Heading for a third world war?

THE ANTI-FASCIST rebel region in eastern Ukraine is having great military success at the moment — and this seems to be at least in part due to the reluctance of many of the Kiev conscripts to fight on behalf of a fascist regime.

Nevertheless the western media is screaming that Russia has invaded the region as an explanation of the military failures of the junta and this is the version of events that most westerners are carrying round in their heads now. It is allowing Nato, at its recent summit in Newport, South Wales to accelerate its plans for a massive military build-up in eastern Europe preparatory to a possible strike against Russia. Somehow it feels like 1939 all over again.

Do the Pentagon hawks really feel they can do to Russia what they have done to Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and tried to do to Syria? Such a conflict would have massive repercussions all around the world including the Far East. It would be a third world war, putting the future of the human race at risk.

Those Pentagon hawks are desperate. Their economy is collapsing. Nearly 50 million Americans are living below the poverty line, with 80 per cent of the entire US population living near poverty or below it. The US has no gold reserves and it is running out of energy reserves. Meanwhile the BRICS countries are becoming more economically and politically powerful by the day.

The only trump card the US has left it is massive stock of military hardware and it is using it to hold the future of the world to ransom. They need to be disarmed peacefully and very, very carefully. And we have to counter the Nato lies and propaganda at every turn, especially on Ukraine. For many years now the western powers have tried to pull all the former Soviet republics of eastern Europe closer to the European Union and Nato, with mixed success.

They have had several goes at taking Ukraine. The Yanukovych government was elected by a majority who did not want to become part of the EU. They could see what had become of Greece. They know their own economy would not survive.

But in western Ukraine oligarchs and other wealthy people were eager to embrace the EU with its opportunities for corruption and making vast wealth. They described this as progress and democracy and persuaded a lot of naïve young people to support the Maidan Square demonstrations.

Yanukovych swayed this way and that under pressure but eventually baulked at joining the EU. Maidan Square turned very violent, with snipers shooting both police and demonstrators — a move that can only have been intended to deepen the rifts and lead to a collapse of the government. Yanukovych packed his bags and fled.

The new pro EU government was backed by extremist outright Nazi paramilitaries who quickly set about beating up, kidnapping torturing and murdering any left-wing or anti-EU dissent. They especially targeted the communists in revenge for the victory of 1945. Outside Kiev there was strong resistance to the new regime. Crimea quickly decided it did not want to be part of Ukraine anymore and voted to join the Russian federation. Putin backed this because of the importance of the giant Russian naval base at Sevastopol to Russian defences. But he stopped there, aware of the dangers of giving Nato an excuse to wade into the civil war now raging inside Ukraine. Then came the horrific atrocity at Odessa, where Ukrainian Nazis pursued anti-Kiev protesters into a trade union building, which they then set fire to, murdering at least 48 anti-fascists.

The people of eastern Ukraine, in Donetsk and Lugansk, took this as a signal that it was time to take up arms to defend themselves and to try to break away from Kiev.

A full civil war ensued with the Kiev army, which included many reluctant conscripts, bombing and shelling Donetsk and Lugansk, targeting electricity and water supplies, hospitals and residential districts.

There are also anti-fascists in western Ukraine but they are now forced to keep their heads down. Even so, a large group of mothers staged protests at the conscriptions of their sons.

Ukrainians are tough and courageous people who have been through Nazi rule once and overthrown it and know they can do this again. When they bury their martyrs today they play the old Soviet anthem and raise the hammer and sickle flag.

Can communists, anti-fascists and peacemakers in Ukraine and around the world succeed again in defeating this threat to the human race? We have no choice; we must.