The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Stalemate and Continued Massacre, Driven by U.S. Imperialism

Oct 30, 2023

The war in Ukraine, especially after the catastrophic escalation of war in the Middle East, has all but disappeared from the news in the U.S. But this war, which began 18 months ago, still continues to kill people—and to fill the coffers of weapons manufacturers and merchants based in the U.S. and other big powers.

In September, for example, the Ukrainian military command announced that Ukrainian forces had captured an area of about one square mile from the Russians. The Russians, on their part, also boast such military “successes.”

These claims are usually not independently verified, but even if these claims are true, they come at a very bloody price. Both Ukrainian and Russian authorities treat the number of casualties as military secrets. Still, in August, the New York Times reported that, according to estimates of U.S. officials, the number of casualties in the war had reached 500,000—190,000 of them dead and 310,000 injured. And that’s only military casualties, without counting the thousands of casualties this war has claimed among civilians.

Not to mention the millions of people who were driven from their homes by this war, the number of Ukrainian refugees registered in other countries has reached 6.2 million, about one out of seven people living in Ukraine before the war.

So, this “war of attrition,” as commentators now call it, continues to kill and victimize human beings and to destroy what is necessary to live for those who remain—and not only in Ukraine. Practically every day, Ukrainian drones strike Russian border provinces, and sometimes further from the front. And inflation, exacerbated by the war, is soaring in Russia, which the working population, active and retired, pays for. As is the case in Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of men have fled Russia to avoid being drafted into the army.

The war doesn’t stop because big powers, above all the U.S., continue to supply weapons to Ukraine, and increasingly deadly and destructive ones. After all the guns, missiles, tanks, cluster bombs, and warplanes, Denmark and the Netherlands announced in August that, with the approval of the U.S., they were going to supply F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine.

So the killing continues, and so does the U.S. funding of it: Officially 45 billion dollars so far and counting. Last summer, then U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said that Ukraine’s counteroffensive would be long and very bloody. "That is the nature of war," Milley added. And this war threatens to spread—especially since the U.S. continues to arm other countries in the region, such as Ukraine’s western neighbor, Poland.

U.S. officials have openly said that they purposely continue to fund Ukraine’s war effort to weaken Russia and further the U.S.’s control in that part of the world. U.S. imperialism drives the war in Ukraine—with its horrible cost for the people of Ukraine and Russia.