Skip to main content

Dragging the World Towards an Abyss—Troop Mobilizations, Military Offensives, Nuclear Threats: U.S./NATO and Russia Escalate Tensions in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine has escalated to a perilous new phase. The danger of nuclear exchanges is greater, and more explicitly stated, than ever by political leaders on both sides of the war—Russia on one side; on the other, Ukraine, backed by the U.S. and NATO.

Last week, like two preening heavyweight boxers at a weigh-in before a big fight, Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, hurled invective at each other, each painting his opponent as an intolerable aggressor. Veiled but obvious threats to use nuclear weapons were made by both, while each blamed the other side for any escalation that may happen. Neither side has given any indication they want to de-escalate, or “find a way out” of their deadly embrace—other than defeating the other in war.

Six months ago, Bob Avakian (BA) captured the volatility of the developing situation in Ukraine, and the catastrophic impact it could have not just on Ukraine, Russia, and neighboring countries but on the entire planet:

If neither side in this conflict between imperialists is likely to back down and accept defeat, what will this mean—and, specifically, what would it mean if in fact the U.S./NATO were to become directly involved in warfare with Russia, and if this were to result in Russia suffering serious setbacks? Would Putin/the Russian imperialists simply say, “Okay, you win, we give up, we will turn tail and retreat in defeat back to Russia?” Does any serious, thinking person really believe that is at all likely?! No, in that situation the far, far more likely response of Putin/the Russian imperialists would be to escalate the war, very possibly by using nuclear weapons, most likely not (at first) the most powerful nuclear bombs, but “tactical nuclear weapons,” which they might use not only in Ukraine but also in the territory of NATO countries that had become involved in the war (possibly including not only countries close to Ukraine but countries in western Europe as well, such as France, Germany and the UK). (from “World War 3 and Dangerous Idiocy”)


Regardless of intentions, however, as has been shown over and over again, events—especially the dynamics of war itself, once entered into—can “overtake intentions” and lead to circumstances and consequences that neither side wanted or anticipated at the start. In the current situation, with the war in Ukraine, there is a very real danger that such a dynamic could “take over” and lead to truly terrible consequences—the very real possibility of war between the U.S./NATO and Russia, with the use of nuclear weapons which could pose a very real threat to human civilization as a whole. (from "Ukraine: World War 3 Is the Real Danger, Not a Repeat Of World War 2")

Marines load HIMARS, weaponry sent to Ukraine.


The latest infusion of American funding will go towards more “high-mobility” battlefield rocket launchers (HIMARS), 155-mm Howitzers, and 75,000 155-mm artillery rounds. Here Marines load a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) July 2022.    Photo: Patrick King

Putin—Not Bluffing

A recent major offensive by Ukrainian forces—underwritten to a significant degree by billions of dollars of U.S. weaponry, with battle plans largely developed and finalized by U.S. advisers—has so far succeeded in driving back Russian forces in parts of Eastern Ukraine. This is a significant setback for Russia. (Go here to read a Revolution article from last week that goes into this in depth.) American political and military leadership has gloated over the setback for Russia. A top Pentagon official boasted of American involvement in the Ukrainian advance: “These guys (Ukrainian military leaders) have been trained for eight years by (American) Special Ops … they’ve been taught by our intelligence operators.…” 

Putin responded to the Russian defeat by mobilizing an additional 300,000 reservists (the first troop mobilization in Russia since World War Two). He also announced referendums to determine whether those parts of Ukraine now under Russian control would officially become part of the Russian state. If these referendums, initiated by forces loyal to Russia, win, it means Russia would regard any Ukrainian attacks within its boundaries to be attacks on Russia.

Putin said in a major speech last week that “Washington, London and Brussels … openly say that Russia must be defeated on the battlefield by any means, and subsequently deprived of political, economic, cultural and any other sovereignty and ransacked. They have even resorted to nuclear blackmail. I am referring … to statements made by some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO countries on the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction—nuclear weapons—against Russia.”

He warned, “I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have. In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff.”

Putin left no room for doubt that “all weapons systems” includes nuclear weapons. His speech concluded with a proverb, the Russian equivalent of “what goes around comes around”: “The citizens of Russia can rest assured that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence and freedom will be defended—I repeat—by all the systems available to us. Those who are using nuclear blackmail against us should know that the wind rose can turn around.”

Biden—Sees and Raises

On September 18, an interview Biden did with 60 Minutes began with an announcement that his administration had provided another $600 million in military aid to Ukraine (on top of about $16 billion already sent so far). Biden was then asked “what (he) would say (to Putin) if he is considering using chemical or tactical nuclear weapons.” Biden grimaced and responded, “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. It would change the face of war unlike anything since World War 2.” When the interviewer asked Biden what the U.S. response would be, he responded like a true Mafia godfather: “You think I would tell you if I knew exactly what it would be? Of course I’m not going to tell you! It would be consequential!” On September 21, the Washington Post reported that for months the Biden administration has maintained “strategic ambiguity” about what it would do if Russia used tactical nuclear weapons, and has sent “private communications to Moscow warning Russia’s leadership of the grave consequences that would follow the use of a nuclear weapon.”

