|Whilst today the British state has disengaged from the EU and is now in lock-step with the US it is probably now among European countries the most supportive of Ukraine joining in with the EU, NATO and Western Europe. Whilst this irony following Brexit cannot be lost, it also goes along with the British state and its media being also one of the most hostile to Russia in Europe.
Of course, at the time of Ukraine's independence in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Britain's role was then as part of the EU. The US with Britain as their main ally in the EU, moved to break up the Russian Federation and expand eastwards. As such, Britain has always been interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine from this standpoint of dividing Ukraine from its close relations with Russia. These close relations of Ukraine to Russia spanned centuries and were based on vast areas in Ukraine speaking the same language as Russia and with close cultural ties to all Russians.
The aim of the US, Britain and the European powers was not just the liberalisation of Ukrainian state enterprises. It was not just that their private monopolies could try and grab the vast Ukrainian agricultural resources and industries, but equally the aim was geopolitical division of the Russian Federation, to weaken the largest country in the world in the interests of US domination. British European Minster, David Lidington, spelt this out in a statement in 2011 when he said, Ukraine matters “as a growing market for British goods and services; as an investment destination; as an energy transit route and as an energy supplier”. He continued that this is so “because its relationship with the European Union is a test case for the EU’s entire strategy towards its Neighbourhood”. In other words, the EU's strategy towards Russia!
Much has rightly been written about the so-called colour revolutions in Eastern Europe and in Ukraine to effect regime change in favour of the US and its western allies. However, it was the Maidan coup in 2014 in Ukraine which finally brought about a Ukrainian regime hostile to Russia. This is a regime on Russia's borders that would engage with the US, Britain, the EU and with NATO in their preoccupation to isolate and threaten Russia. At the same time, the nature of this stateless and dangerous situation caused by the coup divided Ukraine, and the peoples of Donetsk and Lugansk in the Donbas region declared their independent republics through their own referenda, and the people of Crimea also voted to secede from Ukraine to the Russian Federation.
Of course, people of the world know to their cost that divide and rule, was Britain's notorious hallmark in its brutal colonisation of the world, as they divided the people of Ireland, India and Africa in pursuit of world domination in the previous centuries. Today, the British ruling elite still pursue this dangerous policy in their illusions that it will “make Global Britain a force for good in the world”.
Britain's role prior to the Maidan coup is revealing. For example, posts of the British government show that in 2010 “the British Military Advisory and Training Team” started “training officers and senior non-commissioned officers” in the Ukrainian army. This was a move which clearly showed Britain's role in attempting to subvert the army leadership to its own outlook. In 2013, prior to the 2014 coup, the British Embassy in Ukraine launched a project “explaining the benefits for Ukraine of closer European integration” with the aim of determining “how Ukrainians perceive the EU and how one could raise their awareness of the benefits of signing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement”.
It was also in this context, as one of many examples show, that in 2013 David Lidington met with a pro-EU opposition Ukrainian Party leader, former boxer Vitali Klitschko. The Minister claimed: “The British government remains a firm supporter of Ukraine’s EU aspirations. We want to see them make the necessary reforms to allow the Association Agreement to progress to signature. Mr Klitschko knows that Ukraine has a lot of work to do, and we discussed the role that a pro-active opposition (our emphasis) can play in promoting the implementation of reforms that benefit all citizens.”
This was particularly significant because it was not only empty promises of “benefits of signing up to path of joining the EU” but the aim was also at inciting the opposition politicians against the government of that time and creating illusions among the Ukrainian people. The elected President Viktor Yanukovych of the time as well as the many in the government were opposed to the liberalisation of the Ukrainian economy as a condition of joining the EU and to the hostility of Britain and the EU towards Russia. In 2013, the Ukrainian President was also pursuing closer ties with Russia rather than the EU. It was this contradiction between the interests of the US/EU and the President that was the spark for the US/EU-led Maidan coup in 2014.
photo: February 17, 2022, action at the US embassy in Kyiv that includes the participation of Cuba solidarity activists
Since that time, successive British governments have continued to send troops, military advisers and trainers to Ukraine. Most alarmingly, British governments helped integrate neo-Nazis into the Ukrainian army and state and fuelled Russophobia in Ukraine and in Britain. Last year, in a provocation against Russia, Britain's HMS Defender entered the territorial waters of Crimea, part of the Russian Federation, a hostile move that was aimed at inciting Ukraine against Russia in the Crimea. That was followed by a deal with Ukraine on HMS Defender in Odessa to supply eight new missile vessels to Ukraine, with two of those constructed in Britain. Britain also agreed to "assist in building naval bases around the Azov Sea and the Black Sea regions" with Babcock International, a British Marine, Nuclear, Land and Aviation arms manufacturer "as the prime industrial partner".
Presenting the actions of the US, Britain and others in NATO in continuing to arm Ukraine in its conflict with Russia as peaceful, unprovocative and supportive of a free, sovereign independent and friendly country and choosing their own future is a historical fraud of the first order. This can never be the road to peace.