The argument by those who have been reluctant for the civilised world to go to the aid of besieged Ukraine has been “Oh god, what madness! If NATO gets involved things will ESCALATE!! Russia will declare World War Three!!!”
Of course, Russia has continued to threaten to use nuclear weapons, and the appeasers among us have been unable to answer a simple question: “What demand by Russia, or what action by Russia, goes too far?” If every demand they make, and every atrocity they commit falls short of “nuclear war” then obviously we will have to let them continue unopposed “or risk an escalation to nuclear war”. So essentially we will have entered The Russian Millennium in which the cowards and appeasers among us will let them do anything as long as they keep threatening to push the button.
But perhaps they have now overreached.
According to the Daily Mail, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, warned East-West tensions were now worse than during the Cold War and accused NATO of fighting a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine.
In other words, Russia already believes – or at least says it believes – that it is fighting NATO. Therefore, if NATO were actually to get involved with boots on the ground, it would hardly represent a significant escalation in what Russia already believes to be the case.
They are not wrong, of course, because it is a well-known fact that NATO countries are sending significant aid to the Ukrainian military effort in terms of arms, ammunition and intelligence.
Naturally, embedded in Lavrov’s statement was another threat of ‘nuclear war’. It is almost as if Russia is seeking “death by cop” on a national scale. Were we to strike them first, frankly, they would have brought it on themselves, not that that is what I’m suggesting we do before any pearls are clutched in the comments. But honestly, Russia is behaving like one of those loons that threatens police with a ‘shotgun’ under his coat which later turns out to be a turnip or a bicycle pump…. that is to say that if we start to believe that the twitchy finger under their coat really is on a nuclear button, we might be forced to fire first.
Frighteningly, this is where it may end up, because – as I have said before – Putin has invested so much in this, he cannot now withdraw. What will the loss of a dozen Generals, a bus load of Colonels and other officers, not forgetting over 20,000 young men have been for if he retreats now? Who will pay for the thousands of tanks, trucks, helicopters, planes, and other equipment lost to the Russian military? What about the loss of the Black Sea Flag Ship? How will any of this be explained to the Russian people – or more importantly – to the political elites who keep him in power?
Putin has no way back. He is like a cornered rat, and if we don’t finish him off, he will jump at our throats the second we blink.
Photo credit: NATO, depicting Unified Vision Trial 2018.