Nuclear War on the Horizon in Ukraine?

The war between Russia and Ukraine has been going on for seven months now. The conflict began on February 24 when Russian troops rolled into the east of the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said these troops were defending the interests of Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the country’s east who wanted independence.

Putin also said his mission was to “denazify” Ukraine and overthrow its corrupt, pro-western government. Now, thousands of soldiers on both sides have been killed and millions of refugees fled Ukraine.

The war continues to drag on, particularly in certain areas, such as Russian-occupied Kherson. Now, it looks possible this could escalate to a nuclear conflict.

Ukraine’s Military Chief Issues Stark Warning

General Valery Zaluzhny is the top military official in Ukraine. As the head of the nation’s armed forces, he knows what he is talking about and he doesn’t use words lightly.

His words can get people killed and start or escalate wars, and he knows it. Zaluzhny wrote very seriously about what is now going on in Ukraine on Wednesday in a government-run newspaper.

Writing for Ukrinform, Zaluzhny said nuclear war does remain possible in the Ukraine war. The chance of a “limited” nuclear conflict between NATO and the US versus Russia is very much still possible.

As Zaluzhny wrote, the chance of “World War III” is now “directly visible” and people would be well advised to take it very seriously indeed.

While many Americans and Westerners may have already begun to file away the war in Ukraine as one of those various tragic and neverending conflicts, it’s right at the crossroads of many economic and geopolitical priorities.

The chance of this blowing up into something very ugly with nuclear strikes is indeed still present, as Zaluzhny warned in his op-ed.

Ukraine’s Military Strategy

The bravery of Ukraine in defending its homeland is not something most would argue with. Although the determination and high death count of Russia’s troops also show they are fighting very hard.

Zaluzhny outlined some of Ukraine’s publicly disclosed war strategies and also took important strategic steps in managing this war.

For one thing, Ukraine worked to hit Russia unexpectedly, including with a barrage of damaging attacks on Russian-held Crimea last month.

Ukraine blew up Russian ammo depots and airfields, forcing the Russian forces to turn some of their attention away from the east and divert resources.

This is particularly important, given Ukraine’s current focus on recapturing the Russian-held city of Kherson and areas around Kharkiv.

As Zaluzhny said, this was one of the “convincing” cases showing how much Ukraine is and will do(ing), if it is given proper long-distance munitions and weapons systems.

When Will This War End?

In terms of when this war will end, Zaluzhny doesn’t have great news. As he notes, Russia has strike capability almost at will anywhere in Ukraine right now.

If more isn’t done to push them back, he figures it could last for “years” more.

This article appeared in StatesmanPost and has been published here with permission.