Mira Terada, the head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, interviewed Greg Batterfield, an American anti-war and political activist and correspondent who opposes the intervention of NATO and the United States in the conflict in Ukraine. The head of the Foundation found out from a journalist from the United States why, because of the actions of the American political leadership, it was impossible to resolve the Ukrainian conflict peacefully, what prevents residents of Western countries from learning the truth about the events in Ukraine and for what reason it is impossible to bring war criminals from the United States to legal responsibility.
Good afternoon, dear Greg! Thank you so much for taking the time for the interview to the Foundation to Battle Injustice. Please tell our viewers and readers who you are and what you do?
Thank you so much for having me, Meera. I’m Greg Butterfield. I’m an activist of many years standing in the anti-war and anti-fascist movement in the United States based in Brooklyn, New York. And I am a member of the Socialist Unity Party of the United States, one of the editors of our publication Struggle-La Lucha. And for the last eight years, I’ve spent a lot of my efforts on trying to build solidarity and information, truthful information about the struggle in Donbass and the Ukrainian anti-fascist underground since the US backed coup of 2014, including making two trips to the region.
How do you assess the progress of the special military operation of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine? In your opinion, was it possible to solve the conflict without the use of weapons?
Seems to me that the special operation is progressing very well. It’s really impressive despite the Western propaganda and many attempts to fabricate human rights abuses by Russian troops in Ukraine. It’s clear that what’s really happening is that the Russian and Donbass forces, because it really is a joint military operation, it’s not just Russia but it’s special care is being taken to minimize civilian casualties as much as possible, not to engage in any activities in cities, in urban areas that would be especially detrimental to civilian populations. And I think the real big accomplishment we can see so far is how much territory of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk has been liberated so far. Certainly breaking the back of the Nazi regime in Mariupol is a huge accomplishment. And in Lugansk the Ukrainian forces have been pushed so far back that much of the territory now is relatively safe for the first time in eight years. The struggle is still continuing around Donetsk, as we know. But it’s really important, I think, what’s happening. And as far as whether anything was solvable without a military situation, unfortunately, I think the United States really foreclose the possibility of a peaceful resolution. Russia, the Russian government worked for many years on the basis of trying to get Ukraine to adhere to the Minsk agreements and grant recognition to the to the republics, grant them autonomy make whatever peaceful arrangements could be made. And that was sabotaged at every single step by Ukrainian government on orders from the U.S. And over the past several months, things just came to a situation where it was clear that the U.S. was going to keep pushing Zelensky to attack Donbass. And they drove the Russian government into a corner where there was no option but to intervene militarily to defend the republics and to root out the fascists elements and the NATO, the NATO Armaments in Ukraine. The only the other alternative would have been to do nothing, which would have meant genocide in Donetsk and Lugansk and would have immediately threatened Russia’s sovereignty. And that was just not feasible.
This is fascinating how knowledgeable you are on this subject. Thank you for keeping so close to it and actually let them know the truth abroad so far on other continent. Since 2014, you have been actively involved in organizing the work of movements that resist the spread of ultra-right ideas in Ukraine, organize rallies, and are not afraid to tell facts that are suppressed by Western media. How do you assess the influence of Nazi ideology on the residents of Ukraine? Why, in your opinion, does the country that defeated fascism support and sponsor the Nazis?
I think we have to differentiate different sectors of the Ukrainian population, really. First of all, we know there’s the division between the East and the West with the western side being closer to Western Europe and it’s into right wing ideologies. And that’s been the case for a long time. And the East being more and multinational, more Russian-speaking, closer to Russia. But there’s deeper issues. Also, there’s class issues. And really, what the Maidan coup did in 2014 was to create this kind of false consciousness that the US has gotten so good at spreading in different countries that it wants to undermine and which is papering over these far right genocidal ideas of the bad actors with nice sounding slogans about liberty and democracy and higher standards of living and so on. We all know Ukraine’s standards of living have done nothing but fall since 2014 and the country’s become completely dependent on the IMF and other Western institutions that have sort of driven the country into bankruptcy. So but for working class people in Ukraine I think what is it meant? It’s meant their living standards have fallen. It means that their children, their sons have been drafted into the military to fight a war that they don’t want. It means that families have been divided by the by the war in the East and of course, for many political activists, especially, and journalists and others, it’s meant terrible repression. I’ve met over the years so many exiles from Ukraine living in Russia, living in the Donbas republics and other places who were forced to flee in fear of their lives in 2014, 2015. That’s something that’s never talked about in the WestIt’s always told us all Ukrainians against all Russians. But it’s not true because there’s a huge segment of the Ukrainian population that never accepted what happened in 2014, that never wanted NATO to take over their country. And they’ve been silenced. They’ve been silenced by the repression inside Ukraine and they’ve been silenced by the Western media.
