Home CommentaryGuest Commentary Liberian Progressive Chides Putin’s Military Fiasco – Says Mosco’s Aggression Amounts to a State of Desperation

Liberian Progressive Chides Putin’s Military Fiasco – Says Mosco’s Aggression Amounts to a State of Desperation

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A Liberian intellectual and lawyer, Atty. Abraham Barlou Mitchell, is picked bone with the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, over what he described as his imperialist ego driving him to committing genocide in another sovereign country.
Atty. Abraham B. Mitchel opines that Putin’s war in Ukraine is a fiasco and now borders on political desperations.

Ukraine might certainly be unable to kick Russia from all of its territories occupied, neither can Russia succeed with its militaristic ambition as originally intended,’ he conjectured. “In this regard, Russia’s Putin recent referral to his Western adversaries in Ukraine as ‘imperialists’ on his latest visit to Pyongyang, is ideologically ludicrous and opportunistic.”

By referring, implicitly, to the West and NATO as imperialistic, in their military and political support to Ukraine that is fighting for genuine self-determination and sovereign independence, against Russia’s war of invasion, occupation, annexation and expansionism, the noted Liberian security expert said, represents an act of desperation.

“Within the context of the current situation in Ukraine, Putin is the actual imperial aggressor,” he said. “Putin is, in effect, the actual ‘imperialist’, from all intense and purposes, and not the others. Irrefutably, Ukraine is a sovereign and independent country, with defined boundaries, borders, and territories, as a recognized member of the United Nations, the same body to which the Federation of Russia is a member of the ‘Security Council’, as an imperial power.”

According to Mr. Mitchell, the crux and context of the Russia-Ukraine Crises can be deciphered in the colonial concept of “imperialism”, as conceptualized and developed by V.I. Lenin, the chief ideologue and leader of the first Socialist Revolution, led by the Bolshevik Communist Party of Russia – commanded by Lenin.

He added: “When Putin refers to the West and NATO, on the one hand as “imperialists”, those who are helping Ukraine to defend itself against foreign invasion and its right to genuine self-determination, on the other, who and what does Putin represent, ideologically? Is he a Bolshevik, a revolutionary or an anti-imperialist, as V. I. Lenin and others were in Russia? And if Putin is an anti-imperialist, as he professes, what is he doing in Ukraine since his annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014, and the massive and aggressive military invasion and occupation of the same country in February 2022? Putin’s action has been condemned by the United Nations and all peace-loving countries of the world as ‘foreign aggression, the actual act of imperialism.”

Putin’s Military Fiasco in Ukraine and the State of Desperation
By Atty. Abraham Barlou Mitchell*

Putin’s war in Ukraine is a fiasco and now borders on political desperations. Ukraine might certainly be unable to kick Russia from all of its territories occupied; neither can Russia succeed with its militaristic ambition as originally intended. In this regard, Russia’s Putin recent referral to his Western adversaries in Ukraine as “imperialists” on his latest visit to Pyongyang, is ideologically ludicrous and opportunistic. By referring, implicitly, to the “West” and “NATO” as imperialistic, in their military and political support to Ukraine that is fighting for genuine self-determination and sovereign independence, against Russia’s war of invasion, occupation, annexation and expansionism – represents an act of desperation. Within the context of the current situation in Ukraine, Putin is the actual imperial aggressor. He is, in effect, the actual “imperialist”, from all intense and purposes, and not the others. Irrefutably, Ukraine is a sovereign and independent country, with defined boundaries, borders, and territories, as a recognized member of the United Nations, the same body to which the Federation of Russia is a member of the “Security Council”, as an imperial power.

Does Putin know what “imperialism” is and/or who is an imperialist? In classical terms, “Imperialism is imperialism”, as defined by V.I. Lenin of Putin’s Russia. Lenin characterized imperialism in the fowling political contexts: He referred to “Russian Imperialism” as “Feudal-Bourgeois-Military Imperialism”; British Imperialism he referred as “colonial Imperialism”; “German Imperialism” as “Junker Imperialism”; and “French Imperialism”, Lenin characterized as “Usurer Imperialism”.

As a feudal imperial dynasty under the Tsar, Russia was noted for its feudal-bourgeois-militaristic, expansionist and imperial posturing of conquest. Lenin, therefore, always theorized then that Tsarist Russia’s wars of imperial aggression should be resisted and transformed into an anti-imperialist war by the Russian masses, against the Tsar. V. I. Lenin emphasized at the time that it was not in the interest of the Russian proletariat and peasant masses to support Tsarist Russia’s imperial wars of aggression. That was a strategy of resistance by the Russian revolutionaries to oppose and resist the Tsarist Dynasty. Today’s Putin, undoubtedly, is a reminisce of 19th and 20th Century-Feudal-Bourgeois-Militaristic Imperial Tsarist Russia. In this context, there is a huge section of the Russian population that is against Putin’s war in Ukraine – they are being suppressed. And if the war in Ukraine continues in an endless stalemate, it could boomerang at home for the aggressor.

