit to UK.  The disease of conformity was exhaustively infectious.  It mirrored the disease caught by every politician and every servant journalist when the queen died: Queen’s death, king’s accession: Disease infests politicians and media.

If someone dares to try to assess the war in Ukraine via use of intelligence or via concern for people’s lives then that person is vilified as an enemy of democracy and freedom.  There is a particular grotesque irony in the accusation of enemy of democracy.  Zelenskyy removed democracy from Ukraine rapidly and completely.

Zelenskyy Sunak 2
“We’ll make £300,000,000 out of those 300,000.  That’s real freedom.”

Profits for the huge international arms, fuel and agribusiness industries trump everything.  Putin, Zelenskyy and NATO do not notice the absence of 300,000 lives, and many thousands more to follow.  Wave the flags, sing the anthems, applaud the leaders, praise the fighters and then enjoy the money. 

‘Apotheosis Of War’ by Vasily Vereshchagin, 1871

The war in Ukraine is being directed to last a long time and, when it ends, Ukraine will be handed to land-grabbing, public service-grabbing exploitative wealth grabbers.

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