You took part in a protest action against the actions of the United States under the slogan “No war with Russia and Donbass”, which took place in many major American cities. Please tell us how Americans feel about the actions of their political leadership abroad?
Well, it’s interesting. The unfortunate situation in the US antiwar movement in recent months has been that a lot of organizations that before the special operation began were saying that the US was pushing Russia into a corner under the weight of all the propaganda in the West changed their tune and started coming out, as in anti-Russia words, after February. And those of us who were still willing to go out in the street and protest were very small and no compared to that before the special operation began. But what we found when we do go out in the street and hold protests or educational activities in communities, is that there’s a lot of skepticism among everyday people about what the US is doing in Ukraine and especially why the US is pouring billions and billions and billions of dollars into this proxy war when there are such grave conditions for so many millions of people here in the U.S.
And it’s like inflation is out of control, the food and fuel especially, and we know that’s going to be exacerbated even more by the proxy war in Ukraine. But also all of the protections that were put in place during the pandemic have been removed now, particularly important is there was a ban on evictions in most of the country for a while during the pandemic. And now people are getting kicked out of their apartments, losing their homes in large numbers. And at the same time, the rents are increasing because of the inflation. And so when we see when people see Congress unanimously, both parties and the president throwing all of this money and weaponry into a conflict in Europe that people here don’t understand, that it raises a lot of questions for them about why is this happening? Why is the government that’s supposed to be helping us that we pay taxes to, sending all of our money there for a war? So we’re finding that people in the US don’t have a lot of information and certainly not a lot of truthful information about the situation in Donbas and Russia and Ukraine. But what they do have is skepticism about why the money is being spent for a war there instead of for what people need here. And that’s really good for us. That’s laying the basis for organizing people in the future.
Their questions make sense totally. And I feel really bad for every American who has to go through this struggle because there are so many good people in the United States and my heart is with you, guys. And I’m hoping the government of the United States finally will realize that they need to pay more attention to their own people, that they swear to protect, defend and help. Just the other day, the current US president signed another multibillion-dollar aid package for Ukraine. What do you think is the true interest of the current US political leadership in Ukraine?
Well, I mean, ever since the destruction of the Soviet Union 30 years ago there’s been a very clear priority in Washington from both Democratic and Republican administrations, which has been to prevent the rise of another power in the world that can rival the United States. In other words, they want to keep their empire, their domination in place. And the two main contenders for that role are Russia and the People’s Republic of China. And so we’ve seen particularly in the last decade, first under Obama and now Biden, the one faction of the US ruling elites of the capitalist class really wants to target Russia first and another section which was represented by the Trump administration, wanted to target China first. But they both have really the same end goal, which is to secure U.S. hegemony over the over the planet. And in particular, in the case of Russia, I think there’s a there’s a lot of Russia is a huge, huge country with enormous resources as well as a very highly developed, highly educated, technical, technically adept workforce that U.S. corporations, Western corporations, would love to get ahold of for their own purposes and their own profits. And the fact that the Russian government has stood up for its own sovereignty in the last couple of decades and made alliances with China and with other countries that have been targeted by the U.S. for regime change, it is unacceptable to the people in power in the US. And that’s really what’s driving the overall strategic perspective of U.S. imperialism at this point. It’s Russia and China are in the crosshairs. And it’s just a question of which one is targeted first as a stepping stone to the other. And I would say that Russia has done an exemplary job of trying to finesse or trying to give every opportunity, let’s say, to the West to back off, to make peace, to live and let live and at every step Washington has cut that off so that and we can see it in terms of the economic front. We can see it in particular in a way that the U.S. has seized Russia’s foreign assets which it also did with Venezuela and other countries that have been targeted. This is a really this is a war tactic. It’s a war, it’s not a peaceful thing to do. And people in Afghanistan are starving now because after the U.S. withdrew last year, they did the same thing, seize their seize the country’s foreign assets. And now people are going hungry and suffering because of that. And then, of course, there’s the question of Russia’s providing fuel, particularly to Western Europe and shutting down the Nord Stream 2 pipeline the sanctions that are imposed by the Western powers to limit the ability of Russia to export and all of this is also aimed at increasing the profits and the and the geopolitical strength of U.S. corporations. Because who are who are these Western Europe and other countries that now can’t get Russian fuel? Where are they going to buy it from? They’re going to go through the U.S. or third countries that are controlled by the US like Saudi Arabia.
