Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 52 Number 8, April 16, 2022 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Britain Steps Up Militarisation of the Ukraine Conflict

Boris Johnson has announced that Britain is to deliver stepped up military aid to Ukraine. Speaking at a Downing Street press conference alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on April 8, the Prime Minister said that Britain is to send a further £100m of lethal support to Ukraine.

Serbian football club Red Star Belgrade's fans, March 17, 2022, hold banners showing the nations which the U.S. has invaded.
Boris Johnson said, "Today I can announce the UK will send a further £100m worth of high-grade military equipment to Ukraine's armed forces including more star streak anti-aircraft missiles which fly at three times the speed of sound, another 800 anti-tank missiles and precision munitions capable to lingering in the sky until directed to their target."

He continued: "We will also send more helmets, night vision and body armour on top of the 200,000 pieces of non-lethal military equipment the UK has already dispatched. But Olaf and I agree that our two countries, and our allies must go further and provide more help to Ukraine."

Boris Johnson added that Britain and Germany "will work together to ensure our armed forces are fit for the future".

A day before the announcement, a press release from Britain's Ministry of Defence explained how Britain hosted a Ukrainian government delegation to a demonstration of military equipment on Salisbury Plain in order that options of further military support could be considered. The Ukrainian delegation observed a Starstreak air defence system, which Britain has already provided and trained Ukrainian Armed Forces to use. The press release boasted that since 2015 Britain has trained over 22,000 personnel as part of Operation Orbital and the UK-led Maritime Training Initiative, and that this support was stepped up in 2021 when Britain and the Ukraine signed a bilateral treaty, which released £1.7bn of financing in support of the Ukrainian Naval Capabilities Enhancement Programme.

Britain has also played a leading role in establishing an International Donor Coordination Centre in Stuttgart to provide "lethal aid". Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that following the first Donor Conference on February 25, the "international community" has provided 2.5 million items of military weapons and equipment to Ukraine, amounting to more than £1.5 billion.

These announcements come at a time when what is needed is to seek out a negotiated peace. It exposes the mindset of the pro-war British government which is only too happy to claim that it is seeking the lead in military matters. Britain is acting in lock-step with the US and NATO in not paying heed to Russia's political aims and its proposals, but instead backing Ukraine, which is not serious in pursuing negotiations. Britain, in its alliance with the US and NATO, is itself contributing to the false-flag war crimes alleged to be committed by Russia, and is sending lethal weapons, training troops, strengthening its de facto backing of the neo-Nazi forces, and overall prolonging the conflict to the detriment of the Ukraine people themselves.

It does not help the desire for peace to call on Russia to agree a ceasefire and withdraw its troops, as Johnson does, while stepping up the militarisation of the conflict. The British government does not even mention that Russia's declared aims are to de-militarise Ukraine and de-Nazify the country. It is simply consolidating a "no war, no peace" situation.

Britain's response is revealing its nature as a pro-war government, and that crimes being committed in Ukraine further the aims of US/NATO war oligopolies, including those of Britain, who make vast profits from military industries. As well as profiteering from weapons of mass destruction, it is these forces which hold the reins of power and are able to spread disinformation about what is right and what is wrong. But the future does not lie with them, but with the world's peoples who desire peace, justice and security, and are striving to bring into being modern arrangements which are anti-war, and truly match the high ideals which the warmongers claim they are following.


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