The Guardian • Issue #2038


Australian troops to train Ukrainian soldiers

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2038

In a decision that will ensure even more death and destruction, the Australian Government has sent 70 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel to the UK to help train Ukrainian soldiers.

The contingent is part of ADF Operation Kudu and is intended to assist with the UK-led and based training program which will focus on basic infantry tactics for urban and wooded environments. “We are proud to support the brave people of Ukraine and their armed forces,” said Matt Keogh, Minister for Defence Personnel, as he farewelled the troops leaving Darwin.

Defence Minister Richard Marles said the Australian government was committed to standing with Ukraine and that this operation “would save lives.” The Australian government should be deeply ashamed of these weasel words for in reality the operation will help keep the war going and destroy more lives.

The Morrison and Albanese governments have so far sent $655 million of taxpayers’ money to the Ukraine. Of this $475 million has been military aid for the US and NATO proxy war on Russia being waged in Ukraine. The Australian government has contributed only $180 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, less than half its military donations. This is not the way to stop the destruction of lives, homes and infrastructure, the human suffering, the floods of refugees.

The war in Ukraine has repercussions around the world. Europe is shivering with no heating because fuel supplies from Russia have been cut off. Hunger stalks the African continent again as food prices go through the roof. Even in Australia the cost of living is rising because of the war’s impact on trade and supply chains.

The government claims that no ADF personnel will enter Ukraine, but it is not unknown for “trainers” to be the start of wars. The war is escalating, and this largely symbolic gesture may herald worse to come.

The big losers in the war are the men, women and children of Ukraine, followed by the people of the world. The big winners are the arms corporations. Military spending already on the rise prior to the Ukraine war is set to get a big boost.

In Australia’s case the massive arms company Thales must be rubbing its hands with glee as they have scored a massive order for $475 million worth of Bushmaster vehicles.

Along with growing millions around the world, we demand an immediate ceasefire followed by negotiations.

Any peace accord reached must be genuine. It cannot be another trick like the 2014 Minsk Agreement which German Chancellor Angela Merkel confessed in an interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit was “an attempt to give Ukraine time. They used that time to get stronger.”

The talks must ensure the safety and security of Ukrainian civilians, the Russian speaking communities living in Ukraine, and the Russian people. Ukraine cannot be allowed to join NATO.

Australia’s dollars must be dedicated to repair and reconstruction. Ukraine does not need more Bushmasters from us. Its people need our donations for new hospitals, homes and schools; they need food, fuel, medical supplies and much more.

Peace will not be easy to win. Western leaders are falling over themselves to pledge their support for “democracy” in a country that has banned opposition parties and trade unions as well as “free speech.” A country that banned Russian, the first language of many of its citizens.

In a further escalation, the US has begun to ship its brand new, more destructive B61-12 nuclear warheads to Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.

The Communist Party’s campaign for a peace budget has never been more appropriate and important.

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