Interview with Dr. Heinz Dieterich
Russia has put its nuclear deterrence forces on high alert as the UK threatened Moscow with a conflict with NATO and the EU's announced provision of lethal weapons to Kiev, including fighter planes, howitzers and Stingers amid Moscow's special operation in Ukraine.
"President Putin's special military operation to defend the people of Donbass from an imminent general offensive by the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev not only is it fully justified in international law by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, but it is fully consistent with the military praxis and doctrine of the legitimate self-defence of States in the face of an imminent threat emanating from a neighbouring state or enemy forces," says Heinz Dieterich, director of the Centre for Transition Sciences (CTS) at the Autonomous Metropolitan University in Mexico City, and coordinator at the World Advanced Research Project (WARP).
The US and its NATO allies have been enlarging their military bloc towards Russia's borders for almost 30 years, despite Washington and other Western European states' commitment to the Soviet Union to not expand it either formally or informally to the East, according to the professor. These pledges were put on paper, as shows the latest revelation by German magazine Der Spiegel and the Washington-based National Security Archive's 2017 publication of declassified documents.
The Kosovo village of Gorozhubi comes under attack by U.S. B-52 bombers Sunday June 6 1999. © AP Photo / Jerome Delay
In 1995, the US and NATO bombed Serbian forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina "from bases in Italy and Germany and US warships in the Mediterranean, without any authorisation from the United Nations Security Council," Dieterich says, adding that it was "a clear act of war of aggression and violation of international law."
In 1999, Washington and its NATO allies carried out a new bombing campaign against Serbia, which resulted in the re-drawal of national boundaries in Europe and creation of the US "protectorate" in Kosovo.
In following years NATO had made a qualitative leap towards the Russian borders absorbing former Warsaw Pact members and three former Soviet Republics, i.e. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
"The war organisation, supposedly established for the defence of the North Atlantic (NATO), grew from its 12 founding members in 1949 to 30 as of today, five of whom share borders with Russia: Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania and Norway, flagrantly violating at every step the agreements contracted with Russia in 1990-91 and the elementary security interests of this world power," says Dieterich.
In March 2004, seven members were admitted to NATO, including the Baltic States, while from late November 2004 to January 2005 the US-backed "Orange Revolution" was carried out in Ukraine by supporters of Victor Yushchenko, who proclaimed Ukraine's NATO membership a high priority and declared Nazi collaborationist Stepan Bandera a "Hero of Ukraine".
Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey R. Pyatt at the Maidan Square in Kiev
© Sputnik / Petr Zadorozhny
Yushchenko's successor Victor Yanukovich assumed office in 2010 only to be ousted in February 2014 by the US-backed opposition and neo-Nazi paramilitary groups. Since that time, Kiev has cracked down on pro-Russian opposition, carried out repeated attacks against the breakaway Donbass regions and stepped up military cooperation with NATO.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference in 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned about the dangers of NATO's Eastern Eurasian expansionism. But he wasn't the only politician who raised the alarm about it, according to the academic.
"In a prophetic article in the New York Times in 1997, the most brilliant U.S. strategist of the 20th Century, George Kennan, warned that expansion into Russia 'would be the most fateful mistake of American policy in the entire post-Cold War era'," says Dieterich. "NATO's expansionist programme towards Russia, wrote the visionary diplomat, would force Moscow to accept it as a 'military fait accompli' finding it imperative to search elsewhere for 'guarantees of a secure and hopeful future for themselves'."
Police officers and opposition supporters are seen on Maidan Nezalezhnosti square in Kiev, where clashes began between protesters and the police. (File)
© Sputnik / Andrey Stenin
In mid-December 2021, Russia sent draft security agreements to Washington and NATO which envisaged the alliance's non-expansion, Ukraine's non admission to the military bloc, non-deployment of offensive weapons systems near Russia's borders, and the return of the bloc's European capabilities and infrastructure to 1997 levels. Moscow warned the Western states that if its proposals were dismissed, Russia would resort to a military-technical option. However, Russia's core proposals were disregarded by the US, NATO and the EU.
Fighters of the Azov paramilitary battalion, a pro-Ukrainian volunteer armed group, take part in combat drills near the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol on February 6, 2015
Russia's 'Strategic Depth'
Vladimir Putin's reasoning could be described by the "strategic depth" concept, according to Dieterich. Strategic depth refers to the distances between the front lines or battle sectors and the country's industrial core areas, capital cities, or other key centres of population.
In his annual press conference in December 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin explained that if the US and NATO missile systems appear in Ukraine, their flight time to Moscow would amount to 7 - 8 minutes; it would take just 4 - 5 minutes for a hypersonic missile to reach Russia's capital from the Eastern European state. The US and its NATO allies have pinned Russia into a position from which it has nowhere to fall back to, Putin stressed.
According to Dieterich, the reasons that forced Putin to carry out the special military operation in Ukraine include:
· NATO's vow to admit Ukraine in the future;
· Kiev's military aggression against Donbass and Lugansk after the 2014 Euromaidan colour counter-revolution;
· the discrimination and repression of Russian-speakers in Ukraine and the systematic sabotage of the Minsk Agreements by Kiev;
· the growing weight of neo-Nazi tendencies and forces and glorification of WWII Nazi collaborators in Ukraine;
· the intense deployment of US-NATO weapons and trainers in Ukraine.
These factors generated a strategic threat on Russia's doorstep, that no responsible Russian president could ignore, according to the professor. "It affected a military concept of life and death for the defense of the nation: 'the strategic depth' of Russian space that had saved the country in the invasions of Napoleon and Hitler," he says.
A view of the Britain's Royal Navy patrol ship OPV "Trent" in the Black Sea, Wednesday, July 7, 2021 during Sea Breeze 2021 maneuvers
© AP Photo / Efrem Lukatsky
"Single Integrated Operational Plan"
Despite the systematic campaign of lies by the Western mainstream media, the Ukraine crisis is just part of the US-NATO's broader hybrid wars against Russia and China, which have recently been named as Washington's major "adversaries" in the Pentagon and the transatlantic alliance's security doctrines.
However, this confrontation started long ago, Dieterich notes. Back in 1961, President Eisenhower had defined the supreme objectives of US foreign policy in the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP): a surprise nuclear attack on the urban centres and industrial targets of Russia and China.
"When Soviet Socialism imploded in 1991, Washington decided to use two major political stratagems to 'finish off' its potential global rivals Russia and China: first, to expand its NATO war organisation towards the east, as close as possible to Moscow, to dominate Russia militarily; second, to prevent the Russia-China strategic alliance from being reborn, because it would form an invincible regional power bloc."
Vladimir Putin's special operation to demilitarise and de-nazify Ukraine and growing cooperation between Moscow and Beijing are "absolutely necessary, justified and capable of aborting these subversive strategies of the West," the professor concludes.
Author: Ekaterina Blinova
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