Russia-Ukraine: An Avoidable Tragedy 

By Atilio A. Boron on February 25, 2022

1999, Protest of US-NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, photo: Bill Hackwell

The first article of the United Nations Charter states verbatim that the purpose of that organization is “To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace.”

NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia.

Experience shows that the Atlantic Alliance (the United States plus the 29 European countries that make up the bloc) has permanently violated the provisions of this article. The case of the former Yugoslavia, bombed by NATO without the authorization of the Security Council, is one of the most flagrant, when Bill Clinton was President of the United States. The final product of this and a previous military campaign, Yugoslavia was disintegrated, giving birth to seven new countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.


None of the governments that today are tearing their hair out over Vladimir Putin’s recognition of Donetsk and Lugansk -two republics that, by popular referendum, decided to secede from Ukraine- uttered a sound in the face of NATO’s butchery in the Balkans. Nor did it do so when the same organization bombed Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya for months, overthrew his government and allowed a mob mobilized by CIA agents infiltrated in the crowd to lynch the Libyan leader with unprecedented cruelty.

Iraq and Syria

In 2003 this organization had collaborated with the United States in the invasion and destruction of Iraq and its cultural treasures. Sometime later, it took on Syria, seeking a “regime change” in that country. An arduous task for an impatient Obama to show some international success. In desperation, he sought the collaboration of the Islamic State and its band of fundamentalists fond of beheading infidels who operated with financing, media and political protection from the leaders of the “free world”.

The situation became so untenable because, as Hillary Clinton said in her memoirs, “in Syria we were wrong to choose our friends”, that it was only stabilized when Putin sent Russian troops who put those fanatical “contractors” of Washington on the run.

Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and Afghanistan

While, with the approval of the “European democracies”, the United States escalated its sanctions against Iran and deepened the criminal blockade against Cuba and Venezuela, it continued with its adventure in Afghanistan, whose greatest success was to ensure that 85% of world opium production originated in that country, under the watchful eye of the U.S. occupation forces.

“Soft coup” in Ukraine

In 2013-2014, Barack Obama facilitated a “soft coup” in Ukraine without the slightest hesitation, ousting the Russophile government of Viktor Yanukovych, barely a year before the presidential elections were due to be held. In his place he imposed the businessman Petro Poroshenko and, later, the comedian and humorist Volodymir Zelensky, currently in office. All this, with the exclusive protagonism of his Under-Secretary of State for Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, the same one who signed her activism saying “fuck the European Union”.

NATO expansion

During all this time the tension between the Atlantic Alliance and Russia revolved around the construction of a legal order that would guarantee the security of all members of the international community and not just the United States. This required the withdrawal of NATO forces to the countries where they were located before the collapse of the USSR.

Despite formal, written promises that they would “not advance even an inch” towards the Russian border, they rushed until they had almost completely encircled Russia from the Baltic to Turkey. Only Belarus and Ukraine did not have NATO troops inside their territory. But if the former is a close ally of Moscow, the latter was left in the hands of Russophobic governments with nationalist and neo-Nazi groups that wanted to be able to operate under NATO protection.

What good would it do NATO to incorporate Ukraine?

If NATO were to establish itself in Ukraine its missiles would have the capacity to attack cities such as Moscow or St. Petersburg in 5 to 7 minutes, depending on the missile. Putin considered such a threat to Russian national security unacceptable and wondered how Washington would react if his country were to install military bases on the U.S. border with Mexico or Canada. There was no response, only new sanctions and, on Biden’s part, serious insults published in Foreign Affairs magazine no less, which can only be attributed to the devastating effects of senile dementia and the ineptitude of his advisors.

All this despite the fact that, in 1997 and under the impetus of Bill Clinton, NATO and Russia, then presided over by Boris Yeltsin, signed an “Agreement on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security” and that in 2002 a “Russia-NATO Council” was created for the purpose of stimulating cooperation between the two sides.

With the Ukrainian coup of 2014 this laborious construction collapsed like a house of cards. Let us remember that, as the New York Times so often said, the “nerve and muscle of NATO is the Pentagon”, and the Pentagon does not know the meaning of the word “diplomacy”. They engaged in a dangerous bullying of Putin and the results are there for all to see. A tragedy that could have been avoided and in the face of which there is no neutrality possible. There is an aggressor side: the United States and NATO, and another attacked side, Russia. There can be no confusion whatsoever.

Source: Pagina 12, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English