The methods of information warfare used by the main American mass media often resemble the propaganda methods of the generals of the Nazi army, who established strict state control over the media and culture. In your opinion, when will stop the global lies and provocations of the United States regarding the events in Ukraine?
Well, that’s a good question. I think if we look back at history a little bit at other U.S. wars, of aggression in Vietnam and more recently in Iraq, there are two things that are required to kind of break the media propaganda blockade, let’s call it, blockade of truthful information, that was resistance on the on the ground, you know, military resistance by the people who had been targeted by the US. And at the same time, resistance in the United States itself, among the population who were getting wise to the fact that an unjust war was being waged in their name and with their tax dollars. You know, we remember like 20 years ago during the buildup to the Iraq war, after the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, you know, there was the big myth of weapons of mass destruction. That’s what the US was claiming that the Iraqi government had and that was the justification for invading. And although there was a very strong anti-war movement at the time, we were unable to stop the invasion from happening and it was catastrophic for the people in Iraq in particular. But when things turned around a few well, a few years later was when there was massive internal resistance in Iraq, guerrilla war against the occupation by the U.S. and other NATO powers. And at the same time, you know, people in the US, which was going through its own economic crisis at the time, started to, you know, look at why so much money was going into occupying this country on the other side of the world. And that’s when things started to come out, like the, you know, Abu Ghraib photographs that really, really turned things around in the US in terms of exposing what kind of war crimes the US was engaged in. When, you know, as we talked about a little before, before on the call, you know, when Chelsea Manning exposed a lot of the war crimes, which led to her being jailed. And so, you know, that’s not at that point that’s when the U.S. had to start pulling its troops out and making some kind of peace with the different forces in Iraq. So I think in the in the case of Ukraine, we can see that, you know, there is resistance happening. The special operation, the resistance to NATO’s spread over the whole continent, resistance by the Donbass residents who want to maintain their independence and their freedom from the fascist forces in Ukraine. And, you know, and within Ukraine itself, you know, those forces and, you know, Ukraine’s underground resistance working together to try to liberate the country. So, you know, what’s missing at this point is the, you know, a mass consciousness in the United States that can start to resist it. And that’s where we come in. That’s we’re trying to, you know, help to foster that, that a lot of it also has to do with the economic conditions. Because as I mentioned earlier, you know, things are really tough for millions of people in the US right now. People are struggling. You know, you may have heard that there’s like this huge shortage of baby formula in the US and nothing’s being done about it. And you know and you know, infants are suffering, poor families are suffering because of this. And as these conditions get more grievous, people are going to be more open to and they are going to be asking questions and are going to want to know why this is happening. And we’ll be able to sort of breakthrough that wall propaganda, that’s what we’re looking for.
What do you think, which part of the Americans really know the whole truth about the events that are taking place now on the territory of Ukraine? Why aren’t they trying to get to the truth?
Oh, it’s very small part of the population that, you know, knows what’s going on. I mean, and the reason is because, you know, the truth has been hidden and distorted from them for so many years of you know, even before 2014, even before the Maidan coup in Ukraine, there was never any attempt by the US media to present a truthful assessment of conditions of life in Russia and Ukraine. And it was always geared towards getting ready for this, but basically getting ready for this war scenario that NATO has been working on since the fall of the Soviet Union with its expansion from, you know, it’s doubling in size, you know.
So people just don’t have access to the information. You know, one of the things that I learned when I first started working on these issues in 2014 was that I had to learn to like using Internet translation programs and my own editing skills start to actually translate materials for my own use and writing about and speaking about these issues because there’s just nothing available in English. And now it’s a little better because more, you know, sites in news sites in Donbass in Russia do have English pages. And, and that’s very helpful. But it’s still, you know, not accessible to most people. And particularly now the huge censorship and crackdown on any Russian and Donbass related media over the last several months. You know, if you if you search in the U.S. and Google, if you go on the Google News page and you search for anything related to Russian media, you know, no Russian media sources will come up, only articles by the Western media condemning Russian media that they’ve been scrubbed clean. You know, talk about censorship and even our own websites Struggle-La Lucha, which used to be indexed by Google News, no longer is because of our stance on this issue. So it’s not just affecting other countries, but it’s affecting independent media here as well.
