THE US is still pushing its narrative that the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is imminent and have now told the United Nations it has credible information about the possibility of serious human rights violations should Russia invade Ukraine. It’s been ‘imminent’ for more than two weeks now, so are we sure they know what the word means?
We should all be deeply concerned about human rights violations, no matter where they happen, and I for one am certainly uneasy about the US talking about human rights violations when their police forces kill an average of three people per day, and, rather significantly, more Black people per population than other races. A report by policeviolencereport.org found that Black people were more likely to be unarmed (35 percent) and less likely to be threatening someone when killed (36 percent), yet were more likely to be killed by police (27 percent). And fewer than two percent of the officers who kill are charged with a crime.
While this may be just dandy as far as Ms “shoot first and ask questions later” Angela Rayner is concerned, she will no doubt still be condemning Russia; but the killings by police are just one part of that country’s terrible record on human rights. The US leads the world in the percentage of people in prison – about two million if you were wondering, which is a 500% increase since the eighties. And again, Black men are six times as likely to be incarcerated as white men and Latinos are 2.5 times as likely.
Should we even mention their support for countries such as Saudi Arabia and Israel, to name but two? So do forgive me for my eyeroll when that country talks about human rights.
As for Russia and Ukraine, after phone calls between French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin, there is said to be an agreement ‘in principle’ that Putin will meet with US President Biden, but only if Russia does not invade its neighbour, the White House said. US officials have been saying for a few weeks now that intelligence suggests Russia is ready to launch a military operation, which Moscow has repeatedly denied.
The meeting may now be jeopardised by a move by Putin late yesterday when he signed a presidential decree recognising the independence of two separatist regions – the Donetsk and Luhansk territories – in eastern Ukraine. Earlier yesterday, the rebel leaders of the self-declared republics had made an appeal to Putin for Moscow to recognise them.
Yesterday morning CBS News said the US had intelligence that Russian commanders on the ground had received orders to proceed with an invasion and were now making specific battle plans on how to attack. The report said an invasion would begin with a cyber-assault followed by a campaign of missile and airstrikes, before ground units attempted to take the capital Kyiv.
And an unnamed intelligence official told CNN that close to 75% of Russia’s conventional forces were now poised at the Ukrainian border. The concentration of Russian forces within striking distance of Ukraine was highly unusual, the source said.
Ukraine contradicts US
This, however, is contradicted by Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov, who said an attack “tomorrow or the day after tomorrow” was unlikely as no Russian ‘strike groups’ had as yet formed near the border.
Satellite images have shown movements by Russian troops at the border with Ukraine, though these have yet to be verified and are also inconclusive. US company Maxar Technologies, which has been monitoring Russia’s military build-up along the border with Ukraine for weeks, has released new images suggesting several large movements of battle groups around the military garrison at Soloti, in Russia.
The images, which were released on Sunday, and which have not been independently verified, showed most combat units and support equipment at Soloti had departed, though the company has also said extensive vehicle tracks and some convoys of armoured equipment were seen throughout the area.
“This new activity represents a change in the pattern of the previously observed deployments of battle groups [tanks, armoured personnel carriers, artillery and support equipment],” Maxar said in a press release. They also said a number of new field deployments have been seen northwest of the Russian city of Belgorod.
Speaking on CNN, Secretary Antony Blinken said, “Everything we are seeing suggests that this is dead serious” and “We are on the brink of an invasion”.
It may be that the US is correct, and for all of our sakes I hope they are not, but it is their own actions which cause so many of us to doubt their words. We all remember the lie of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ in Iraq so forgive us for being sceptical about their warmongering noises now and very sceptical that they are concerned about the human rights of anybody.
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Socialist always. Journalist and ESL teacher while travelling the world in better days.
Times change, my values have not.
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