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Is Ukraine trying to open a second front against Russia?

Escalation is inevitable in Ukraine. Credit: Anatolii Stepanov/AFP/Getty

February 15, 2023 - 7:30am

Speaking on Saturday, Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili alleged that Ukraine is trying to open a “second front” by drawing his nation into its war with Russia. “We have heard direct statements from Ukrainian officials that their goal is to open the second front,” said Garibashvili, who added that “attempts are still being made to transfer the Ukrainian war to our country.” 

Garibashvili’s allegations were the latest in a string of similar claims from Georgian leaders. In January, the chairman of the country’s ruling party claimed a “global war party” has the goal of “artificially creating problems for Georgia”, with the aim of opening a second front. He argued that while Georgia has the military means to “make the situation worse for Russia”, doing so would “come at the cost of destroying Georgia”. 

Georgia’s tense relations with Kyiv have been highlighted in recent days by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s criticisms of Tbilisi for imprisoning and allegedly mistreating former Georgian President and Ukrainian national Mikheil Saakashvili.  Yet whatever the veracity of the Prime Minister’s claims, it is concerning that they carry a hint of credibility in the context of previous apparent attempts by Ukraine to expand the war beyond its own borders. 

Garibashvili’s allegations came the day after Ukraine made headlines claiming that a Russian rocket had violated the airspace of NATO country Romania on its way to striking Ukraine from the Black Sea. Zelenskyy said that “several Russian missiles passed through the airspace of Moldova and Romania. These missiles are a challenge to NATO and collective security. This terror that can and must be stopped.” 

Yet Romania denied that Russian missiles had entered its airspace, saying the nearest any rocket came was 22 miles from the border. Moldova confirmed that its own airspace had been violated. 

If Romania is telling the truth, it is alarming to think that Ukraine may have invented an act of Russian aggression against a NATO country. Doubly concerning is the fact that this is not the first time a contradiction like this has occurred. 

When a missile fell on Polish territory last November, it seemed for a few dreadful hours that World War Three was looming. Zelenskyy claimed in his daily address that “Russian missiles hit Poland”. He went on: “This is a Russian missile attack on collective security. This is a very significant escalation. We must act.”  

Even when it was confirmed that the missile had been fired by Ukrainian air defence, he refused to back down, saying he had “no doubt it was not our missile”. 

In this context, the accusations being made by the Georgian authorities seem less far-fetched, although they should still be taken with a heavy pinch of salt. Ukraine has a clear and understandable interest in broadening the war beyond its own borders, stretching Russian forces and ensuring even greater involvement from Western partners. 

During his visits to London, Paris and Brussels last week, Zelenskyy again showed inspirational leadership and extraordinary personal magnetism. At the same time, apparent Ukrainian attempts to bring other countries into the war through inaccurate communications suggest that the West should be careful not to take everything he says at face value.


William Nattrass is a British journalist based in Prague and news editor of Expats.cz

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Tom Watson
TW
Tom Watson
1 year ago

Ukraine, who can’t win the war they’re in in its current configuration, doing everything they can to change the configuration of the war and draw allies/neutrals into open conflict with its enemy.

Allies/neutrals very keen for that not to happen.

Only journalists surprised. ‘Surely an inspirational leader would never tell LIES?’

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

It’s getting messy.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

It’s getting messy.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
1 year ago

Ukraine, who can’t win the war they’re in in its current configuration, doing everything they can to change the configuration of the war and draw allies/neutrals into open conflict with its enemy.

Allies/neutrals very keen for that not to happen.

Only journalists surprised. ‘Surely an inspirational leader would never tell LIES?’

B Emery
BE
B Emery
1 year ago

“global war party” has the goal of “artificially creating problems for Georgia”

That. Is the part we need to worry about. The global war party part.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

So is this conspiracy part of “World Capital (!)” or are they some other group, like the Illuminati?
It wouldn’t, of course, be a coalition of sovereign states suddenly worried about the fate of a friendly nation that abuts half a dozen NATO countries?
A nation that, so far, is fighting brilliantly against an invasion by a dysfunctional, genocidal opponent.
Is it THAT “global war party?”

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Well I imagine it’s a load of neo con nutters, progressive pillocks and maybe the arms dealers that are making big money. Just a guess though.
I don’t know what the Georgian leader is referring to, but it sounds ominous.