Welcome to the world with a freedom of speech right? The economic consequences of the failed US foreign policy were felt by literally the whole world, food and fuel prices soared to unprecedented heights. Why do you think the leaders of Western countries are willing to sacrifice the well-being of their citizens, trying to cause imaginary harm to the Russian economy?
Well, it all goes back to that, you know, drive the insatiable drive that U.S. capitalism has had for more than a century for world domination. And after World War Two, you know, the US capitalism was on top in terms of the Western world and much of the world. And ever since then, the ruling elite in the US has desperately been trying to hold on to that situation where they are number one and everyone answers to them, everyone pays a literally pays profits to them, but also, you know, is loyal to them, is bound down to them. And you know, people have always been struggling against that. The Soviet Union struggled against it. Many, you know, countries throughout the world during the anti-colonial struggles of the 50s and 60s and seventies struggled against it. In the Middle East there were huge struggles against it in the 80s and 90s. And in Yugoslavia first and now in Donbass and Ukraine it’s they’re getting more desperate each time to try to hold on to what they have. And you know, we’ve seen in the last decade or so, you know, a growing closeness between particularly between Russia and China and some other, you know, countries that are trying to be more independent of the global US dominated economic system. And this is very threatening to the people in charge in the US. And they’re, you know, they feel like you know, they’re more than willing to sacrifice the good of the people here in order to keep the profits rolling in for themselves. That’s really what it boils down to. And, you know, the propaganda war, the media war is part of that process of just trying to keep people confused so they won’t stand up to them.
The approval rating of the current US President Joe Biden continues to fall rapidly for several weeks in a row. In your opinion, ordinary Americans have begun to realize that because of the failed foreign policy of their leader, they are forced to overpay for fuel and food?
Yeah, I think that our, you know, outreach to people on this issue, talking about the war, the proxy war in Ukraine and talking about the struggle in Donbass, what we’ve found is that people are skeptical. You know, we always make a point of trying to relate what’s happening there to the difficulties people are facing here. And it makes a lot of sense to people when you when you explain that, particularly the fuel issue and you say, you know, well, this is giving big oil an opportunity to raise its prices and increase its profits by limiting Russia’s ability to export fuel. And we’re, you know, not only Russians, but we are paying the price for that. And, you know, there’s a lot of consciousness, I think, especially after what happened in Iraq. There’s a lot of consciousness that people have about big oil as being especially a purveyor of war for profit. And so that, you know, that idea rings true to a lot of people who may not have thought about putting two and two together before but I think it makes sense to people when they hear it. And so the real you know, the struggle really is to get large numbers of people to hear and understand it. But it’s you know, it’s really the situation for many people, for many families in the US is so grave and getting worse every day that, you know, people are going to be asking that question more like what is the connection? You know, what is the connection between all of this money that’s being sent, all of these arms that are being sent with our taxpayer dollars to fight this war in Ukraine, when, you know our we can’t afford to buy gas for our automobiles that we need to get to work, we can’t afford to buy food for our family at the grocery store, we can’t afford to rent an apartment.
Wake up, Joseph Biden! Hands off Ukraine and take care in your country.
How do you assess the cognitive abilities of the current US President Joe Biden? Do you agree with the statement that a number of his actions and statements clearly indicate that it is time for the 79-year-old president to resign?
Yeah, I mean, I don’t think even in his younger days, he was not the sharpest tool in the shed. As we know, he was never particularly talented or intelligent person. I mean, compare him to his predecessor, Obama, who was very, you know, whatever his faults, and they were many you know, he was very intelligent and well-spoken and strategic. Biden is kind of an off in comparison you know, but I think that the big takeaway from it is that, you know, the US president really is a figurehead in a lot of ways. He’s portrayed as being, you know, the person in charge, who makes the decisions but that’s largely not the case. I mean, the decisions are being made on Wall Street and in the big oil offices and transmitted to Washington. You know, how are you going to take care of this by this fact? And, you know, we can look at the example of Ronald Reagan also for in the 1980s, you know, by his second term in office, he was clearly, you know, his brain was gone I mean, he was he had advanced Alzheimer’s. And they would trot him out once in a while to give a speech, you know, carefully orchestrated speech. But the wheels of the war machine kept turning because behind the scenes, you know, the people with the real power were still pulling the strings. And I think that’s true. You know, definitely Biden. I mean, Biden and his administration have completely disappointed all the people who voted for him out of desperation because of the terrible policies of the Trump administration that threatened so many people People’s daily lives in the US and Biden and his administration have in fact, carried on most of those policies that he campaigned against and have started new bad policies like, you know, the proxy war in Ukraine. So people are really frustrated and disappointed and you know, I think our challenge is to take advantage of that, not to let people get demoralized and taken advantage of, but, you know, get them you, you know, help them develop their anger to have a more clear sense of what’s going on in the world and how to fight for their rights.
