Zelensky “Turned the Country into a New Afghanistan” – Former Ukrainian PM
Thursday, June 1, 2023
Ahmed Adel, Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher
The legacy of Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky will be turning Ukraine into “a new Afghanistan,” according to former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. Azarov was head of government three times and presided over Ukraine’s largest economic growth in its post-Soviet history, thus making his opinion about Zelensky’s legacy, especially scathing.
“Over the years, presidents of Ukraine made promises to turn the country into either a new France or a new Switzerland. However, Zelensky went further than anyone and turned the country into a new Afghanistan, to the delight of the Anglo-Saxons and defence companies,” Azarov wrote in a social media post.
“What do you think? Is there is a chance that Washington will get tired of its ‘toy’ in the foreseeable future? Or is the pleasure of playing dirty tricks on Russia more important than the lives of the hostages of the Kiev regime?” the politician asked on Facebook.
It is recalled that Azarov explained in an interview in early May the role played by the US and the UK in transforming Ukraine into a failed state, outlining how since the Euromaidan coup in 2014, the country’s population halved. He also characterised the current Ukrainian president as “an empty vessel” who cares more about profits and popularity abroad than the Ukrainian people, which makes him a tool of Western powers and oligarchic interests.
Azarov is certainly not the first to compare the war in Ukraine to that of the 20-year US war in Afghanistan, with experts believing that both conflicts were prospects for the US military-industrial complex to profit from massive new defence contracts. However, experts also warn that Ukraine could become Washington’s next Afghanistan-style forever war.
It is recalled that analyst Scott Ritter, a former United Nations inspector and US Marine in Iraq, said that President Joe Biden should tell his Ukrainian counterpart that his country realistically has no chance of emerging victorious from its confrontation with Russia and that the US runs from fights as it does not have to deal with the terrible consequences of leaving, just like in Afghanistan and Vietnam.
In this same light, The American Conservative published in August 2022 that “defense contractors shed a tear when America’s war in Afghanistan came to a close […] But just after one protracted conflict came to a close, another came to the complex’s rescue. Though there is little national interest for the U.S. in Ukraine, and everything to lose given Russia is a nuclear-armed power, Biden has vowed that the U.S. will be alongside Ukraine for the long haul.”
It is suggested that the US continues its useless but destructive wars, such as in Vietnam, Afghanistan and now Ukraine, to prop up the American military-industrial complex. The same publication, but in a later article, highlighted that the war in Ukraine was a “new 1980s-style Afghanistan, with the U.S. playing both the American and the Soviet roles at times,” adding that “while NATO countries and others sent small numbers of troops and material to Afghanistan, the U.S. has gone out of its way to make Ukraine look like a NATO show when it is not.”
The comments by Azarov came days before Zelensky said that the start time for the activation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine had been approved. According to Zelensky, at the Headquarters of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief meeting, there was also a discussion on the issue of supplying ammunition to soldiers.
However, Zelensky is merely speaking for the sake of speaking when we consider that we are in the last day of spring and the first days of summer, and the long-awaited offensive never began, which is especially humiliating considering the boastful claims made of soon capturing Crimea and Mariupol from Russia.
It is likely that, just like in the Afghanistan case, military offensive methods will not be used by Ukraine but rather terrorist methods instead, such as reconnaissance, drone weapons, airspace intrusion, and infrastructure destruction. As The Telegraph concedes, Ukrainian troops are exhausted, and Kiev is in a “desperate push to replenish its battle-stricken military ahead of a looming counter-offensive.”
Even though Ukraine has received a lot of NATO equipment and weapons, there is nonetheless a shortage of troops that officials consider key players in the counter-offensive. Recruiters are facing a huge challenge trying to attract the right number of men into the army, and now they are adopting harsher recruitment tactics to find people for the Army. All this points to a similar scenario experienced in Afghanistan, something Zelensky has made Ukraine akin to.
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