M Lux
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

It’s not mysterious, it’s just that no one in the Anglosphere wants to call out the US/UK war machine, because otherwise they’ll get cancelled or defunded.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

President Eisenhower called it the military-industrial complex. It isn’t some schizo conspiracy theory.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Well I imagine it’s a load of neo con nutters, progressive pillocks and maybe the arms dealers that are making big money. Just a guess though.
I don’t know what the Georgian leader is referring to, but it sounds ominous.

M Lux
ML
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

It’s not mysterious, it’s just that no one in the Anglosphere wants to call out the US/UK war machine, because otherwise they’ll get cancelled or defunded.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

President Eisenhower called it the military-industrial complex. It isn’t some schizo conspiracy theory.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

So is this conspiracy part of “World Capital (!)” or are they some other group, like the Illuminati?
It wouldn’t, of course, be a coalition of sovereign states suddenly worried about the fate of a friendly nation that abuts half a dozen NATO countries?
A nation that, so far, is fighting brilliantly against an invasion by a dysfunctional, genocidal opponent.
Is it THAT “global war party?”

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago

“global war party” has the goal of “artificially creating problems for Georgia”

That. Is the part we need to worry about. The global war party part.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago

“During his visits to London, Paris and Brussels last week, Zelenskyy again showed inspirational leadership and extraordinary personal magnetism.”
Of course he did, he’s an actor.

Rocky Martiano
RM
Rocky Martiano
1 year ago

“During his visits to London, Paris and Brussels last week, Zelenskyy again showed inspirational leadership and extraordinary personal magnetism.”
Of course he did, he’s an actor.

Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

Canadian Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire in charge of keeping the peace in Rwanda was refused the means to do that, and so the genocide happened. His book of the evil, so much evil he said he saw the Devil, smelled him, knew him – and so by that came to know God exists, and wrote the book:

Shake Hands with the Devil,”

When I see Zalenski and the slaughter going on, I feel those shaking his hand are doing just that…… To see Congress and Parliament applaud him astounds me – absolutely astounds me… How are they taken in by this? Is evil now winning the world?

PEACE NOW, enough of this charnelhouse, this destruction of humanity – Not one more penny, not one more bullet to this evil war – Peace Table – work it out.

But then we know this war destroying Ukraine and its people is nothing to do with them, they are the mere pawns, and their lands the chess board…. and evil as Dallarie describes rains down on the world from Davos and its tools like Biden and Boris, Putin, and the CCP –

””I know there is a God because in Rwanda I shook hands with the devil. I have seen him, I have smelled him and I have touched him. I know the devil exists and therefore I know there is a God.” ― Roméo Dallaire, ”Shake Hands With The Devil

Let us hope God does become the direction the useful idiots in Parliament and Congress turn to, and away from the wickedness of this war – and Peace may be found instead of this hell.

Sarolta Rónai
Sarolta Rónai
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

I upvoted your comment but looks as if I had downvoted it. Very strange.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

The “useful idiots” here are – as ever (and that’s where the phrase originated as I assume you know) – those who are suckered in to naively following the Moscow line. The sort of people that believe – indeed for whatever strange reasons desperately need to believe – that Putin can be believed and trusted. It’s usually driven by an irrational and unsatiable hatred of their own country.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

You are one of the idiots that doesn’t realise how fragile the house of cards is propping up our economies and supply chains. You are one of the idiots that will pull us into a war that will cause a catastrophic collapse. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

This “house of cards” exists because we foolishly believed Putin did not intend to suddenly make a play to blackmail Europe with Russian gas and oil supplies–and blackmail the rest of the world with threats to cut off world food supplies.
Our error was trusting a man who came to power by blowing up the apartments of his own people 1999.
Give him a pass on that, and we deserve everything we have received since.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

America cut off the gas. Did you miss Seymour hershs nord stream story? They also pushed for sanctions.
It is going to be difficult to defeat putin considering NATO hasn’t even got the ammo to do it.

https://news.antiwar.com/2023/02/13/stoltenberg-says-ukraine-using-way-more-munitions-than-nato-can-produce/

So, Mr logan, how will we be defeating russia?

