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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Regime change in Ukraine – will Zelensky go?

by our Eastern European Affairs correspondent

Fierce fighting continues all along the front as Ukrainian troops continue their futile efforts to smash through the Russian lines that run from the Donbas to the Black Sea. Russian missiles continue to pound Kiev and other military targets throughout Ukraine whilst the Ukrainians continue their own, largely ineffectual, drone attacks on Russian territory, including Moscow.

The Americans are preparing to send another massive tranche of weapons to the Zelensky regime. Evgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Company who died in a plane crash last week, was buried at a private funeral ceremony in St Petersburg on Tuesday, and Vladimir Putin is preparing for a visit to People’s China for the Belt & Road Forum in October. And a former employee at the old US consulate in Siberia has been accused of spying for the Americans.

Robert Shonov, who worked for the US Consulate General in Vladivostok, has been charged with espionage. Shonov, who was arrested in May, faces up to eight years in jail if convicted of co-operating “on a confidential basis with a foreign state”. Shonov, a Russian citizen, worked at the now-closed US consulate in Vladivostok for more than 25 years. He’s accused of supplying information to the Americans for “material reward” on how Russia’s war effort was affecting public opinion in the run-up to the Russian presidential election next year.

The Americans say the charges are “wholly without merit”. “Russia’s targeting of Mr Shonov under the ‘confidential co-operation’ statute only highlights the increasingly repressive actions the Russian government is taking against its own citizens,” says Matthew Miller, a US State Department spokesperson. He said that Shonov provided services to the US Embassy in Moscow “in strict compliance with Russia’s laws and regulations”.

“We strongly protest the Russian security services’ attempts – furthered by Russia’s state-controlled media – to intimidate and harass our employees,” Miller said. “Shonov’s sole role at the time of his arrest was to compile press summaries from publicly-available Russian media sources.”

In Ukraine the country is under martial law. Opposition parties have been banned and their leaders jailed or forced into hiding and all elections suspended. But some American politicians say their puppet needs to restore his regime’s international standing by seeking a new presidential mandate. Vladimir Zelensky has responded saying that a presidential election could, indeed, be held next year. But only if the Western powers shared the cost. Whether |Zelensky will still be around to stand is another matter. Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson thinks not.

“Zelensky very well could be ousted in a coup within the next three to four weeks, because of the great disgruntlement among troops on the eastern front,” Johnson told Redacted News host Clayton Morris in a podcast last weekend. Johnson said that the way the conflict is going, Ukraine’s survival as a country was “in great doubt”. Kiev is already entirely dependent on the West, and its needs will only grow whilst its capabilities will continue to shrink, Johnson said.

Johnson believes the US plan was to trap Russia in an unwinnable war and induce regime change in Moscow. Instead, “that’s going to happen to Ukraine” and Washington will have to figure out how to “back away” from the conflict, because it has massively underestimated Russia’s economic and military strength.

A few weeks ago another former US intelligence officer, Scott Ritter, said more or less the same thing on the George Galloway show on YouTube. Ritter said the likelihood of a military coup was growing with each destroyed Ukrainian brigade. “We could be reaching a Kerensky 1917 moment, where the military just says ‘We’re done’,” Ritter said.