Dangerous Phase Shift in Ukraine: From Proxy War to World War III?

On the eve of the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, the phase shift now in progress under Global NATO in Ukraine makes nuclear war far more likely. On Sept. 8, the monthly Ukraine Contact Group Meeting, held at the United States Air Base in Ramstein, Germany and personally presided over by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, pledged to supply Kiev with far more deadly precision and long range weaponry. The same day, Secretary of State Tony Blinken made a surprise visit to Kiev, accompanied by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, infamous for her role in backing the 2014 coup on the Maidan, where they promised to provide billions more in money and military supplies.

Timed with this was the eastern offensive by the Ukrainian armed forces, which NATO networks have loudly proclaimed as their “victory”. From U.S. Senator Mark Warner to the Bild tabloid in Germany, they openly brag that the offensive would not have been possible without the intelligence and assistance on the ground provided by the U.S., the U.K., and other NATO allies.

Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter warned, in a Sept. 9 assessment, that after the initial phase of the conflict (the fighting around Kiev), followed by the liberation of the Donbas region, we have now entered the third phase of the war. “What this means is that the current Ukrainian counteroffensive should not be viewed as an extension of the phase two battle, but rather the initiation of a new third phase which is not a Ukrainian-Russian conflict, but a NATO-Russian conflict. The Ukrainian battleplan has ‘Made in Brussels’ [NATO headquarters] stamped all over it.” Nonetheless, Scott Ritter believes that, in the end, “Russia will win”. But in the meantime, there will be many “more dead Ukrainian and Russian forces, more dead civilians, and more destroyed equipment”.

That doesn’t seem to bother NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He has insisted on various occasions over the past week that the populations of NATO members countries must “suffer” to défend democracy (by which he means the West’s rules-based order), but “the price the Ukrainians are paying is measured in lives”. At the same time, we have heard nothing from him or his co-strategists about the need to organize a negotiated settlement to the conflict… Instead, they are promoting an escalation, that can only lead to a third world war.

But from outside the transatlantic world, NATO’s insistence on using Ukraine to fight a proxy war with Russia, is accelerating moves to put into place an alternative financial and security architecture, including in the framework of the BRICS (cf. below). This was on display at the Eastern Economic Forum, which took place in Vladivostok, Russia, Sept. 5-8, during which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s Li Zhanshu, and President Putin each stressed their commitment to strategic partnerships for development. The personal meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, to took place during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization forum on Sept. 15-16, will undoubtedly serve to strengthen relations between the two nations.

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