Why the Russian Federation Recognized the Independence Movements in the Donbas

Ajamu Baraka, BAR editor and columnist

23 Feb 2022


Black Agenda Report

Recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics is a direct result of U.S. efforts to contain Russian economically and militarily.

“Minsk, Minsk, Minsk,” they cried after Russia recognized Donetsk and Luhansk. But those Western diplomats and pundits did not hear those of us in the anti-war, pro-peace and anti-imperialist movements who insisted that Minsk II was the only conceivable way out of the crisis!  

There will be reams of words attempting to provide a coherent analysis of the manufactured crisis dramatically unfolding in Ukraine, which took another unanticipated turn when Russia extended recognition to the Peoples’ Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in the territory referred to as the Donbas in Eastern Ukraine. 

I will not add to that mountain of ink because, for me, the story is relatively simple. I have argued since 2015 that it was greed informed by miscalculations that drove the U.S. — with the support of European capital salivating from prospect of profits generated by gaining full control of the Ukrainian economy through the European Association agreement — to decide to overthrow the government of Viktor Yanukovych when he turned to Russia instead of surrendering Ukrainian sovereignty to U.S. and European capital. 

This was the genesis of the crisis. For U.S. policymakers it did not matter that the coup government was made up of literal neo-Nazis and extremist white supremacists and antisemitic ultra-nationalists from the neo-Nazi Svoboda party — the National Socialist Party of Ukraine. 

Nor was there any concern that one of the former commanders of the Azov Battalion, a violent right-wing gang that was merged into the Ukrainian National Guard and is now being trained by the British, said that Ukraine’s mission is to “lead in a final crusade … against the Semite-led Untermenschen” (sub-humans). 

No concern because aligning with rightist elements in order to advance the economic and geostrategic interests of the U.S. state and capitalist class behind the backs of the U.S. public is nothing new. That is why it is so ironic, or perhaps contradictory, that while Democratic Party activists are mobilized to struggle against the far-right in the U.S., Biden’s Ukrainian policies are affirming once again that the neoliberal right does not mind aligning with naked fascism to advance the imperial interests of capital.  

From rightist Islamic forces to right-wing apartheid state of Israel, to anti-democratic monarchs of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), there is usually never a state too odious for the U.S. to deal with as long as there was the possibility of a buck to be made. 

That is why it is almost surreal to read U.S. propaganda messages that still frame U.S. intentions in themes that suggest a benevolent character to U.S. behavior — and getting away with it! And even among African/Black radicals who should know better, instead of educating Africans on what was in play in Ukraine with the expansion of the white supremacist NATO structure, the gangster move being made on Ukraine in order for U.S. capital to continue to assert control over the European market, and the crude attempt to divert attention away from the failures of Biden’s domestic policies — some Africans, along with elements of the white left, were more interested in having abstract discussions on the class nature of the Russian state and economy — as if there was anything to debate there! …. https://bit.ly/3vuF8ax

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