As an erudite scholar and a proliferate writer of revolutionary theories, Lenin’s core definition of “imperialism” is “export capital”- “international finance capital” (transnational and multinational capitals) – the new form of colonialism via “export capital” – Neo-colonialism. Nkrumah and other African revolutionary scholars also referred to imperialism as foreign economic exploitation and domination – Neocolonialism (taking the form of export capital). They also referred to imperialism as expansionism, territorial aggrandizement, attained by military invasions, annexations, and conquests, with colonial ambitions, as in the case of Ukraine and “Russia’s special operations” – the reckless and shameless invasion of another sovereign state, based on the doctrine – “might makes right”.

Putin, the KGB agent who benefited from Soviet and Bolshevik power, created by V. I. Lenin, is one of the many revisionists (like Mikhail Gorbachev) that undermined and destroyed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), in other to form a chauvinistic Imperial Russian Federation – whose preoccupation would be aimed at expansionism and the occupation of neighboring countries’ territories as a grandiose imperialist agenda. Thus, for such a man to be referring to others as “imperialists” is indeed, laughable. And so, we ask Putin – where are the Bolsheviks? Where are the Perestroikas and Glasnosts and the democracy they promised?

This is the crux and context of the Russia-Ukraine Crises, and the same context in which we like to discuss the colonial concept of “imperialism”, as conceptualized and developed by V.I. Lenin, the chief ideologue and leader of the first Socialist Revolution, led by the Bolshevik Communist Party of Russia – commanded by Lenin.

Therefore, when Putin refers to the “West” and “NATO”, on the one hand as “imperialists”, those who are helping Ukraine to defend itself against foreign invasion and its right to genuine self-determination, on the other, who and what does Putin represent, ideologically? Is he a Bolshevik, a revolutionary or an anti-imperialist, as V. I. Lenin and others were in Russia? And if Putin is an anti-imperialist, as he professes, what is he doing in Ukraine since his annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014, and the massive and aggressive military invasion and occupation of the same country in February 2022? Putin’s action has been condemned by the United Nations and all peace-loving countries of the world as “foreign aggression”, the actual act of imperialism.

The point that must be established here so as to avoid stereotypes and dogmatism is that, Vladimir Putin is not Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin. Neither is the Federation of Russia under Putin, the Soviet Union (former). Putin’s Russia is an aggressor, threatening and aggressing all of its neighbours – former Soviet States – where the popular masses of these countries have refused to be under the Russian empire, and are gravitating towards the “West” – Georgia, Poland, Hungary, the entire Baltic countries, Ukraine, including Finland and Sweden, etc., that just recently joined NATO and the EU, in defiance of PUTIN. These post-Soviet sovereign and independent states have their rights to choices, and their reasons for running away from Russia – and this cannot be prevented by hawkish militarism.

It is historically recorded that “the Ukrainian Bolsheviks, who had defeated the national government in Kiev, established the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which on 30 December 1922 became one of the founding republics of the former Soviet Union.

With the dogmatic mismanagement and subsequent collapse of the “Soviet Union” in 1991, way back after the death of Lenin in 1924, Ukraine became an independent state, formalized with a referendum in December 1991. Similarly, on 2 December, the “President of the Russian SFSR, Boris Yeltsin, recognized Ukraine’s independence”. The United States also did recognize the independence of Ukraine 25 December 1991. Today, Ukraine is a full-fleshed legitimate member of the United Nations as a sovereign, independent country.

Putin came to power incrementally as “president or prime minister since 1999”; he served as prime minister from 1999 to 2000 and from 2008 to 2012; subsequently, since 2012 to 2924, he remains in power as one of the longest leaders in power in that country.

In 2014, Viktor Fedorovych, a pro-Russian leader as the fourth president of Ukraine (2010 to 2014) was removed from power by the Ukrainian parliament in a popular uprising; he fled into exile to Russia. It was the same year Putin annexed Ukrainian’s Crimea.

The popular removal of Viktor Fedorovyca, followed by the annexation of Crimea, intensified Ukraine’s post-independence conflicts with Russia. Like Georgia and other former soviet states that have opted for relationship with the “West” and “NATO”, Ukraine has been in bad book with one of the world’s largest and most powerful nuclear powers – the Russian Federation. Many other countries of the former Soviet Union have either been aggressed or are under constant threats and are living in fears.

At the height of the Russian-Ukrainian crises, Putin invaded Ukraine on 24th February, 2022, under the canopy of “special military operations”. The “Special operations” was aimed at “removal the corrupt government” and to “denazify Ukraine”. The Russian government presented its case as acting in the interests of the Ukrainian people, especially those living in the Donbass region – a part of Ukraine in which the country had been entangled in separatist conflicts since 2014, inspired by Russia.

