With tensions simmering in eastern Ukraine, US media outlets are happy to push the narrative that Russia is the aggressor and is preparing to invade its neighbor. These reports ignore the fact that the Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the eastern Donbas region declared independence from Ukraine back in 2014 in response to a US-backed coup.
Since 2014, the US has provided Ukraine with about $2 billion in military equipment and supported its fight against the Donetsk and Lugansk separatists. Supporting a war on Russia’s border is an incredible provocation, but these facts are lost on the Western press, and some outlets seem eager to see the situation escalate. On Monday, Politico published a report that asked if it was time for Ukraine to deploy weapons provided by the US to face Moscow.
The Politico report reads: “As Russia amasses the highest number of troops on Ukraine’s border since 2014, the question for Kyiv now becomes: Is it time to start putting US-made weapons in the field?”
The report explains how President Trump took a step his predecessor was unwilling to take and sold hundreds of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine. President Obama chose not to give Kyiv offensive weapons for fear of provoking Moscow. This fact contradicts the conspiracy theory that Trump was beholden to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was pushed hard by Politico. One of the co-authors of the Ukraine report, Natasha Bertrand, built her career on pushing the Steele Dossier, a now-discredited document that made unverified claims about the Russian government and the Trump campaign in 2016.
The Javelin missiles were sold under the condition that they would be stored in western Ukraine, far from the front lines of the Donbas war. But the weapons can be deployed anywhere in the country and can be used as long as Kyiv can frame their use as “defensive” in nature.
Two unnamed former US military officials told Politico that the current situation with Russia is “exactly the kind of scenario the Javelin sale was designed to counter.”
The Biden administration has already approved a $125 million military aid package for Ukraine that includes armed patrol boats, and another $150 million is expected to be provided sometime this year. Over the past few weeks, the US has delivered multiple military shipments to Ukraine as it hypes the movement of Russian troops inside Russia.
On top of the military support from the US, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is pushing for a NATO membership. Even though Ukraine being a NATO member could lead to the US and Russia going to war, which should be an unthinkable scenario, Zelensky’s request is receiving favorable coverage in the Western media.