Nuclear threats at Russia-Ukraine war: The Pandora’s box must not be opened

Published : Tuesday, 4 July, 2023 at 12:00 AM

Russia-Ukraine war has been going on for over a year. The war could have been over much before if the war did not turned into a war between Russia and the West. This war has devastating impact not only on Ukraine but also on the global economy. The situation will turn much worse if the war runs long. Due to different events, the authority and control of Russian President Vladimir Putin has been challenged and his response to regain his supremacy may create heavy chaos for the world as it is suspected that Putin may take the aid of nuclear attacks. This “Pandora’s Box” has remained closed for decades and the global leaders must take serious steps in the current context to keep it closed.

A recent rebellion in which mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Wagner Group, openly ridiculed the Kremlin before abandoning his march on Moscow recalled Russia’s bloody history of revolutions and coups. Meanwhile, efforts by the White House and its foreign allies to figure out what was going on highlighted the combustible nature of a war that had the potential to redraw the geography of Europe and modern history. Finally, a civil war that appeared to be erupting was averted – at least for the time being.There is no doubt that Putin’s battle to annihilate Ukraine poses an existential threat to his political survival. The rest of the world now has to deal with the consequences.

The Russian leader’s humiliation may prompt him to seek an even more ferocious drive in a war that has already brutally struck Ukrainian people. If political conflict in Russia undermines the morale of its military and leads to battlefield casualties, Putin’s position may become much more difficult. This will increase fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin may threaten a catastrophic escalation of the war after months of nuclear bluster.

Vladimir Putin undoubtedly initiated the war and is to blame for how it is being fought. But why he did it is another story. The crisis, which started in February 2014, is primarily the fault of the West, and notably the US. It has now developed into a conflict that not only poses a threat to the destruction of Ukraine but also carries the risk of developing into a nuclear conflict between Russia and NATO.

Actually, the conflict over Ukraine began at the NATO summit in Bucharest in April 2008, when George W. Bush’s administration pressed the organization to announce that Ukraine and Georgia would join. The decision was instantly met with indignation from Russian authorities, who described it as an existential threat to their country and vowed to stop it. Putin reportedly lost his cool and threatened that if Ukraine joined NATO, it would do so without the Crimea and the eastern areas. However, the United States pressed ahead to turn Ukraine into a Western stronghold on Russia’s border, disregarding Moscow’s red line. Two additional components of the approach were pushing Ukraine closer to the EU and transforming it into a democracy that supported America.

As a result of an uprising, that was later shown to have American backing and which forced Ukraine’s pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country, these efforts ultimately led to hostilities in February 2014. In retaliation, Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine and aided in igniting a civil war in the eastern Ukrainian territory of Donbas. The administrations of Donald Trump and Joe Biden supplied Ukraine with arms, authorized joint military drills between US and Ukrainian forces, and even pushed the NATO allies to include Ukraine in war games.

By late 2021, Moscow demanded security guarantees, including the withdrawal of armed personnel currently stationed in NATO’s eastern countries. In the case of Ukraine, the demand was clear – not only would Kyiv not be invited to join NATO, but NATO weapons and personnel would never be stationed on Ukrainian soil. When the West failed to fulfill those promises, Putin unleashed a devastating full-fledged war. Moscow’s heinous overreaction demands harsh criticism. However, the US and its NATO partners bear a significant share of the blame.

One can easily picture how the United States would react if Russia, China, India, or another peer rival allowed countries from Central America and the Caribbean to a security alliance that it headed – and then tried to add Canada as an official or de facto military partner. The US would almost certainly have responded by going to war years ago. Despite the fact that Ukraine is as important to Russia as Canada is to the United States, Western leaders hilariously anticipated Moscow to respond passively to the escalating aggression.

The West, especially the US, provided significant financial and material support for the conflict, which might have been resolved by Ukraine’s simple pledge not to join NATO. Ukraine is degenerating into ruins in the process. Even if Ukraine wins this war, it will take years to put the nation back on its feet, and it will be obligated to pay off its debt to the West for decades. If we care about the lives of Ukrainians, the West must act now to put an end to the conflict. Encouraging the Ukrainians to persevere, no matter what their cause, is only making their country uninhabitable.

The probability of a nuclear war is highest now that Russian President Putin is being pitted against the rest of the globe because neither Russia nor the West will desist from consolidating their dominance. Authorities in Ukraine are already practicing with residents in various locations how to survive or stay safe from nuclear strike. The US has also thought about what a nuclear attack on Europe might mean. Russia is also making some measurements of potential damage on their soil. A first group of tactical nuclear weapons from Russia has already been stationed in Belarus.

During World War II, only few countries had nuclear weapons and those countries belonged to a single side. Hence, the damage was minimal. But now there are many countries with nuclear weapons and they do not belong to the same side. So, if the nuclear weapons are used in the future, then the damage will be devastating and the world will have to bear a fierce scar.
Nuclear war is the actual, yet-to-be-opened “Pandora’s Box”. If employed once, nuclear weapons might be utilized in a number of international confrontations, including those between the US and North Korea; Pakistan and India; Iran and the US etc. With the opening of this “Pandora’s Box”, humanity’s and civilization’s history will take a significant turn. Before adopting any harsh action, both the West and Russia should carefully consider the humanitarian repercussions. Politics should not be won at the expense of humanity. The West shouldn’t pressure Putin to a point where humanity is annihilated.

Nuclear war is currently the greatest danger to the globe. The leaders of the world must understand that using nuclear weapons would not result in glory. Conversation between the parties at odds is the only way to end the current war. Putin expressed his interest for discussion on multiple occasions. But the Westerners and Ukraine is looking to punish the Russian President for the war crimes and that is actually closing the doors of dialogues. The mediators should initiate an unconditional dialogue to end this war. Organizations like the United Nations (UN) have been accused for their decades-long failure to put an end to any conflict and to save any country’s sovereignty or dignity. Hence, the conflicting leaders have to sit on the table to find solution before the human civilization is devastated by nuclear weapons.

Up until this point, no military alliance like NATO has benefited the world. The wars or interests of other countries led to the destruction of many countries. In the modern world, increasing military activity in the backyard of a political adversary is wholly inappropriate. In order to stop this despicable war and preserve the world economy and civilization as a whole, we hope that international leaders will step forward to arbitrate between the disputing parties. If not, they will be framed in dark letters in the history of the world and civilization. We still have our hopes on humanity.
The writer is Chief Editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA) and Editor at Kishore Bangla

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