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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


by our European Affairs correspondent

RUSSIAN TROOPS are continuing their steady advance along the front in eastern Ukraine with the cities of Severodonetsk and Lisichansk in the Donbas virtually surrounded by the Russians and their Donbas allies. Severodonetsk has almost entirely been liberated. All the bridges leading to the Ukrainian lines have been blown. The Ukrainians are still holding out in the Azot chemical plant that they’ve made their stronghold but their position is hopeless.

The Russians have agreed to open a humanitarian corridor for trapped civilians to leave the besieged plant but what’s left of the garrison has been told to surrender or face certain death.

Further south the Donbas militia is preparing for a major offensive following a merciless Ukrainian artillery barrage of residential areas in Donetsk and other locations across the people’s republic.

Denis Pushilin, the leader of the Donetsk Peoples’ Republic has called for additional Russian forces to help silence the Ukrainian guns that have “crossed all lines” with their barbaric targetting of residential areas.

On Monday a Ukrainian shell hit a maternity hospital in Donetsk and women in labour were evacuated to the building’s basement. Thanks to the prompt actions of the staff, casualties were avoided in an attack that provoked a rare rebuke from United Nations.

“We’ve seen the media reports about a maternity hospital in Donetsk. This is extremely troubling,” said UN spokeswoman Stephane Dujarric. “Any attack on civilian infrastructure, especially health facilities, is a clear violation of international law”.

Though Zelensky still talks about victory being just around the corner Ukraine’s mounting casualties tell another story. So does the decision of the Kiev regime to send its “Territorial Defence” forces to the front line.

On 12th June Zelensky signed a law allowing the Ukrainian command to use territorial defence fighters to perform tasks in areas of military operations.

The Territorial Defence is a paramilitary structure created in the wake of Euromaidan. At the beginning of 2022, its brigades included about two million fighters.

The so-called Teroborona units consist of Maidan activists, nationalists and veterans of the war in Donbas. These are not professional soldiers just civilians with some basic training that, in the past, were mainly used as local gunmen serving the interests of local business.

Though the Teroborona were exempt from conscription some were sent to the front when the conflict began. But they were neither technically nor psychologically prepared for real combat. Dozens of Ukrainian units complained about the huge losses and lack of weapons and training, pointing out that they were sent to the front lines illegally.

The point has not been lost with the masters of war of the NATO alliance who are more than hinting that the imperialist arsenals are not bottomless pits for the Ukrainians to plunder.

First it was Henry Kissinger and a few op-eds in mainstream American journals. Now NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is openly saying that peace in Ukraine is possible only if Kiev makes territorial concessions though NATO wil help the Kiev regime to pay the lowest price.

Now even Josep Borrell, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, who told us in April that “this war will be won on the battlefield” while announcing an additional €500 million in EU military assistance to Kiev, is also having second thoughts.

Asked whether Brussels should help Ukraine directly militarily, Borrell stressed that he doesn’t “engage in theology”, and reiterated the need for EU aid to reach Ukrainian forces as quickly as possible, “because they are not waging a conflict with banknotes but with guns”.

“Having said that, all conflicts end with a ceasefire and negotiations, and it is necessary for Ukraine to be able to approach this phase from a position of strength”.