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Sorry, Putin is RUSSIAN. They will do everything they can to harm an enemy, even if it hurts them. Hersh is senile, and thus delusional.
And sadly, since Jan, Putin is running out of money.
So how do you fight a war if you can’t pay for tanks, planes and people?

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Logan

You still haven’t said how nato are going to win this without the ammunition.
Putin just bought all the shit we left behind in Afghanistan.
Russia has plenty of money.
Compare:

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/current-account

https://tradingeconomics.com/russia/current-account

The Russians look like they have spent a fair bit, but it’s still in the black.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Logan

You still haven’t said how nato are going to win this without the ammunition.
Putin just bought all the shit we left behind in Afghanistan.
Russia has plenty of money.
Compare:

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/current-account

https://tradingeconomics.com/russia/current-account

The Russians look like they have spent a fair bit, but it’s still in the black.

Martin Logan
ML
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Sorry, Putin is RUSSIAN. They will do everything they can to harm an enemy, even if it hurts them. Hersh is senile, and thus delusional.
And sadly, since Jan, Putin is running out of money.
So how do you fight a war if you can’t pay for tanks, planes and people?

M Lux
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Oh please, the house of cards exists because the US wanted the Russian market wide open for “capitalist-liberal democracy” after the Fall of the USSR and what ensued was a vacuum and feeding frenzy in which Putin came out on top.
Bush jr was perfectly happy to be chummy with Putin (“fighting terrorists” – which meant something different to each of them, but was great fluff for the media) when he wasn’t considered a threat. Putin even suggested Russia joining the vaunted fellowship of the West (to Clinton), but was rebuffed and thereafter he knew what the game was.
And finally what is this talk about trust? International relations aren’t based on trust and trusting anyone to do anything without some guarantee will usually end in a backstab (for example with NATO expansion). Conditions on the ground and geographical imperatives (primarily) determine how states act, so please stop cheerleading for WW3 based on your apparently hurt feelings.

B Emery
BE
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

America cut off the gas. Did you miss Seymour hershs nord stream story? They also pushed for sanctions.
It is going to be difficult to defeat putin considering NATO hasn’t even got the ammo to do it.

https://news.antiwar.com/2023/02/13/stoltenberg-says-ukraine-using-way-more-munitions-than-nato-can-produce/

So, Mr logan, how will we be defeating russia?

M Lux
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Oh please, the house of cards exists because the US wanted the Russian market wide open for “capitalist-liberal democracy” after the Fall of the USSR and what ensued was a vacuum and feeding frenzy in which Putin came out on top.
Bush jr was perfectly happy to be chummy with Putin (“fighting terrorists” – which meant something different to each of them, but was great fluff for the media) when he wasn’t considered a threat. Putin even suggested Russia joining the vaunted fellowship of the West (to Clinton), but was rebuffed and thereafter he knew what the game was.
And finally what is this talk about trust? International relations aren’t based on trust and trusting anyone to do anything without some guarantee will usually end in a backstab (for example with NATO expansion). Conditions on the ground and geographical imperatives (primarily) determine how states act, so please stop cheerleading for WW3 based on your apparently hurt feelings.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

This “house of cards” exists because we foolishly believed Putin did not intend to suddenly make a play to blackmail Europe with Russian gas and oil supplies–and blackmail the rest of the world with threats to cut off world food supplies.
Our error was trusting a man who came to power by blowing up the apartments of his own people 1999.
Give him a pass on that, and we deserve everything we have received since.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

We all appreciate you bringing balance to the equation of useful idiots and useless idiots.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

You are one of the idiots that doesn’t realise how fragile the house of cards is propping up our economies and supply chains. You are one of the idiots that will pull us into a war that will cause a catastrophic collapse. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

We all appreciate you bringing balance to the equation of useful idiots and useless idiots.

Steve Farrell
Steve Farrell
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

For all his faults, Zelenskiy is fighting a defensive war. Why does he get labelled as the devil & not Putin?

