US officials now suddenly announced that 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed so far. This Western state secret was revealed - but it was not a secret at all.
Death toll publicly known
In Ukraine, soldiers killed have been widely reported since 2014. This can be easily followed by the West. For example, with a click you can go to the local media Poltavshyna: It operates in Poltava, the district capital of the small Ukrainian region of the same name with a total registered population of 1.4 million. Since the beginning of the war, the editorial office has published the names of all the soldiers killed in the region, with a photo and obituary.
By early August 2023, the editorial board arrived at 1,211 soldiers killed in Poltava. Other Ukrainian media are also full of facts that are readily available.
Public, ceremonial mass funerals
The Ukrainian government promotes publicly staged mourning, to strengthen the will to persevere. In larger towns, several funerals are often grouped together, and a sea of yellow and blue flags adorns the long processions and cemeteries.
Mass funerals are celebrated publicly and lavishly. This is how it was reported in early June 2022: In the cemetery of the small town of Krasnopilske with 28,000 inhabitants, a total of 10 mass burials have already been celebrated since the end of February 2022, i.e. during these three months. The military chaplain in charge, Dmitro Povorotny, explained, "During the three months, a total of 293 killed soldiers have been buried. "This cemetery is just one of thousands of cemeteries in Ukraine," he added. At the same time, he compared the rapid increase in the number of deaths compared to the beginning of the war: "Since the beginning of the war in 2014, in these eight years since then, there have been only 175 fallen." So it's self-evident to him, too: the war was started back in 2014.
Ritually pushed funerals: Ukrainian supplemented with U.S. symbolism
The Ukrainian population traditionally attaches importance to church-attended funerals. Therefore, the government made sure that a new Orthodox Church, independent of Russia, was split off at the latest since 2014. For the funerals are to be lavishly celebrated by Orthodox priests, mostly military priests, clad in glittering robes. Soldiers in uniform are also present. On Ukrainian television, also easily accessible in the West, reports of this have been part of the daily routine since 2014.
In 2019, President Zelensky and his wife visited the central U.S. military cemetery Arlington National Cemetery in Washington. From it, they brought home additional rituals: lining up the coffins, national flags on the coffins, furling the flags and folding them to give to the bereaved, three gun salutes by six soldiers each, military band, priests loudly calling out the names of the fallen, intoning Glory to Ukraine, mourners responding with Glory to the Heroes.
Thus, because of the already increasing number of the fallen, Zelensky added a "new polish" to the funeral ceremonies, as the Washington Post reported approvingly. And the government wants to establish a new central military cemetery in Kiev, an Arlington knockoff.
Lascivious female soldiers as wartime influencers
The Ukrainian government's Western proxy war is being given a feminist makeover. Even before the war, NATO was advertising with posters in Kiev for women to join the army: an opportunity for "emancipation" in Ukraine's patriarchal society, where the gap between male and female incomes is particularly high. With 43,000 female soldiers, Ukraine has the highest percentage of women in the military. Among them are female commanders and snipers.
Among them is Evgenia Emerald, "a pretty woman in her late twenties with red fingernails.... On Instagram, where more than 70,000 people follow her, she poses with a rifle, expressive face, and sometimes lascivious. At one point she stands in front of a destroyed tank, the rifle like something precious in her arms, and sings." This is how "serious" German leading media such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung praise her.
To ensure that this is done properly according to "Western values," the government has set up its own gender advisory service in the army. A factory has been established where only women are allowed to sew women's uniforms.
"The Ukrainian army was and remains one of the armies in which most women serve," Zelensky boasted. His wife added: "Female soldiers as superheroes bring victory closer with every day of their lives."
Soldiers freeze their sperm: Saving the national gene pool against Russia!
Neoliberally extremely deregulated Ukraine is the hot spot of commercial exploitation of female bodies. Surrogacy with specialized agencies, laboratories, clinics has been developed into a profitable service industry, with customers from all over the world, including the USA: In Ukraine, the supply production of babies is unrivaled cheap - the poverty of women makes this possible.
This industry is also ready for war. For example, the IVMED Fertility Clinic in Kiev alone freezes the sperm of 10 Ukrainian soldiers every week. "This is a personal and also a patriotic action," says one woman whose husband had his sperm frozen and who was killed on the front lines. This way, the woman can have more children from him even after his death. And soldiers can go to war "more fearlessly".
Several clinics have been offering these services, at the soldiers' expense. But with the help of a law, the state will now promote and pay for it. Oksana Dmytriieva, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, has introduced a bill to this effect. This is also intended to secure the Ukrainian "gene pool" for the future. "This is how we continue our nation," it says.
Soldier sperm freezing is something U.S. clinics first provided for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Up to $400,000 for a soldier killed
Ukraine is the world's most over-indebted state - and pays its soldiers among the highest in the world: after all, they currently serve on the front lines, the deadliest fronts of Western geopolitics. And with the help of Ukraine, US-led capitalism is not only concerned with Russia, but with the penetration of the whole of Eurasia, "from Lisbon to Vladivostok", as the well-known US presidential advisor Brzezinski publicly announced as early as 1997.
