Strategic Culture interviews former USMC intelligence officer Scott Ritter about the Russian military operation in Ukraine:
Question: Do you think that Russia has a just cause in launching its “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24?
Scott Ritter: I believe Russia has articulated a cognizable claim of preemptive collective self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter. The threat posed by NATO expansion, and Ukraine’s eight-year bombardment of the civilians of the Donbass fall under this umbrella.
Question: Do you think Russia has legitimate concerns about the Pentagon sponsoring biological weapons programs in laboratories in Ukraine?
Scott Ritter: The Pentagon denies any biological weapons program, but admits biological research programs on Ukrainian soil. Documents captured by Russia have allegedly uncovered the existence of programs the components of which could be construed as having offensive biological warfare applications. The U.S. should be required to explain the purpose of these programs.
Question: What do you make of allegations in Western media that Russian troops committed war crimes in Bucha and other Ukrainian cities? It is claimed that Russian forces summarily executed civilians.
Scott Ritter: All claims of war crimes must be thoroughly investigated, including Ukrainian allegations that Russia killed Ukrainian civilians in Bucha. However, the data available about the Bucha incident does not sustain the Ukrainian claims, and as such, the media should refrain from echoing these claims as fact until a proper investigation of the evidence is conducted, either by the media, or unbiased authorities.
Question: Do you think the alleged Russian bombing of a hospital and an art theater in Mariupol were false-flag provocations?
Scott Ritter: Both locations are available for detailed forensic examination that would either confirm or refute Ukrainian allegations that these locations were struck by Russian aerial bombs. Other data, such as the existence of any NATO radar data that would put Russian aircraft over these two locations at the time of the alleged attack, should be collected. A detailed forensic examination of each site would go a long way in proving or disproving the Ukrainian claims through the collection of weapons fragments and the evaluation of environmental samples which would show the chemical composition of any explosive used, thereby allowing a better idea of what weapon or explosive was used to destroy the sites.
Question: The Western media are reporting that the Russian military operation in Ukraine is floundering because it has not over-run Ukraine entirely. As a military expert, how do you see the Russian operation proceeding?
Scott Ritter: Russia is fighting a very difficult campaign hampered by its own constraint designed to limit civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure and the fact that Ukraine possesses a very well-trained military that is well led and equipped. Russia deployed some 200,000 troops in support of this operation. They are facing some 600,000 Ukrainian forces. The first phase of the Russian operation was designed to shape the battlefield to Russia’s advantage while diminishing the size and capacity of the Ukrainian ability to wage large-scale conflict. The second phase is focused on destroying the main Ukrainian force concentration in eastern Ukraine. Russia is well on its way to accomplishing this task.
The complete failure of pattern recognition by the media is not a surprise, as the media is entirely corrupt. The failure of those who consume media to recognize the intrinsic unreliability of the media is also not a surprise, but only because we now seen people accept obvious absurdities at face value for the last two years. It is, however, disappointing.