Right. It seems like it’s a betrayal. It’s not even anger. It’s like a desperation because what do you do. Crimes committed by the United States in other countries often go unpunished. For the bombing in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Vietnam and Afghanistan, no one from the political and military leadership of the United States bore any responsibility. Why is this happening and how to change it?
Well, I mean, the on the national level in the US, you know, we often hear about how the Democrats and the Republicans are dead set against each other are such terrible enemies. And in some ways that’s true. But they certainly, you know, want to outdo the other in terms of having political power. But when it comes to big issues that affect the whole capitalist system in the United States like war, you can see how they’re united. You can see it in the recent votes around funding for sending more money to the proxy war in Ukraine. It’s virtually unanimous every time. And that’s because ultimately, they both parties serve the same class, the same imperialist ruling class. And, you know, and so through though through that system, through those institutions, we’re not going to get prosecutions of war crimes inside the US as long as those institutions are calling the shots. Internationally. You know, it’s a similar problem in that, you know, the US dominates so many international institutions. Certainly the International Criminal Court was set up from the beginning to favor the US and the Western powers and you know, we can see that, for example, in the in how, you know, those who resisted the breakup of Yugoslavia were persecuted by the ICC while those who committed the bombings, the NATO bombings and armed with the different right wing factions that tore the country apart in Germany, in the US, you know, we’re completely not, you know, never charged. The U.N. is a similar situation. You know, ultimately the, you know, the reins of power are rests with the US and its allies. So we’re not going to find any justice there in the current configuration right. It’s really going to take a big international struggle by people all over the world to force fundamental change on these institutions or eliminate them and replace them with something else. And, you know, I think I was really happy to see that, you know, Russia and the Donbass republics, for example, are working on setting up war crimes tribunals for some of the captured neo-Nazis through the special operation and stuff like that, people who are responsible for these horrible attacks on civilians and in Donetsk and Lugansk over the last few years. And I think that’s in the short term I think that’s the only way that there’s going to be some justice by countries and movements, people’s movements in the in the Western countries coming together and creating our own forums to charge and convict these war criminals because until there’s enough pressure from underneath to force a serious change on the international institutions, they’re going to continue to cover up whatever the West wants.
More than eight years have passed since Ukraine started shelling civilians in Donbass. During this time, not a single complaint from the residents of the DPR and LPR has been accepted by any international human rights organization. What do you think is the reason for such a biased attitude towards people who speak Russian?
Well, I mean, this gets back to what we were just talking about, about international institutions, because the same is true of, you know, NGOs, what we where we in the US like to call the nonprofit industrial complex, which is these organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and many, many others that sort of pose as protectors of human rights or sometimes say something progressive about, you know, a particular struggle if it doesn’t harm U.S. interests. But when there’s a war effort on, they can always be counted on to support the West, the Western propaganda, and to actually to be an important source of that propaganda, because they pose as being independent of the U.S. government and other Western regimes, when in fact, there’s like huge, you know, back and forth between them. You know, people go from the Biden administration into these organizations and back again, similar thing in the European Union and they’re all they’re all tied into the same fundamental interests. So that but it gives people who don’t know people who you know, don’t have the tools to understand that it gives the veneer of, you know, an of objectivity to these propaganda stories. And we’ve seen that very much in the last few months with these organizations. And so, you know, I remember, you know, I’ve been involved with efforts from Ukrainian exiles including survivors of the Odessa massacre in 2014 to bring these chart bring charges to international bodies in the west and you know and it’s just been you know even if we get to the point where there’s some radical legislator that will sponsor an event you know like in the EU parliament for example and people go and are able to speak and that’s great but nothing ever comes of it because they don’t want to, they’re not willing to take it seriously because it goes against the interests of the Western powers and so it’s, it’s untouchable basically.