Read the article >>

At the U.N. on September 21, Biden declared that the war in Ukraine is a contest between good and evil, or, as he put it, “democracy and autocracy.” He said that he and the U.S. “champion a vision for our world that is grounded in the values of democracy.” A crucial fact and point of orientation: the war in Ukraine is not a battleground between “democracy and autocracy” but a conflict between imperialist rivals, Russian imperialism vs. U.S. and Western imperialism. Neither side is fighting in the interests of the people of Ukraine, Russia, or anywhere else on planet earth. Both are fighting to advance their imperialist interests by imposing their will on the other. (For more analysis and history of this situation, go to The War in Ukraine: A Resource Page at

Biden brazenly invoked the spirit of former U.S. president Harry Truman, quoting from a speech Truman gave on the United Nations Charter in October 1945. Truman said that the newly written U.N. Charter is “proof that nations, like men, can state their differences, can face them, and then can find common ground on which to stand.” Note that Truman, a Democratic president, uttered this b.s. two months after the U.S. obliterated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs, killing hundreds of thousands of people. Biden spoke at the UN as the U.S. arsenal bristles with nuclear weapons, and the U.S. and its NATO allies relentlessly press their material advantage against Russia.

And in the seven plus decades between Truman’s speech and Biden’s, the U.S. has committed massive crimes against humanity across the planet, killing literally millions of people, ruining the lives of countless millions more. As Bob Avakian (BA) wrote in his article “‘Legit Gangsters’—Gangsters with Nuclear Weapons”:

Let us not forget: The U.S., a country founded on slavery and genocide, by far holds the record for invasions, coups, and in other ways violently interfering in countries whose governments it does not like—slaughtering huge numbers of people in the process, far beyond what Russia has done in Ukraine.

(See the Revolution series American Crime for exposure of many of these crimes.)

On the Brink

Bold, courageous protest against the Putin regime and its illegitimate war in Ukraine has broken out across Russia since his speech. According to a report in the Guardian, on September 21, 1,300 people were arrested during protests in 38 cities. But it isn’t enough for people in this country to salute the courage of those protesters while remaining passive themselves. People need to get out of their stupefying sluggishness and wake the hell up! The silence from people in this country is deafening. War crimes are being perpetrated by the U.S. government, under a Democratic Party-led government. Even more monstrous crimes could break out at literally any moment, and engulf the planet.

The times are urgent. As the Revolutionary Communist Manifesto Group wrote in a call for Revolutionary Internationalist May Day 2022:

the revolutionary leader and thinker Bob Avakian (BA) has recently said that, “humanity cannot afford any longer to allow these imperialists on either side to rule the world and battle over who will dominate in this situation with the very real and dire threat this poses to the future, and even the existence of humanity.” And BA has made the point that while we do face the real prospect of something really terrible in the situation today, “it is also possible that we could wrench something really positive out of it—revolution, to put an end to this system and bring something much better into being.”




DONATE to the revolution.

From the genocide in Gaza, to the growing threat of world war between nuclear powers, to escalating environmental devastation… the capitalist-imperialist system ruling over us is a horror for billions around the world and is tearing up the fabric of life on earth. Now the all-out battle within the U.S. ruling class, between fascist Republicans and war criminal Democrats, is coming to a head—likely during, or before, the coming elections—ripping society apart unlike anything since the Civil War. 

Bob Avakian (BA), revolutionary leader and author of the new communism, has developed a strategy to prepare for and make revolution. He’s scientifically analyzed that this is a rare time when an actual revolution has become more possible, and has laid out the sweeping vision, solid foundation and concrete blueprint for “what comes next,” in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

The website follows and applies that leadership and is essential to all this. We post new materials from BA and curate his whole body of work. We apply the science he’s developed to analyze and expose every key event in society, every week. posts BA’s timely leadership for the revcoms (revolutionary communists), including his social media posts which break this down for people every week and sometimes more. We act as a guiding and connecting hub for the growing revcom movement nationwide: not just showing what’s being done, but going into what’s right and what’s wrong and rapidly learning—and recruiting new people into what has to be a rapidly growing force.

Put it this way: there will be no revolution unless this website not only “keeps going” but goes up to a whole different level!

So what should you give to make 2024 our year—a year of revolution? 
Everything you possibly can! 
DONATE NOW to and get with BA and the revcoms!    

Your donations contribute to:

  • Promotion of BA on social media and the Bob Avakian Interviews on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show 
  • Strengthen as an accessible, secure, robust website able to rise to the challenge of meeting the extraordinary demands of navigating the storms and preparing for revolution in this pivotal, unprecedented year
  • Fund revcoms to travel to national “hotspots,” where extreme contradictions are pulling apart the fabric of this country and creating the possibility of wrenching an actual revolution out of this intensifying situation
  • Expand the reach and coverage of
  • Printing and distribution of key Revcom materials including the Declaration and Proclamation