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Obama heads to Europe for week of meetings directed against Russia

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The Putin regime will seek to forestall this gang-up with further diplomatic maneuvers at the United Nations Security Council. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia was submitting a resolution Monday calling for an end to the violence and the creation of humanitarian corridors in eastern Ukraine to allow civilians to leave combat areas.

He complained that the Western powers had assured Moscow that the May 25 presidential election would set the stage for a peaceful development, but that "everything is happening in exactly the opposite way." He continued: "People are dying every day. Peaceful civilians are suffering more and more -- the army, military aviation and heavy weapons continue to be used against them."

Obama, Putin, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande will attend a commemoration Friday of the 70th anniversary of the World War II landings in Normandy. Both Cameron and Hollande have scheduled discussions with Putin during his visit, but the White House said there were no plans for a US-Russia summit meeting.

The D-Day commemoration is an awkward occasion for the imperialist powers, since they were allied with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany in 1944, while 70 years later they are allied with neo-Nazi elements in Ukraine as part of a campaign to encircle and destabilize Russia.

In June 1944, as US, British and Canadian troops were storming the beaches in Normandy, Soviet troops were mopping up the last Nazi strong points in Ukraine, taking Odessa in April; capturing Sevastopol, the main port of Crimea, in May, after a protracted siege; and opening a new offensive into Byelorussia in June.

At the same time, pro-Hitler Ukrainian nationalist forces -- the political ancestors of the Right Sector and Svoboda -- were engaged in exterminating the last remnants of the ethnic Polish population of eastern Galicia and Volhynia (present-day western Ukraine) under the protection of the retreating Wehrmacht.

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Patrick Martin writes for the World Socialist Website (wsws.org), a forum for socialist ideas & analysis & published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).

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