In your opinion, why does the political leadership of Ukraine refuse to sign peace agreements with the Russian Federation? Don’t they understand that the United States and its allies are waging a war against Russia by the hands of the residents of Ukraine?
I think the Ukrainian government does know that. And I think that they are you know, they’re I don’t want to take any of the blame off of them because they are to blame. But also their hands are tied by Washington. They are they are puppets, really of the US. You know, since 2014 the US has reorganized the police force, the security forces, the military in Ukraine. When Biden was vice president under Obama, he went to the Rada and read them the riot act about how they were supposed to act and what they were supposed to do. It’s very clear that the you know, the officials in Kiev answered to Washington, not to the Ukrainian people. And, you know, we could even you know, it was kind of apparent late last year when the US was really, really pushing Ukraine to attack Donbass. And at first, Zelensky was like: “oh, I don’t know if this is safe. You know, I think we could get in a lot of trouble if we do this.” And the US just kept pushing, right? Pushing him until he gave in. And they use and they used the Nazis as often those folks to put pressure on him as well. And finally he was like: “Okay, you know, we don’t have a choice where we’re going to, you know, put all our forces on the line of contact and threaten to invade.” And as a result, you know, the special operation had to happen. So it’s, you know, it’s really, you know, the Ukrainian government is a neo colony of the United States. It’s, you know, the government there and the oligarchs there, they benefit from that relationship in terms of that, in terms of wealth, and power locally. But when it comes to matters of war and peace and big economic questions, they are just there to carry out the orders from Washington.
How would you comment on the facts recently published by the Russian Ministry of Defense about American biochemical laboratories in Ukraine? Why does the whole world continue to ignore and deny dozens of proofs of US involvement in the manufacture of biological weapons?
Yeah, it’s scary, right?
Absolutely, especially when you know that it is happening so close from you.
Oh, yeah, of course. And it’s not just in Ukraine, but in other former Soviet countries that are under US influence, and I’m sure in other parts of the world as well, they’re carrying out these war, really. That’s what it is. It’s a war industry and one that was very dangerous consequences for people everywhere that, you know, it’s really important that the Russian forces secured this information, secured these facilities and are making the information public when a couple of weeks ago, one of my comrades was in Cuba for a conference on U.S. military bases and NATO. And this was one of the topics of discussion. There was the revelations about the biologic warfare labs in Ukraine. And there was great interest not only from Cubans, but from other movements and countries from Latin America, you know, who are concerned about the situation there, who are, you know, in many cases, our allies of Russia and have benefited from Russia’s support in recent years, like Venezuela. So, you know, I think that the word is getting out there. And that’s a really important because, you know, the world needs to know that these crimes are ongoing and the danger that they pose. And, you know, we are doing our part as well to try to publicize it as much as possible. But it’s really I think it’s one of the great accomplishments of the special operation so far, actually, as uncovering this this information.
When and how, in your opinion, will the special military operation on the territory of Ukraine end?
Well, and I think a lot of that depends on you know, what the people of Donbass and Ukraine themselves want. Certainly the priority at this point is to make sure that Donetsk and Lugansk are safe that the civilians there do not have to continue facing the terrible attacks that have claimed more than 14,000 lives in the last eight years. And that’s kind of the bare minimum, I think. But what we’re seeing now is that, you know, the resistance movements in eastern Ukraine in other areas are starting to raise their heads and say: “hey, we don’t you know, we also don’t want to continue living under this regime, this Kiev regime, and dominated by NATO and having our towns occupied by neo-Nazi battalions”. So I think, you know, a lot of it will depend if, you know, there’s a movement is able to emerge in Ukraine proper that will help sweep away these elements or if it kind of has to be limited for the time being to you know, trying to wipe out as much of the Nazis and NATO’s armaments as possible in the rest of Ukraine and kind of leave it at that for the moment. I don’t think that’s a that’s not going to be a long term solution to the crisis. Will be much better if Ukrainians are able to rise to the occasion and throw out the regime throughout NATO from the whole country with the help of the Donbass and Russian forces, that remains to be seen. But I think, you know, right now we can definitely count on that. You know, at the very least, you know, there’s going to be a good buffer zone to protect the people in Donbass and which includes many, many exiles from the rest of Ukraine who have fled there over the years.