Naturally, states may have historical differences, political, territorial, ideological, etc. But the internationally recognized patters for resolving geopolitical differences between and amongst countries, is not to blatantly arrogate unto one-self the power to invade and annex other countries to solve differences in this 21st Century of civilization, and by so doing undermine global peace and stability. This is totally unacceptable. In this regard, and in the specific Ukrainian situation, Russia is the aggressor, not the “West”, nor NATO.

If Ukraine ever posed any threats to Russia’s geopolitical national security interest, as expressed by its interest to join the European Union and NATO, Putin, has seriously by default, expeditiously dragged Ukraine into a de facto NATO military bloc. The chances of Ukraine joining NATO would have been undoubtedly unthinkable and unrealistic, if not impossible between both 2014 and 2022, had Putin not been trigger happy. Threats by Russia to use force if Ukraine joined NATO would have been feared and respected, as well as served as an effective deterrence to the “West” and NATO”, particularly after the annexation of Crimea. Even after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, chances of Ukraine joining NATO were still slim, and the doctrine of deterrence was still plausible. China is benefiting from the strategy of deterrence with Taiwan globally as we speak. Modern international politics is not governed by one man show and trigger-happiness, particularly when all options are not thoroughly exhausted. Plain and simple, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a reckless miss-calculation.

After the Biden administration feebly punctuated the final withdraw of the last NATO forces from Afghanistan, through the withdrawal of the US forces from that country, Putin miscalculated Biden’s action for weakness and because of that, inter alia, he decided to make the final move, to overthrow the government of Kiev, and occupy the whole of Ukraine as he attempted in February 2022.

With the ill-conceived and non-strategic militaristic invasion of Ukraine, and the humiliation the Russian army is undergoing in a small country, inspite of whatever “successes” Putin may claim to have scored, Russia has essentially become demystified. The fact that Finland and its longstanding neutral Helsinki, as well as Sweden, would unthinkably in broad daylight join and become NATO members, de jure – consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and its earlier annexation of Crimea, speaks to the loss of fear of Moscow.

So, as Putin is frantically trying to militarily denazify and prevent Ukraine from becoming NATOrized, is he going to apply the same strategy with Finland and Sweden that are already NATO countries? Essentially, the fundamental issue remains the same, Russia’s geo-political concerns and its strategic national security interest is now more at risk than before.

Meanwhile, the pretense of the use of nuclear weapon is a bluff, and does represent no actual threat in practical terms. Putin is one of the richest leaders of the world; people acquire wealth to enjoy life, not to die, all military dictators fear death to their cores. And so, the issue of nuclear war is far-fetched, because science has proven, there can be no winner in any nuclear war-fare, as it does not matter who strikes first.

Therefore, the rush to form military alliances with North Korea, Vietnam, China, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and even the Taliban etc., after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, is another act of desperation. Besides, serious and genuine military alliances are not opportunistically built around unilateral interest, but around imminent and existential collective military threats that represent clear and present dangers to all those opted for such alliances. Russia’s war in Ukraine does not represent such threats to the countries being dragged into a rushed military bloc. Besides, most of the countries being sought for an anti-NATO military coalition are preoccupied with their respective global economic interests, including trade with Europe and America. Moreover, carrying warships and submarines into the Caribbean region will achieve no strategic results for Russia’s war in Ukraine. On the other hand, while NATO and other Western military support (reinforced) to Ukraine may not win the war for Ukraine, it could certainly further humiliate Russia and Putin, and drag them to the table. This is the crux of the game. Essentially, therefore, Russia’s long term strategic survival from the war in Ukraine and its humiliating consequences, as a major world power, would require a fundamental shift in Russia – this cannot be done with Putin as head of the Russian Federation. Such a strategic paradigm shift has to be done with a new political order without Putin. How and when this would be achieved is not for me to say here.

Certainly, Ukraine may not be able to win the war, neither can Russia. Because to allow Russia to conquer Ukraine, places the rest of Europe at the mercy of Putin. And this will not be allowed, not even under Mr. Trump. The arms and ammunitions as well as the strength (size) of the Russian army available to Putin mean a lot. And as powerful as she is, if Russia has not been able to over-run Ukraine in two solid years by now, Putin’s “special operations” in Ukraine has run into futility militarily, to say the least. And what is even most important here, Russia’s threat to Europe has effectively reawakened Europe, and therefore NATO.

It is therefore time for Russia and Putin to call the military quit, eat the pride and get down to peace talks. America humiliatingly withdrew from Vietnam under similar circumstances. NATO humiliatingly withdrew from Afghanistan after twenty years of futile military operations that brought the Taliban back to power. The former Soviet Union also suffered similar humiliations in the same Afghanistan in the 1980s and eventually pulled out. Ukraine is occupied, unnecessarily destroyed and its people massively killed, displaced and turned into refugees by Russia. Under the circumstance, we do not expect the occupied to beg for mercy from the occupier.

