Beginning in 2015, NATO had been training and equipping the Ukrainian military for the purpose of confronting pro-Russian separatists that had seized power in the Donbass following the ouster of pro-Russian Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich in a violent insurrection, known as the “Maidan Revolution,” spearheaded by right-wing Ukrainian political parties professing loyalty to the memory of Stepan Bandera.
Ukraine had been pursuing NATO membership since 2008, enshrining this goal in its constitution. While actual membership still eluded Ukraine as of 2022, the level of involvement of NATO with the Ukrainian armed forces made it a de facto extension of the NATO alliance.
Russia viewed the combination of NATO membership with the anti-Russian posturing of the post-Maidan Ukrainian government, linked as it was to the ideology of Bandera, as a threat to its national security. The SMO was designed to eliminate that threat.
All Ukrainian forces that are on the territory of the regions to be incorporated into Russia will be viewed as occupiers; and Ukrainian shelling of this territory will be treated as an attack on Russia, triggering a Russian response. Whereas the SMO had, by design, been implemented to preserve Ukrainian civil infrastructure and reduce civilian casualties, a post-SMO military operation will be one configured to destroy an active threat to Mother Russia itself. The gloves will come off.
This is what the world has come to — a mad rush toward nuclear apocalypse predicated on the irrational expansion of NATO and hubris-laced Russophobic policies seemingly ignorant of the reality that the Ukraine conflict has now become a matter of existential importance to Russia.SCOTT RITTER: Reaping the Whirlwind – Consortium News