Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky

Lies, deception and secrets are embedded in British imperialism. Armed British special forces have been secretly deployed to at least 19 countries in the past 12 years. Troops targeted countries such as Nigeria, Russia, Syria and Sudan, with 50 in Ukraine, according to leaked Pentagon papers. 

The lies continue as, for months, we have been told that Russia is on the brink of defeat. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky told the Arab League last week that Russia is “weak”. 
Yet if it was so weak why has Russia-backed mercenary group, Wagner, claimed victory in Bakhmut, Ukraine? Zelensky says Bakhmut “is not occupied” but he told the G7 meeting of Western powers there is “nothing alive left. All of the buildings have been ruined.”
The Bakhmut devastation shows that despite what Western leaders say, Russia isn’t close to being defeated.  A counterattack, boosted by Nato arms and British fighter jets, is not the solution to end the war or bring about peace, despite Western leaders’ claims. 
These aren’t the first cases of imperialists lying to boost their war drive. Tony Blair and George Bush invaded Iraq on the false claim that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein owned weapons of mass destruction. It led to hundreds of thousands of needless deaths.
To keep public opinion on the imperialists’ side the military and government leaders have no option but to deceive us. But as the cracks show, socialists should strengthen the anti-war movement.

Tories sell billions worth of arms to warmongers 

The Tories doubled arms exports in 2022 as they continue to close the door to refugees seeking safety from the destruction of war and accelerate world leaders’ forever wars. 

A record-breaking £8.5 billion of arms exports was made with Qatar. The Gulf state purchased its own fleet of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft valued at £2.4 billion. 

The British government sold £964 million worth of missiles and related components to Saudi Arabia.  They will have been used to bomb and oppress those in Yemen until March 2022.

The Saudi Arabian military has recently exited Yemen but not before causing a deadly famine with the help of British arms sales.  Turkey also bought large amounts of weaponry costing £424 million that will likely be used to attack Kurds who are fighting for self‑determination in the east of the country. 

The US grabbed £860 million worth of arms.  But the actual value and quantity of British arms sales are not tallied, so these sums are likely to be much higher. 

Any open-export licences that cover Ukraine and much of Saudi Arabia are not counted.

Ukraine grabbed £401 million worth of exports, but the £2.3 billion of weapons supplied came from stocks held by the British military, and so are excluded from these figures.

Sam Perlo-Freeman, a researcher at Campaign Against Arms Trade, said, “The latest export licence figures for 2022 show that the British arms industry is working overtime to arm some of the world’s most authoritarian regimes as well as countries engaged in armed conflict, with the British government’s full approval.”

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