Tension between Ukraine and Russia has reached alarming levels in recent weeks, and the possibility of nuclear war has become more real than ever.
According to the United Nations (UN), the risk of using nuclear weapons is now higher than during the Cold War, a fact that should concern the entire international community.
The risk of nuclear war
In March, the Russian Federation announced its intention to station nuclear weapons in Belarus, marking a worrying milestone in the use of atomic weapons since the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty came into force in the 1970s. Experts warn that this could trigger an escalation of tensions and lead to unprecedented nuclear conflict.
The openDemocracy media outlet recently published an article highlighting the possibility of nuclear war in Ukraine. Following Russia’s unprovoked invasion, Vladimir Putin has issued threats of escalation, raising concerns about his willingness to use tactical nuclear weapons should NATO intervene in support of Kyiv.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has raised three possible scenarios in case Russia decides to use nuclear weapons. The first would be a nuclear test to demonstrate their determination and capability, but this is unlikely to change the current situation.
The CFR’s second scenario is the use of nuclear weapons on the battlefield, targeting Ukraine’s military and energy infrastructure to weaken its defense capability. This would affect the Ukrainian forces and the civilian population and create an uninhabitable zone in the country.
The third and most alarming scenario would be the use of nuclear weapons against the civilian population to weaken the resolve of the West. Although this would seem unthinkable under normal circumstances, the current tense situation between Russia and Ukraine raises legitimate concerns about the Kremlin’s intentions.
The real danger
In addition to expert warnings, public opinion in Russia is also showing worrying signs. According to a recent poll, almost a third of those polled in Russia believe that the use of nuclear weapons against Ukraine would be justified.
The rhetoric of influential figures such as Vladimir Solovyov, known as “Putin’s voice,” and his calls for the use of nuclear weapons not only against Ukraine but also against Germany and the United Kingdom poses a real risk to world peace.
The Unthinkable: Nuclear Weapons Targeting Civilians
The most alarming scenario that has sent shockwaves through the international community is the potential use of nuclear weapons against civilians to weaken the resolve of the West. While this idea might seem inconceivable, the current tense situation between Russia and Ukraine raises legitimate concerns about the Kremlin’s intentions.
Public opinion in Russia adds to the distressing narrative, with a significant portion of the population believing that the use of nuclear weapons against Ukraine would be justified. Influential figures, such as Vladimir Solovyov, known as “Putin’s voice,” have added fuel to the fire by advocating for the use of nuclear weapons against Ukraine and other European countries like Germany and the United Kingdom.
Global Response and Call for Peace
The escalating crisis has prompted reactions from global leaders and organizations. The United Nations has expressed deep concern over the heightened risk of nuclear war, urging all parties to prioritize dialogue and peaceful resolution.
The world waits anxiously for diplomatic efforts to bear fruit and for the crisis to de-escalate. The stakes are incredibly high, and any misstep could result in catastrophic consequences for Ukraine and Russia and the entire world.
As tensions continue to rise between Ukraine and Russia, the possibility of a nuclear war cannot be dismissed. The specter of nuclear weapons being used, whether on the battlefield or against civilian populations, casts a dark cloud over the global landscape.
The international community must stand united in advocating for peaceful resolutions and dialogue to prevent this nightmare from becoming a reality. The future of world peace hangs in the balance as the world watches and hopes for a peaceful resolution to this crisis.