John Pilgrim is a war correspondent, author and documentary filmmaker who has twice won Britain’s highest journalism award. For his documentaries, he won an American Television Academy Award, an Emmy and a British Academy Award, presented by the British Academy of Television Arts. He is the recipient of the Peace Prize and Gold Medal of the United Nations Association. His 1979 documentary Year Zero in Cambodia, has been ranked by the British Film Institute as one of the 10 most important documentaries of the 20th century. He is the author of numerous bestsellers, incl heroes, A secret country, The new rulers of the worldand Hidden plans. In an exclusive (electronic) interview with Eresh Omar Jamal on The Daily Starhe talks about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
February 24 marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The West calls it an “unprovoked” invasion launched by Putin, whom it compares to Hitler. Russia, on the other hand, calls the invasion a “special military operation” undertaken to protect its national security interests. What is the real reason for the war in Ukraine?
The invasion was obviously provoked. Indeed, if it was a violation of international law, so was the provocation. Simply put, the Russians predicted NATO missiles mounted in Ukraine and aimed at Moscow 300 miles away—a situation the United States would never tolerate if Russian missiles were stationed 300 miles from Washington. This is pretty much exactly what happened in Cuba in 1962 and the Russians removed their missiles in exchange for the US removing its missiles in Turkey that were aimed at Russia.
What happened in Ukraine in 2014 that led to the Minsk agreements signed on September 5 of that year? And why did the agreements fail to prevent this war?
The first invasion of Ukraine took place in 2014 after a US-led coup that overthrew a democratic government and replaced it with a Nazi-infested regime that attacked Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine. The “peace conferences” that followed in Minsk have recently shown that they were a cover for the regime in Ukraine to build up its army – Angela Merkel said so – and in fact that Vladimir Putin was tricked into believing it.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh recently published a story alleging that the US blew up the Nord Stream pipelines built to transport natural gas from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. What do you think of his revelations?
They have common sense. Joe Biden has warned that if Russia invades Ukraine, the Nord Stream pipelines will be destroyed. So it happened.
One year after the start of the war in Ukraine, are there any signs that we may soon see peace, or does it seem more likely that Russia and the West will enter into direct conflict leading to a World War III scenario?
This is too serious for guesswork. I do not know. I know that the danger of an all-out world war is ever present.