At the end of February 2022, the Ukrainian government decided: ordinary soldiers will get an additional US$2,700 per month if they are deployed in an officially defined combat zone. And those deployed outside the direct combat zone will still receive an additional US$800 per month. That's a substantial income given Ukraine's extremely low average wage of US$400 - not to mention high unemployment, even before the war.
And the government decided at the end of 2022: For soldiers killed in military conflicts, their relatives will receive up to $400,000. Incidentally, this sacrifice money for soldiers killed is four times higher than in the United States.
Corruption with the death bonus
Ukraine has generally been judged to be the most corrupt state in Europe for decades, according to assessments by the European Union, the World Bank, and the UN-registered nongovernmental organization Transparency International.
The anti-corruption agency set up with U.S. advice has not yet been successful. Oligarchs, politicians and the media are permanently dependent on Western donors and, like President Zelensky himself, hide their money in Western financial havens. And especially in war, the leadership must not be hampered by too much corruption-fighting.
It is precisely the assessment and documentation of the killing of soldiers in active conflict that is susceptible to corruption: those who fought successfully and bravely at the very front - are entitled to the maximum amount of money. And the subsequent documentation of the circumstances of death is essentially in the hands of the commanders.
A well-documented recent case is the following: a deputy battalion commander extorted $27,000 each from several widows of fallen soldiers, which is 10 percent of the payment of $270,000 each based on his information.
Other known cases: soldiers procure leave or transfer to a rear location - with the help of a payment to their commanders.
The reservoir of soldiers is shrinking
Ukraine maintains a military with more soldiers than much richer countries such as Germany, France, England - and the Ukrainian population is not only much smaller. In addition, it is shrinking at an accelerated rate, long before the war, for several reasons:
*From the original 51 million at independence in 1991, Ukraine's population has now shrunk to about 40 million, even before the war, mostly due to emigration, mostly poverty-related, but also because of incitement of citizens to be of Russian origin.
*Many Ukrainians of working age went abroad by the millions as migrant workers, such as truck drivers, not all following conscription orders,
*Since the end of 2022, practically all employees in government agencies and the many state and semi-public enterprises - with broad interpretation in 15 categories including the upper ranks of students and academics - are exempt from military service. Unemployed workers and poor peasants' sons are the main ones left as ordinary soldiers.
High bonuses for staying at the front: fighting morale drops
In February 2023, the government reformed the bonus system for soldiers in order to bolster the widely announced spring counteroffensive.
Until then, rank-and-file soldiers received the aforementioned $2,700 extra per month if they were
deployed in an officially defined combat zone. And those who were deployed outside the direct combat zone still received the additional US$800 per month.
But as of February 2023, the $800 bonus for deployment in the rear combat zone has been eliminated altogether. There is only the bonus of 2,700 US $, but no longer as a lump sum per month, but only exactly calculated according to the counted days of combat deployment documented by the commander. This is how poverty is exploited.
"This is a strong pressure on soldiers to stay on the front lines as long as possible, especially if the soldier is the sole income earner of the family." At the same time, however, the prospect of more likely death lowers morale, the Ukrainian newspaper Kyiv Independent sums up after numerous interviews with soldiers. Up to half of them would rather leave the military.
Because of flagging discipline, the Selensky government not only drastically increased penalties for desertion, insubordination and criticism of superiors as early as December 2022, up to 12 years in prison.
"70,000 Ukrainian Soldiers Killed So Far"
So wrote the New York Times, closely connected with US authorities, in mid-August 2023, suddenly, without having given the slightest hint beforehand: According to official U.S. figures, 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed so far and between 100,000 and 120,000 wounded. This does not mean those killed and wounded since the start of the war in 2014, but only those since 2022.
The journal makes a telling comparison: "In just a year and a half, the number of Ukrainian military personnel killed has already surpassed the number of U.S. soldiers killed during the nearly two-decade war in Vietnam (about 58,000), as well as the similar number of Afghan security forces killed in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2021 (about 69,000)."
The US is used to and practiced in sacrificing tens of thousands of even foreign soldiers as proxy warriors on the altar of "Western values" i.e. US national interest in the wars it prepares and conducts in violation of international law. In Afghanistan there were officially 69,000 Afghans in 20 years (maybe there were more). In Ukraine so far in only one and a half years there are officially already 70,000 Ukrainians.
Ukraine: "A beacon for the power of capitalism"
The more soldiers are killed before the (temporary) end of the war, the more is destroyed before, the more profitable becomes the "reconstruction" of Ukraine announced by the USA.
The largest capital organizer of U.S.-led capitalism, BlackRock, leading investor in the defense, agribusiness and fracking industries, was appointed official coordinator of Ukraine's "reconstruction" in late 2022.
BlackRock, in the U.S. government since Obama and again with President Biden, is both a party to capital and war. BlackRock CEO Lawrence Fink enthused that Ukraine can become "a beacon of hope for the power of capitalism."
The capitalist beacon already includes up to $400,000 for the 70,000 Ukrainian servicemen and servicewomen killed - counting the corruption shares for the commanders, who are high earners anyway.
The views and informations expressed in the article are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect the views of The International. We believe in providing a platform for a range of viewpoints from the left.
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