Donetsk besieged by U.S. proxy war

An example of the ‘petal’ antipersonnel mines scattered by Ukraine through the streets of Donetsk and other Donbass cities.

Based on remarks at the Socialist Unity Party national plenum on Aug. 13.

For eight and a half years, people living in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics have endured shelling, bombings, landmines, drone attacks, sniper fire, and acts of terrorism by the Ukrainian regime on behalf of U.S. imperialism. For those living in the capital of Donetsk and other nearby cities, the siege has never been more intense and unrelenting than it has been in recent months.

Since July, Ukraine’s military has been raining antipersonnel mines called “petals” on the streets of Donetsk and other urban areas. These small mines are easily overlooked. Anyone who steps on one is guaranteed to be killed or maimed for life. Most of the victims have been seniors, children, rescue and repair workers. The use of these mines in residential areas is banned under international law. But you will not hear or read a word about it in Western media.

Every day Ukrainian fascists shell residential areas of Donetsk and nearby cities. The allied forces of Donetsk, Lugansk and the Russian Federation continue to make steady progress in liberating Ukrainian-occupied areas of Donbass. However, as they advance, the Ukrainian forces have been driven back to high ground in a well-defended area west of Donetsk. This has resulted in more and more enemy fire concentrated on the capital.

Residents of Donetsk post updates on social media when they can, as do journalists in the city. What they share is harrowing. For months there has been no running water; drinking water is carefully rationed by the authorities to keep the population alive. Electricity and internet are out much of the time. Deaths from the mines and rocket attacks are a daily occurrence. 

The population is incredibly determined and strong, but there is growing despair. There is no light at the end of the tunnel right now.

Adding to the fear is that Ukraine is now starting to deploy high-range and more powerful weapons recently received from the U.S. and other NATO powers. Alchevsk, a city in central Lugansk, has largely been shielded from Ukrainian attacks since the start of the current phase of the war in February. But in the past three weeks, Alchevsk has been hit twice by high-powered rockets. One of those rockets hit a residential apartment building, killing a civilian and wounding 19, including several children. Similarly, areas in the east of Donetsk have been hit recently with new high-powered rockets.  

Now Ukraine’s forces are targeting sites with dangerous chemicals (Donetsk, Gorlovka) and nuclear materials (Zaporozhye). They are toying with, if not actively trying to cause, a mass-death catastrophe.

Washington doesn’t care about the lives of Ukrainians. As a popular saying goes, “Biden will fight to the last Ukrainian” to advance Wall Street profits and U.S. global domination. The proxy war is not ending anytime soon.

The recent FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Florida enclave is said to be centered around classified documents illegally removed from the White House, possibly including information on the U.S. nuclear arsenal. 

Whatever the truth behind this latest clash between two racist enemies of the working class, the groundwork is being laid with media speculation about “treason” for the Democratic administration to justify further aggression against Donbass and Russia. 

Democrats will use war mongering in the midterm elections, just as Republicans are campaigning by attacking the rights of women, trans people and people of color.

Unfortunately, the established anti-war organizations in the U.S. and Europe have abdicated their responsibility to oppose the U.S.-NATO proxy war against Donbass and Russia. We must continue to seek out and build cooperation with allies who take a genuinely anti-imperialist perspective, not just in words but in actions. 

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