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The U.S.-NATO/Russian War in Ukraine After One Year: Nuclear-Armed Powers Prepare for Even Deadlier Battles in Coming Weeks and Months

USAF airmen push over 8,000 pounds of 155 mm shells on to a C-17 cargo aircraft bound for Ukraine, April 29, 2022.


USAF airmen push over 8,000 pounds of 155 mm shells onto a C-17 cargo aircraft bound for Ukraine, April 29, 2022.    Photo: USAF

February 24 will mark one year since Russia illegally invaded Ukraine, a neighboring country. Almost immediately after the invasion, the U.S. and its NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Alliance) allies greatly expanded and elevated the lethality of the massive amounts of military equipment they had already been sending to Ukraine. (At this point, the U.S./NATO forces have provided or promised the Ukrainian army with over $50 billion worth of military equipment,1 and provided them with extensive intelligence and high-level strategic planning “advice.”) The fighting in Ukraine very quickly became a proxy war between rival imperialist powers—Russia on one side, and the U.S. and NATO on the other.

This war is a meat grinder into which human beings are being fed. Tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of people have died, many more have been made refugees, and still more have been maimed, raped, made homeless, and traumatized in other ways. And through it all, the danger of nuclear war has grown.

Dangerous Escalation in Ukraine War— A conversation between Andy Zee & Lenny Wolff
From The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show

Major and Dangerous Escalation in the Offing

For several months at the end of 2022 the war was locked in a bitter, grinding stalemate, in which neither could gain an upper hand. But both sides have been preparing major offensives to break that stalemate. Reports indicate that Russia is sending hundreds of thousands more troops to Ukraine’s east, and that a Russian offensive is “imminent.” Major battles have already begun in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine has been receiving renewed and expanded infusions of modern tanks and other weaponry from the U.S. and NATO, and preparing them for combat. Many of Ukraine’s soldiers and officers are undergoing intensive strategic training in the U.S., England, and Germany, where they are learning skills in gathering and communicating target information, intelligence, logistical support, and combined arms warfare.

Last week top military and political leaders from the U.S. and other NATO countries met with Ukrainian leaders and pledged still more “heavy weapons and military training” to “tip the balance of the war” this spring. Planning for offensives by U.S. and NATO leadership hinges on one big gamble: that a U.S./NATO-supported Ukraine can “win the war” without compelling Russia to respond to its defeat with nuclear weapons, which would in turn force the U.S./NATO to use its nuclear weapons on Russia.

Think about the insanely cold-blooded logic behind these “rationales” for mass slaughter. These monstrous creations of imperialism are willing to “gamble” (with the lives of tens of millions of people!) that the escalations they are calling for won’t enter the realm of “mutual destruction”!

As Bob Avakian said recently in his interviews on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show,

We can no longer afford to allow these imperialists to dominate the world and to determine the destiny of humanity. They need to be overthrown as quickly as possible.

Bob Avakian, The Bob Avakian Interviews



This War is an Imperialist Showdown, NOT “Good Guys vs. Bad Guys”

Ukraine is not a battleground between democracy and autocracy, it is a conflict zone of imperialist rivalry between Russian imperialism and U.S. and Western imperialism. Both are driven by the fundamental logic of capitalism—expand or die. Both are fighting to impose their will on the other, and to advance the interests of their empire at the expense of the other—at a cost of tens of thousands of lives lost, with the looming threat of crushing and incinerating millions more. (For more analysis and history of this situation, including several critical articles by Bob Avakian [BA], go to’s The War in Ukraine: A Resource Page.)

Neither Side Can Afford to Back Down

Russia is determined to solidify and extend its grip on southern and eastern portions of Ukraine that Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, and Russia’s leadership generally consider rightfully theirs. Ukraine—again, backed and at this point acting as a proxy for the U.S.-NATO imperialists—is determined to prevent that, and to retake all of those territories from Russia. Neither side thinks it can afford to lose. Both are armed to the teeth. As Bob Avakian wrote in his article “World War 3 and Dangerous Idiocy,” if either side faces strategic defeat, or if the U.S./NATO is drawn into open combat with Russia, “… the ‘dynamics’ of direct war between the U.S./NATO and Russia would very likely lead to a process of continuing escalation, with neither side willing—or really able—to back down when faced with the prospect of some kind of defeat in this war.”

The Threat of Nuclear War—of World War 3—Is Real, and Is Growing More Likely by the Day

Biden-Putin_Doomsday clock at a few minutes before midnight.


The Doomsday Clock was set at 90 seconds to midnight on January 24, 2023. According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, this was done “largely (though not exclusively) because of the mounting dangers of the war in Ukraine." This is the closest to forecasting global catastrophe it has ever been.   

In October Revolution wrote that “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.” Since then, this conflict has gotten significantly more dangerous. It is the major reason the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists recently set its “Doomsday Clock” the closest to midnight it’s ever been (midnight signifying global catastrophe), and said humanity and the planet are in a “time of unprecedented danger.” Leaders of both the U.S. and Russia have openly talked about the possibility of using nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons used by either side, for whatever reason, would be a monstrous war crime. It would inflict horrible suffering on millions of people in Ukraine, Russia, probably surrounding countries, and would possibly threaten life on the entire planet.

The Republican Party Is Fascist; The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

The Democrats are not the “party of peace”—their entire record is one of bloody war crimes and crimes against humanity. They have demonstrated over and over again they won’t hesitate when it comes to killing millions of people in the interests of the U.S. empire. The Democrats are the party of nuclear bombs dropped on densely populated cities … the party of napalm—jellied gasoline that burns to the bone dropped on children … the party of drone strikes on wedding parties. And now, under Democratic Party leadership, this country is bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war. It’s way past time for people to stop being a tail on the Democratic donkey! The Republicans and the Democrats are machines of massive war crimes committed to maintaining an empire built on unrelenting exploitation of billions of people around the world.2 3

BAsics 3:12 quotation by Bob Avakian


This Whole Dynamic Must Be Urgently, Radically Changed—in the Interests of Humanity, Not of Rival and Contending Imperialists

We can’t stand by passively and hope for the best! Everyone needs to be challenged with, and think deeply about, the truth of these words by Bob Avakian, BA:

All this emphasizes why it is vitally important for the masses of people, in this country, and other countries aligned with it, as well as in Russia—for people everywhere—to finally and fully wake up now, recognize the real, and profoundly heavy, stakes involved, and act in accordance with our actual interests—the interests of all of humanity: demanding that this war in Ukraine, and the involvement (direct and indirect) of the imperialists on both sides in this war, be STOPPED, before it not only causes even greater suffering for the people of Ukraine but possibly escalates into a far more terrible conflict which causes massive destruction and death, on a whole other level, and even possibly poses a threat to the very existence of humanity itself.



1. Ukraine is burning through ammunition faster than the US and NATO can produce it, CNN, 2/17/23; US to send $3.75B in military aid to Ukraine, its neighbors, AP, 1/6/23 [back]

2. See the Revolution chart: The Republican Party Is Fascist. The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity: This System CANNOT Be Reformed—It MUST Be Overthrown! Republicans, Democrats and U.S. Crimes Against Humanity [back]

3. See the Revolution series American Crime. [back]

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