After the situation in Ukraine, we need a new world order, based on peaceful Co-existence, respect for territorial integrity and the non-use of force to solve geopolitical national security issues by states of the world, particularly world powers. From now on, what we need is peaceful economic competition to replace military confrontations. Putin should learn more from China that has become the second largest economic power of the world, competing with the “West”. India, Brazil and other economically and technologically advancing countries are also pressing ahead economically. North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela need strong economies to compete with their adversaries, not warships and submarines – this should be the new direction of Russia, like China.

Similarly, in today’s 21st Century Africa, what we need are not strong military dictatorships, after more than half of a century of post-independence misrule, but strong economies. Moreover, what Africa needs is not strong men, but strong democratic institutions, with zero-tolerance to “imperialism”, primarily characterized by “foreign extractive plunder” – through “export capital” –transnational and multinational capitalist exploitations and domination. Further, in Africa, we need technological advancement, based on the industrialization of our economies. And I have always theorized that nobody will bring technological development to Africa – it is the curricular we provide for our institutions of higher education – our educational system – that will give Africa the technological skills and knowledge to become technologically advanced, electrified, industrialized, and civilized as Europe and Asia.

The People’s Republic of China is providing huge enviable examples in that arena and has therefore become a global power economically, to the point that the “West” has begun to see China in Africa and the world over, more of an “economic threat”, than a “competitor”. North Korea, as a specific case, needs a strong, modern economy to compete with South Korea economically. Mass accumulation of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles is not the answer, nor should it be the foundations of modern states – it should be the reverse – the economy.

Finally, let me say here that NATO and the West in general have the history of starting military actions and not taking such actions to the logical conclusion. Afghanistan is a classic example. Having stayed in Afghanistan for more than two decades, NATO eventually capitulated, and withdrew its forces gradually from that country, until the US did hers, in an organized but humiliating manner. Both the US and NATO betrayed and deserted the NATO-created Afghan Government of Kabul and caused both that government and the NATO-US-created Afghan Military force to dissolve and caused their leaderships to flee into exile. The Afghan Military throw away their arms and uniforms, and surrender; the Taliban walked into Kabul with ease and seized power. A huge consignment of NATO and US military logistics and military hardware were awarded to the Taliban as part of the deal of US peaceful withdrawal. Those were tragic situations for many Afghan citizens that work and collaborated with NATO and the US forces in the campaign against the Taliban for more than two decades.

Though NATO is not directly involved in Ukraine, notwithstanding, the arms and immunizations as well as financial and diplomatic support by the West to Ukraine, represents a de-facto NATO Chemistry. There are other concerns about the political unpredictability caused by frequent elections and the change of administrations in the West that lead to shifts and change in political attitudes and major shifts in policies. . Certainly, Putin is anticipating a repeat of Afghanistan in Ukraine, and is also counting on the internal weaknesses of the dynamics of Neo-Liberal democracy in the West – the pending US November Presidential Elections are a case in point.

To conclude, the “Feudal-Bourgeois-Military” doctrine that characterized Tsarist Russia, as depicted by Lenin, is outdated and untenable, and it needs not be exported to Africa – period! Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, all former French colonies, should learn from Senegal – the building of a strong democracy – and not military dictatorships, supported by foreign militaries.

In Liberia, after more than two decades of on-going post-conflict national renewal, albeit, a process hijacked by both pre and post-war criminal cartels of the Liberian political class, we strive to make progress democratically, and never to return to military dictatorship and one man rule. As the first black republic on the continent of Africa, Liberia is under obligation to help lead democratization in Africa – this is our mission, and no “monkey can stop the show” – as we shall continue to fight the political old order in Liberia that is frantically making come-backs in disguised shades and forms.

ALUTA!

*Mitchell is an emerging legal research scholar, with 12-Years as a Practicing Lawyer with cumulative experience in legal research, law reform, rule of law, national security architecture, as well as a constitutional and human rights advocate in Liberia. He is a political analyst and commentator. He is a former national student leader (and served as Vice President of the University of Liberia Students Union – ULSU in 1980), and a political activist in the struggle for democracy and progressive transformation in Liberia since the 1970s.

Mitchell read Political Science/International Relations and Law at the University of Liberia. He is a Pan-Africanist, with the history of more than forty years of national struggle, actively involved and committed to the total progressive democratization, economic decolonization and modernization of Liberia and Africa. Currently, the author is doing a book project on the “Call for a New Economic Order in Liberia – Against Extractive Plunder and Public Corruption”. The author is a public servant, and has worked in government in several positions, including as Head of Immigration and an Assistant and Acting Deputy Minister of Justice (Codification), Republic of Liberia.
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