ON SUNDAY, newly appointed Tory Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, writing in the Telegraph, announced that the UK would be sending troops to Ukraine ‘to train Zelensky’s military on the ground’ while the Royal Navy will be sent to the Black Sea to ‘defend commercial vessels’.
This call by Shapps brought the response from ex-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that ‘These morons are actively pushing us towards World War Three.’
Also in the Telegraph, Shapps’ predecessor Ben Wallace revealed he had begged Rishi Sunak for an extra £2.3 billion in military support to the Ukrainian regime to support its rapidly failing war against Russia.
While claiming that the Kiev regime is succeeding, Wallace was adamant that Britain must cough up billions more to ‘finish the job’ of defeating Russia on behalf of world imperialism.
Sunak turned Wallace’s request down, while insisting that unlimited funds would still be available in the future.
Similarly the following day, Sunak rowed back on Shapps’ demand for UK troops on the ground while refusing to rule it out as a future option.
The increasingly desperate demands for more money and troops on the ground are a direct reflection that the imperialist war against Russia in the Ukraine is collapsing.
The much heralded offensive launched at the start of summer has failed to make any notable territorial gains, while Ukrainian soldiers have suffered huge casualties trying to break through Russian defences.
According to Russia’s Defence Ministry, over 83,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since the start of the ‘counter-offensive’ aimed at recapturing the Donbass region and invading the Crimea – both of which overwhelmingly voted to break with the fascist-supported government in Kiev.
Even this staggering loss of Ukrainian lives is clearly not enough for Wallace, who wrote: ‘The average age of the soldiers at the front is over 40’ adding ‘perhaps it is time to reassess the scale of mobilisation.’
In other words, Wallace is calling on Zelensky to throw more and younger Ukrainians into a war deliberately staged by NATO and the imperialist powers to weaken Russia economically and militarily to prepare the way for capitalism to regain the land and vast resources it was denied by the victory of the Russian Revolution in 1917.
Any lingering doubts about the role of NATO and imperialism in deliberately provoking this war were dispelled by none other than NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who publicly admitted last month that it was the relentless drive to enlarge NATO and push it to the borders of Russia in the Ukraine that was the real cause of the war and its continuation.
NATO wanted war against Russia with no compromise – a war to be paid for by the working class in Europe and America regardless of the tens of thousands of lives it cost – all in the name of reconquering the world for capitalism.
What is clear, is that increasingly the working class is refusing to sit back and see its wages held down and public services destroyed by an inflationary spiral which has been increased dramatically by the war and sanctions, while governments pour billions into a war on Russia.
The growing refusal of workers to accept massive cuts as the price to pay for imperialist war was demonstrated over the weekend when US president Joe Biden was forced to drop further military funding for Ukraine to get a budget deal passed through Congress that just avoided a shutdown of the Federal Government on Sunday.
The Republicans, who forced this through, had latched on to the overwhelming tide of anger amongst US workers towards the billions showered on Zelensky paid for by cuts in social spending.
Despite Biden’s assurance that this was just a temporary setback, increasingly the bourgeois press in the US and Europe are warning that support for the war may be waning and ‘war fatigue’ setting in.
The working class has had enough of paying for imperialist war and has had enough of a capitalist system that can offer only war and poverty as a future.
The only way to end barbaric imperialist war is for the working class to use its enormous power and put an end to capitalism and imperialism with the victory of the World Socialist Revolution.
This is the way forward.