Canada Pushing Unwinnable War Harms Ukrainians

The Liberals and elements of the dominant media are criticizing the Conservatives for their insufficient commitment to Ukraine. But it’s those who have promoted the NATO proxy war that have damaged the country.

The prime minister and Liberal ministers have denounced the Conservatives for not voting for the Canada-Ukraine free trade deal. They are seeking to paint Pierre Poilievre as not serious or influenced by Donald Trump, which may be true. Trudeau stated, “the real story is the rise of a right-wing, American MAGA-influenced thinking that has made Canadian Conservatives – who used to be among the strongest defenders of Ukraine, I’ll admit it – turn their backs on something Ukraine needs in its hour of need.”

The Conservatives countered days of criticism by seeking to amend a foreign affairs committee report on Ukraine to add a call for Canada to send more arms.

Irrespective of the merits of the trade deal, the notion that NATO proxy warriors are ‘supporting’ Ukraine simply doesn’t hold up. With Washington, Ottawa has pushed a client state to fight a horrific and ever more obviously unwinnable war, as a series of recent revelations underscore.

As Reuters reports the Ukrainian military is having increasing difficulty finding fighters with many seeking increasingly elaborate ways of bypassing conscription. As a result, they’ve largely run out of new men, which is forcing troops to stay at the front for longer periods. Morale is collapsing.

As recently confirmed by the head of the Ukrainian delegation in Ukraine-Russia peace talks this could have been avoided if the US and UK hadn’t scuttled a deal in the spring of 2022. David Arakhamia, who is now parliamentary leader of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People party, said Russia was prepared to end the war if Ukraine agreed to neutrality, but UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Zelensky not to sign the peace deal. Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Vladimir Putin and others have echoed this account of the initial peace negotiations.

Arakhamia’s revelations confirm that Ukraine is a Western client state. Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the Maidan protests that greatly exacerbated Ukraine’s subordination to the West. An elected, if corrupt, president that drew support largely from the Russian speaking east and south of the ‘cleft country’ was deposed in a violent foreign-promoted insurrection. Recent revelations from the trial of the Maidan Massacre confirm that far right forces shot Maidan protesters. University of Ottawa professor Ivan Katchanovski noted, “Maidan massacre trial verdict confirms that Maidan snipers massacred many Maidan protesters and police and shot at ARD and BBC TV journalists.” The massacre led to the ouster of elected president Viktor Yanukovych.

Canada played a significant part in stoking opposition to Yanukovych who promoted Ukrainian neutrality. Immediately after he won an election, which Canadian observers found to be fair, Ottawa began to undermine him. Canadian officials’ criticism of Yanukovych grew and early in the three-month Maidan protest movement, foreign minister John Baird visited Maidan square with Ukrainian Canadian Congress head Paul Grod to support the demonstrators. At the height of the protests opposition forces, including the far-right C14, used the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv, which was immediately adjacent to Maidan square, as a staging ground for a week in their bid to topple Yanukovych. After Yanukovych was ousted, Baird immediately “welcomed the appointment of a new government”, saying, “the appointment of a legitimate government is a vital step forward in restoring democracy and normalcy to Ukraine.” But the country’s constitutional provisions dealing with impeachment or replacing a president were flagrantly violated.

The coup spurred right-wing violence, Russia’s intervention in Crimea and a war that left 14,000 dead in the east. The smoldering conflict contributed to Russia’s February 2022 invasion, which contravenes international law but was provoked by NATO’s efforts to turn Ukraine into a Western bulwark on Russia’s border.

Ten days ago, defence minister Bill Blair declared that Canada would support Ukraine “for as long as it takes, with whatever it takes.” Last week Ottawa announced another $60 million in arms, including over 10,000 assault guns and 9 million rounds of ammunition, for Ukraine.

Even if NATO maintains the political support for continuing to pump in weapons, there’s little chance Ukraine will regain most of the territory it has lost. There’s a greater chance it will lose more territory.

The country would have been far better off to accept the deal offered a month into the invasion (or adhere to the Minsk II agreement prior to the invasion). But the Anglosphere prioritized weakening Russia so they bolstered ultra-nationalist Ukrainian forces wanting to fight. Tens of thousands of dead later Ukraine has little prospect of garnering the deal that was previously on offer. It is also far more dependent on outside forces.

For Ukrainians the situation is a disaster. As an Economist headline recently admitted. “Putin seems to be winning the war in Ukraine – for now”.  

Yves Engler’s latest book is Stand on Guard for Whom?: A People’s History of the Canadian Military

7 thoughts on “Canada Pushing Unwinnable War Harms Ukrainians”

  1. Canada should elect someone to replace Trudeau, someone that is not a warmonger and not too close to the USA. It would not be a good idea for it to bring back Harper. He is a lot like W.

  2. Thankfully, Ukraine is winning the war against Russian fascism and that KGB clown in the Kremlin.

    1. Winning the war? So many have died, and Russia just wants a land bridge. It wants water and defenses for Crimea. It’s the most senseless war. If Ukraine had just left Crimea alone and not tried to join NATO, it never would have happened.

    1. Two ways to make money:

      1. work hard or innovate
      2. Work a government project

      And it’s so so much easier, far more profitable and less risky, to go with number 2.

      Profit from the war. Profit from the reconstruction. Profit from the bribes and influence. Just keep that government money flowing.

      If the money stops, terrorists win… or something. It needn’t make sense; voters don’t really care.

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