The West fears World War Three. But it has already begun.
On the second day after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at four o’clock in the morning in Kyiv, I was awakened by an explosion of such force that I jumped up like a spring. It felt like the explosion happened just in front of my window. It turned out that the Ukrainian air defense forces shot down a Russian ballistic missile. Its wreckage fell a mile from me. But it made a terrible impression.
As it is not paradoxical, it cleared my mind. Looking at things became easier. So I will repeat once again: the Third World War has already started.
Russia is only formally fighting against only Ukraine. In fact, it is waging war against all Western civilization. Moreover, this war was declared publicly. This was done by Vladimir Putin at the Munich Security Conference in 2007.
The world did not take it seriously then. Every subsequent aggressive step by Putin did not receive a proper rebuff. Quite the opposite.
After the war in Georgia, US President Barack Obama announced a reload of relations with Russia. And this was a strategic mistake. Instead of imposing painful sanctions on the aggressor, as is being done now, Putin received a signal that the next aggressive steps will not lead to any serious consequences for him.
Six years after Georgia, Putin annexed Crimea. He started the war in Donbas. Sanctions were imposed on the aggressor’s country, but in practice, they were not effective enough. And finally, Putin declared and launched a full-scale war against Ukraine. The initial plan to overtake Ukraine within a few days did not materialize. But he resorted to another insidious plan. Putin’s artillery and his air forces bomb peaceful cities, including the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. He is killing civilians in order to demoralize the people so that they start imagining that the Ukrainian government will surrender.
The West has now taken unprecedented steps to stand up to the assassin president. But it is still afraid to engage in direct confrontation, given Putin’s nuclear arsenal.
However, other countries are already involved in the war. Belarus has given its airfields to the Russians and is showing readiness to bring its troops into the war. The US, UK, Baltic states, and others supply weapons to Ukraine. Putin’s planes violated Sweden’s territorial integrity. Putin threatens Sweden and Finland.
No matter how much the West avoids direct intervention, sooner or later it will take part in it. The longer the delay, the more severe the consequences. Sanctions, of course, are painful, but they will not win the war. No matter how heroically the Ukrainian army fights, the forces are not equal. If Putin defeats or weakens Ukraine, the EU will be next. Maybe it’s time to give up contemplation and start acting preventively.? To begin with, the West should close the skies over Ukraine. Otherwise, Ukrainian cities will be further destroyed. In addition, there is a risk of damage to nuclear power plants, which threatens a radioactive accident that will spread far beyond Ukraine.
Yuriy Lukanov is a Ukrainian journalist and author of books about Russia’s war against Ukraine, including “The Press: how Russia destroyed media freedom in Crimea.” Contact him at vonakul (@) gmail.com