M Lux
ML
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Farrell

I’m sorry but who is labeling him as the devil? Sean Penn gave him his oscar (for some reason). He gets feted wherever he goes and applies unprecedented amounts of pressure on western countries – enough to make any autocrat jealous (of course this actually works because the US is standing behind him, but that’s not what the media tell you).
To be fair, I do think it’s laudable that he didn’t flee when everyone was telling him to and I was genuinely interested to see how his peace and anti-corruption platform will be put into practice (although it never was), but his desire to make a regional conflict global has (justifiably to my mind) soured opinion on him somewhat.
And with regards to Putin – come on man, a thousand thinkpieces have been churned out on how evil/devious/power hungry he is – which I wouldn’t necessarily dispute, but it’s getting comical at this point how badly the MSM (and certain commenters here) want us to see this as purely good vs evil, as opposed to a real world conflict with complex issues attached

Steve Farrell
Steve Farrell
1 year ago
Reply to  M Lux

I was referring to the sentiments in the comment I replied to.

M Lux
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Farrell

Whoops, my bad. I thought you meant in general.

M Lux
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Farrell

Whoops, my bad. I thought you meant in general.

Steve Farrell
BR
Steve Farrell
1 year ago
Reply to  M Lux

I was referring to the sentiments in the comment I replied to.

M Lux
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Farrell

I’m sorry but who is labeling him as the devil? Sean Penn gave him his oscar (for some reason). He gets feted wherever he goes and applies unprecedented amounts of pressure on western countries – enough to make any autocrat jealous (of course this actually works because the US is standing behind him, but that’s not what the media tell you).
To be fair, I do think it’s laudable that he didn’t flee when everyone was telling him to and I was genuinely interested to see how his peace and anti-corruption platform will be put into practice (although it never was), but his desire to make a regional conflict global has (justifiably to my mind) soured opinion on him somewhat.
And with regards to Putin – come on man, a thousand thinkpieces have been churned out on how evil/devious/power hungry he is – which I wouldn’t necessarily dispute, but it’s getting comical at this point how badly the MSM (and certain commenters here) want us to see this as purely good vs evil, as opposed to a real world conflict with complex issues attached

Sarolta Rónai
Sarolta Rónai
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

I upvoted your comment but looks as if I had downvoted it. Very strange.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

The “useful idiots” here are – as ever (and that’s where the phrase originated as I assume you know) – those who are suckered in to naively following the Moscow line. The sort of people that believe – indeed for whatever strange reasons desperately need to believe – that Putin can be believed and trusted. It’s usually driven by an irrational and unsatiable hatred of their own country.

Steve Farrell
Steve Farrell
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

For all his faults, Zelenskiy is fighting a defensive war. Why does he get labelled as the devil & not Putin?

Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

Canadian Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire in charge of keeping the peace in Rwanda was refused the means to do that, and so the genocide happened. His book of the evil, so much evil he said he saw the Devil, smelled him, knew him – and so by that came to know God exists, and wrote the book:

Shake Hands with the Devil,”

When I see Zalenski and the slaughter going on, I feel those shaking his hand are doing just that…… To see Congress and Parliament applaud him astounds me – absolutely astounds me… How are they taken in by this? Is evil now winning the world?

PEACE NOW, enough of this charnelhouse, this destruction of humanity – Not one more penny, not one more bullet to this evil war – Peace Table – work it out.

But then we know this war destroying Ukraine and its people is nothing to do with them, they are the mere pawns, and their lands the chess board…. and evil as Dallarie describes rains down on the world from Davos and its tools like Biden and Boris, Putin, and the CCP –

””I know there is a God because in Rwanda I shook hands with the devil. I have seen him, I have smelled him and I have touched him. I know the devil exists and therefore I know there is a God.” ― Roméo Dallaire, ”Shake Hands With The Devil

Let us hope God does become the direction the useful idiots in Parliament and Congress turn to, and away from the wickedness of this war – and Peace may be found instead of this hell.

Paul Hemphill
Paul Hemphill
1 year ago

When you’re back is against the wall, you do what you have to do. And if necessary, you resort to subterfuge, lies and propaganda. Regardless of Ukraine fond itself in the trouble it’s in, you wouldn’t want be there with it. And if you did, you’d probably do the same – everything it takes. Ask Churchill or Ben Gurion.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Hemphill

Amen to this. The British and Americans allied with the Soviets during WWII, despite knowing that Stalin wasn’t much better than Hitler, but Nazi Germany was the greater, more imminent threat. In war, there is no moral imperative, just winners and losers. You do what it takes to win and sort out the apologies later.

