Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, is quoted today as boasting that his nation’s military is capable of responding to what he deemed the “aggravation of the situation” in the Donbass, in his words the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk and Lugansk, and “along the entire Ukrainian-Russian border.”
The above regions are only two of five Ukrainian (or former Ukrainian) oblasts bordering Russia. The total land border between Ukraine and Russia as Ukraine computes it is some 1,225 miles; Russia’s border with Donetsk and Lugansk is 255 miles.
The Ukrainian military chief has extended the line of conflict by almost five times. In language evocative of the worst days of the Cold War, Khomchak also intoned: “Ukraine is supported by the entire civilized world. We are not alone in the face of the enemy.”
As a concrete example of what he was alluding to, and in arguably the most inflammatory language used to date in regard to the conflict in the Donbass, the country’s top military commander mentioned NATO’s collective military defense clause:
“We have intensified the military dialogue with NATO at the strategic level and deepened cooperation in the Black Sea region. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are taking part in collective training events for troops [forces], including in NATO exercises on the subject of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.”
At the same time Interfax-Ukraine reported that an American delegation led by the U.S. defense attaché to Ukraine, Colonel Brittany Stewart, paid a working visit to the Joint Forces Operation headquarters. From 2014-2018 known as the Anti-Terrorist Operation, Joint Forces Operation is the name for Ukraine’s war in the Donbass.
The American delegation met with troops assigned to “the contact line with the enemy, talked with Ukrainian defenders and once again made sure [were apprised?] of the presence of Russian mercenaries in Donbas.” It also visited a memorial to Ukrainian soldiers killed in the seven-year war in the Donbass.
Colonel Stewart said at a briefing, “The U.S. government is deeply concerned over the situation that is developing near the borders of Ukraine and in every possible way supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
The U.S. and NATO in every possible way support Kiev’s war near the Russian border.
Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. He is the manager of Stop NATO. This originally appeared at Anti-Bellum.