RUSSIA has begun its largest military manoeuvres in four decades in eastern Siberia, with thousands of troops from China and Mongolia also taking part.
The five-day military drill, ‘Vostok-2018’, involves almost 300,000 Russian troops, more than 1,000 planes, drones and helicopters, and up to 36,000 military land vehicles, including tanks, armoured personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles.
Eighty ships are also involved in the military exercise. The exercise will be conducted across four airbases, five army training grounds, and areas in the Sea of Japan, the Bering Straits (opposite Alaska), and the Sea of Okhotsk.
President Vladimir Putin is to inspect the drill and is currently meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Vladivostok economic forum. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that China and Russia are cooperating in all areas. Russia is making it very clear that it is more than able to defend itself.
It is currently under attack from the US and the UK. The former is suggesting that Russia tried to rig the US elections while the latter is suggesting that Russia has poisoned Russian citizens on UK territory.
Behind, and driving, this manufactured hysteria is the growing and intensifying crisis of the world capitalist system that is currently immersed in a US inspired trade war, while another major banking crash is rapidly emerging. The US has already economically attacked China, while Britain has inspired worldwide sanctions against Russia, at the same time as the UK is rapidly rearming.
Also, the fact that the US and the UK were unable to destroy Syria and kill President Assad – as they killed Gadaffi – sticks like a bone in the throat of the imperialist powers. This defeat has led to a situation where the US, UK, France and Germany are threatening to bomb Syria if there is a chemical attack on Idlib province.
They are preparing a provocation that will allow the US and its allies to enter the war. There are already terrorist groups in Idlib quite capable of simulating a chemical attack on the province, to be blamed on Syria, to signal a US-led attack.
The US says it expects such an attack to take place. The Syrian government has said it has no chemical weapons. The workers of the world know that Syria is not stupid enough to create the conditions where the imperialists can attack and destroy it.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton says his country has been in talks with Britain and France to orchestrate the military strike which he says will be ‘much stronger’ than the joint operation the ‘allies’ carried out earlier this year.
In Washington on Monday, Bolton said: ‘We’ve tried to convey the message in recent days that if there’s a third use of chemical weapons, the response will be much stronger.’ Once again, the implication is that the Syrians are stupid enough to use chemical weapons so that the USA can attack them!
Meanwhile in the eastern Mediterranean, there are now both US and Russian warships, with the British operating from their base in Cyprus. The scenario has been set for the US to ignite an even bigger war with a massive attack on Damascus. The sharpening world crisis of capitalism is driving imperialism forward to new wars, whatever the risks.
Russia and China are right to exercise and develop their capacity to defend themselves. However, the mad dogs of imperialism must be prevented from starting a Third World War! Workers in the US, UK, France and Germany must take action to stop this war and prevent a new world war.
They must spell it out to May, Trump, Macron and Merkel that their enemy is at home, and that any attack on Syria to renew the war will be met with general strikes to bring down their governments and go forward to workers governments. The First World War led to the Russian revolution. The Second World War led to the Chinese and Vietnamese revolutions. Imperialism’s attempts to ignite a Third World War must lead to the victory of the World Socialist Revolution!