Steve Jolly
SJ
Steve Jolly
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Hemphill

Amen to this. The British and Americans allied with the Soviets during WWII, despite knowing that Stalin wasn’t much better than Hitler, but Nazi Germany was the greater, more imminent threat. In war, there is no moral imperative, just winners and losers. You do what it takes to win and sort out the apologies later.

Paul Hemphill
Paul Hemphill
1 year ago

When you’re back is against the wall, you do what you have to do. And if necessary, you resort to subterfuge, lies and propaganda. Regardless of Ukraine fond itself in the trouble it’s in, you wouldn’t want be there with it. And if you did, you’d probably do the same – everything it takes. Ask Churchill or Ben Gurion.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

Something called the “Fog of War” hangs over every military conflict.
That Ukraine thought the missile went over Romania vice Moldova is a rather minor error–compared to the hilariously failed predictions of many on this page.
Romania and Moldova are essentially parts of the same nation, with a common language and heritage. The latter is now under imminent threat by Russian forces stationed in the “frozen conflict” state of Transnistria.
(I know, know, but since its this mysterious “Global War Party !!!” who are pulling all the strings, it’s useless to actually worry about real events in real countries)
It is only prudent to expect that Putin will widen this war as his forces continue to fail on the battle field in Ukraine.
Remember Syria?

M Lux
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Ahh yes, stoking the fire of WW3 is just a wee whoopsie from Zelensky (as with the incident with Poland, where he openly lied, even after it was reported that the missiles were Ukrainian), totally within the bounds of reason.
With regards to Syria, isn’t it odd how the fog of war still hasn’t cleared up enough for people to admit the US was backing Al Qaeda there (and is still occupying about a third of the country)? Very complicated stuff indeed – when the evil people are on your side. When it’s someone else, everything is clear as day and you have a “moral imperative” to intervene. Funny how that happens to work in the Wests favor every time…

Martin Logan
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  M Lux

IOW, “Al Qaida” = anyone against Assad.
AQ was only a tiny part of the Syrian opposition. The war inviovled half the country against the other half.
But Syrian barrel bombs certainly did help Russian bombers destroy rebel hospitals.
All they had to do was follow the ambulances.

M Lux
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Logan

You are correct, AQ was only part of the opposition, I forgot ISIS was there as well, how silly of me.
By the way, right next to the part of Syria the US is illegally occupying is the part AQ has conquered.
Weird that the Kurds never ended up getting anything out of that except death for their people (sound familiar?) despite American assurances, but feel free to keep deflecting from the matter at hand.

M Lux
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Logan

You are correct, AQ was only part of the opposition, I forgot ISIS was there as well, how silly of me.
By the way, right next to the part of Syria the US is illegally occupying is the part AQ has conquered.
Weird that the Kurds never ended up getting anything out of that except death for their people (sound familiar?) despite American assurances, but feel free to keep deflecting from the matter at hand.

Martin Logan
ML
Martin Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  M Lux

IOW, “Al Qaida” = anyone against Assad.
AQ was only a tiny part of the Syrian opposition. The war inviovled half the country against the other half.
But Syrian barrel bombs certainly did help Russian bombers destroy rebel hospitals.
All they had to do was follow the ambulances.

M Lux
M Lux
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Ahh yes, stoking the fire of WW3 is just a wee whoopsie from Zelensky (as with the incident with Poland, where he openly lied, even after it was reported that the missiles were Ukrainian), totally within the bounds of reason.
With regards to Syria, isn’t it odd how the fog of war still hasn’t cleared up enough for people to admit the US was backing Al Qaeda there (and is still occupying about a third of the country)? Very complicated stuff indeed – when the evil people are on your side. When it’s someone else, everything is clear as day and you have a “moral imperative” to intervene. Funny how that happens to work in the Wests favor every time…

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago

Something called the “Fog of War” hangs over every military conflict.
That Ukraine thought the missile went over Romania vice Moldova is a rather minor error–compared to the hilariously failed predictions of many on this page.
Romania and Moldova are essentially parts of the same nation, with a common language and heritage. The latter is now under imminent threat by Russian forces stationed in the “frozen conflict” state of Transnistria.
(I know, know, but since its this mysterious “Global War Party !!!” who are pulling all the strings, it’s useless to actually worry about real events in real countries)
It is only prudent to expect that Putin will widen this war as his forces continue to fail on the battle field in Ukraine.
Remember Syria?