Australian aid to Ukraine: False narratives and US hegemony

May 3, 2024
Flags of Australia and Ukraine. Linen flags close-up.

On Sunday 28 April, Defence Minister Richard Marles announced $100 million in military aid to Ukraine. It was said to raise Australia’s support to $1 billion in support of Ukraine’s attempt to counter “Russia’s illegal and immoral invasion”.

I have hitherto addressed the issue of the “morality”, at least, of Russia’s invasion: Ukraine: The other side of the story, 25 November, 2022.

Recall these matters:

  • 1991 onwards, the advance eastward of NATO, contrary to US assurances to Gorbachev;
  • 2014, the CIA provoked coup d’etat of the pro-Russian Ukraine government, the Maidan coup;
  • 2015, Minsk agreement and failure of Ukraine government to abide by same (bearing in mind Angela Merkel’s and Francois Hollande’s confession that it was all a deception of Russia designed to give Kyiv time to prepare for war);
  • continuing attacks by the ‘notoriously Neo-Nazi’ Azov Regiment on Russian speaking citizens, ethnic Russians, of the eastern and southern oblasts in Ukraine; and
  • Ukraine’s threat to join NATO and become a forward military base on Russia’s doorstep.

The war commenced on February 24, 2022. That Russia had legitimate concerns over its security cannot be doubted. One only has to consider the boot being on the other foot, and recall the 19th Century US concerns giving rise to the Monroe Doctrine, whereby European powers were warned off the Western Hemisphere. Then of course there was the Cuban Missile Crisis.

In his announcement Defence Minister Marles added that “Australia remains committed to supporting Ukraine to resolve the conflict on its terms”. It would be of interest to know what “its terms” are. Does Marles know what those “terms” are?

It is common knowledge that in April 2022, Russia and Ukraine were close to an agreement based on Ukrainian neutrality, i.e. non-enlargement of NATO. That agreement was however scuppered by US and UK pressure on Ukraine with the expressed intent of ‘weakening’ Russia. No bones were made concerning this. In April 2022 US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin said that the goal in Ukraine is “to see Russia weakened”. Has Marles informed himself as to what the proposed terms of the agreement under consideration in April 2022 were and whether Russia and Ukraine are still prepared to resolve the matter on those terms?

I, for one, am concerned at the way our government and press are informing the people of Australia about this conflict. The false narratives are alarming. We do not have a well-informed populace.

To start with we were told that Russia’s invasion was “unprovoked”. I needn’t address that. Then we were told that the war is essential to stop Putin from swallowing parts of Europe. There are two issues here. The first is that it is Vladimir Putin alone, and not the Russian people, who is acting. That is simply not the case. All the evidence indicates that approximately 80% of the Russian people are backing Putin and the war. The second issue is that there is no basis at all that Russia has designs on Europe. Nothing has come out of Russia to suggest that Russia intends to subject France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Romania – wherever, in Europe – to Russian control. It’s a fantasy.

Then a point is made that Russian attacks are focussing on Ukraine’s energy facilities and infrastructure. The underlying suggestion is that this is heinous behaviour. Quite frankly, that is what war is about! To so focus is to limit the opponent’s capacity to conduct war. I am reminded of the Dambusters in WWII.

Marles should be considering the facts. The fact is that Ukraine has suffered horrendous troop and civilian losses. There are serious questions as to replacement manpower. Its economy is in ruins. On top of all that, Ukraine is losing territory; and that is despite the billions that have already been afforded to it by the West. Then there is the fact that compromise appears to be readily achievable. Apart from the neutrality, some territorial concessions appear reasonable. The Crimea was always Russian, and the Donbass, similarly, clearly had and has a strong Russian component. It is ethnically, linguistically, and culturally Russian.

I do not doubt that most Australians would want to see Australia contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine at the end of this war. I do however doubt that most Australians support Australia contributing to the funding of a war which cannot be won, when all that is happening is more death and more destruction and more profits for arms manufacturers, viz. Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and General Electric. Nor would Australians wish to do anything which might escalate matters towards a nuclear showdown.

Please have a re-think Richard. We have got better things to do with our limited assets than support a war designed to maintain US global hegemony.


Pearls & Irritations recommends:

Marking 10 years of the Russo-Ukraine War

Ukraine: the war that went wrong

More evidence that the West sabotaged peace In Ukraine

The US plan to kill more Ukrainians



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