Russia’s Continuous Assault on Ukraine

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko visits troops in the Zhytomyr region. (Source:

Moscow has again demonstrated both its overtly aggressive agenda, and its blindness (or lack of care) to global perspectives on its addiction to tyranny and belligerence of the worst kind.

Russian naval vessels attacked several Ukrainian vessels and captured three in the Black Sea off the Crimean Coast. Russia’s Federal Security Service alleges that the vessels crossed into Moscow-controlled zone. The region was invaded by Moscow in 2014 and subsequently annexed. In 2003, a treaty had designated the maritime areas, including the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov as shared territorial waters. However, Russian forces have, since 2015, asserted military control.

At the time of the initial invasion, The United States, then led by Barack Obama, failed to engage in any meaningful response other than relatively weak economic sanctions.   Krishnadev Calamur, writing in the Atlantic, explained: “Jeffrey Goldberg,The Atlantic’s editor in chief, wrote in the Obama Doctrine:  ‘Obama’s theory [was] simple: Ukraine is a core Russian interest but not an American one, so Russia will always be able to maintain escalatory dominance there.’”

In the aftermath of this month’s assault, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko rapidly called for the implementation of martial law. Russia’s Federal Security Service alleged that the vessels crossed into a Moscow-controlled zone.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reports that Ukraine promptly requested a meeting, which, under a NATO-Ukraine agreement, it may do so if it perceives a direct threat to its territorial integrity, political independence, or security, even though the nation is not a NATO member.

At the meeting, all allies expressed their full support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. NATO called on Russia “to ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports and allow freedom of navigation for Ukraine in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.” Stoltenberg noted that “There is no justification for the use of military force against Ukrainian ships and naval personnel.”

Ukrainian Army tanks mass in the Zhytomyr region to counter threats from Russia. (Source:

The timing of Moscow’s latest aggression against Ukraine could not have been worse.  November marks the 85th anniversary of one of the worst crimes against humanity, known as the Holodomor. The Holodomorct historical organization explains: “The term Holodomor refers specifically to the brutal artificial famine imposed by Stalin’s regime on Soviet Ukraine and primarily ethnically Ukrainian areas in the Northern Caucasus in 1932-33.In its broadest sense, it is also used to describe the Ukrainian genocide that began in 1929 with the massive waves of deadly deportations of Ukraine’s most successful farmers (kurkuls, or kulaks, in Russian) as well as the deportations and executions of Ukraine’s religious, intellectual and cultural leaders, culminating in the devastating forced famine that killed millions more innocent individuals. The genocide in fact continued for several more years with the further destruction of Ukraine’s political leadership, the resettlement of Ukraine’s depopulated areas with other ethnic groups, the prosecution of those who dared to speak of the famine publicly, and the consistent blatant denial of famine by the Soviet regime.

“…at the height of the famine, people in Ukraine are dying at the rate of 30,000 a day, nearly a third of them are children under 10. Between 1932-34, approximately 4 million deaths are attributed to starvation within the borders of Soviet Ukraine. This does not include deportations, executions, or deaths from ordinary causes. Stalin denies to the world that there is any famine in Ukraine, and continues to export millions of tons of grain, more than enough to have saved every starving man, woman and child.”

To understand Moscow’s latest attack against the Ukraine, it must be remembered that Vladimir Putin is a product of the Soviet Union, which he regards fondly, the regime that committed the Holodomor and befriended the Nazi regime until Hitler chose to attack it.  We are seeing an unwelcome rebirth of the mindset that spawned the Second World War and all the horrors that went with it.

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