Western narratives of an imminent Russian defeat in Ukraine have had to be grudgingly recast. With the Azov stranglehold on the port city of Mariupol broken by the combined forces of the Russian military and the Donbass militias, the antifascist forces have been able to move on to the second phase of the campaign, the liberation of the Donbass.
Facts on the ground have given the lie to Kiev’s frantic whistling in the dark about the imminent collapse of Russian forces, as the Russian offensive daily advances in the Donbass.
The relief of Mariupol was a crucial turning point in Russia’s offensive. The Azov goons, who had gloried in their reputation as the most vicious and ideologically committed of Ukraine’s armed forces, had sworn never to surrender, barricading themselves inside the Azovstal steelworks and holding the city’s largely Russian population hostage.
However in practice the do or die promises of fighting to the death eventually evaporated in the cold light of day, as one after another the would-be heroes emerged blinking from the tunnels under the factory complex and into the custody of the Russian forces. The job of denazification was made simpler thanks to the passion of the would-be martyrs for getting themselves tattooed with swastikas and SS flashes, conveniently revealed when they were required to lift their shirts.
Fondly imagining that the Kiev junta’s cause has the backing of the Ukrainian masses, supposedly ready to launch a veritable people’s resistance war, the pundit chorus still tried to kid themselves that with just one more heave of support from western countries, the Russian menace would be seen off entirely.
In reality, this narrative was never anything other than a desperate propaganda campaign on behalf of a rotten comprador state on the verge of collapse.