Ukraine: a new phase of the war and the escalation of aggression against the civilian population

By Oleg Vernyk – President of the «Zakhist Pratsi» Independent Ukrainian Trade Union

On October 8, 2022, an event occurred that, in many ways, changed the nature of the Russo-Ukrainian war. On this day, Putin’s pride, the Crimean bridge, which had just been built under Putin’s personal protectorate and linked the Crimean peninsula seized by Russia in 2014 with the main territory of the Russian Federation, was hit. It should be noted that Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility for the explosion on the bridge, but several officials have confirmed their involvement in the incident. It is now known that a truck with a large amount of explosives was blown up on the bridge. One lane of the highway was destroyed and the railway line was also damaged. This bridge was used to supply Russian troops heading towards Kherson and military experts indicate that this bridge is a totally legitimate target for the Ukrainian army to attack.

Needless to say, the Crimean bridge strike was a serious slap in the face to Russian dictator Putin, as his lifelong favorite idea was badly damaged just a day after his 70th birthday. All experts wondered what exactly Russia’s response to the attack on the Crimean bridge would be. Since the Russian army has not shone on the battlefield for a long time. Unfortunately, Putin has once again chosen the most barbaric method of retaliation: massive rocket attacks on peaceful neighborhoods in Kyiv and also on power plants throughout Ukraine. Russia’s missile attack on Ukrainian territory was carried out on October 10, 2022, starting at 8 a.m. Kyiv time. During that day, Russia fired more than 80 missiles at Ukraine. Throughout October 11 and 12, these attacks continued throughout Ukraine, but with fewer missiles. On October 10 alone, the bombing of peaceful infrastructure in Ukraine caused 47 victims and eight deaths.

These rocket attacks did not and could not have any military significance. The purpose of this attack was solely to intimidate the civilian population of Ukraine and destroy its energy infrastructure. Russian state television channels no longer hide their strategic goal of leaving the civilian population of Ukraine completely without electricity, water, sewage, mobile communications and the Internet. Putin tries to solve the difficult situation on the front for the Russian army by destroying the Ukrainian civilian population with the approaching winter cold, hunger and lack of water and electricity. No one in the Russian elite even remembers the original cynical slogan of the “special military operation”: “liberation of the Ukrainian people from the Nazis.”It is directly about the very physical destruction of the Ukrainian people and the breaking of their basic resistance to imperialist aggression. At the time of writing this article, more than 50% of Ukraine’s power plants and electricity distribution points have already been destroyed.

A very important factor in the new phase of the war is the beginning of Russia’s massive use of Iranian Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicles. The contract indicates the delivery of 2,400 drones from Iran to Russia. This is a very large number and the attack drones are likely to be delivered to the war in batches as they are made in Iran. Already in the first days of use, Iranian drones have proven themselves. Despite their extreme simplicity, lack of sophisticated electronics, and low cost, Iranian drones have proven capable of penetrating Ukrainian air defenses with ease due to their low flight altitude and low speed. It is very revealing that this contract to supply Iranian attack drones to Russia comes at a time when Iran is being rocked by massive anti-clerical and democratic protests by the Iranian people.

P.S. Right now, as I write these lines, Russia has dealt another huge devastating blow to Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Many cities have been left without electricity or water. I have never written in such a dire situation before. Every day between five and six airstrikes take place in kyiv and the kyiv region. During this time, people are forced to hide in bomb shelters or seek the safest places in their apartments. Almost immediately after the air raid alarms go off, electricity and the Internet are cut off for many hours. It has already taken me 5 days to write this brief information. However, we are resisting even in this difficult situation and have not lost our determination and unity in the situation of escalating Russian aggression. I am convinced that all members of the Ucrainian Socialist League will overcome these difficult situation we are living and continue our socialist struggle together with our comrades of the International Socialist League in all countries. Workers of the world, unite!