Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is now in its seventh month, and the world is entering a moment of greatest danger as well as facing its greatest opportunity.
Now is the moment of greatest danger, as Putin has failed dramatically in the pursuit of his delusional obsession that inspired him to launch a major invasion of Ukraine on February 24. is. As its centerpiece and his legacy.
At a time when Putin’s influence is waning as Ukraine’s courage and resilience turn his arrogance into humiliation, the danger of coercing Ukraine with weapons of mass destruction, including the use of tactical nuclear weapons, and disrupting its allies. is rising. I’m running out of options.
This week’s meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for the first time since Putin started the war, offers the greatest opportunity for world leaders. For U.S. President Joe Biden, together with our European and Asian allies, to openly discuss the dangers Putin’s war poses to nations that care about national sovereignty, condemn Putin’s indisputable war atrocities, Here’s your chance to rock the rest of the fence sitters. A world that does not condemn Putin or support sanctions against him.
Instead of the United Nations focusing on how best to stop the Russian tyrant now and before the winter wages, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has sent a video to this most important gathering of world leaders. Addressing the technical issue of whether or not we should be allowed to speak via the link is disappointing.. The good news is that members of the UN General Assembly voted 101 to 7, 19 abstentions, and Ukraine It’s about giving people their stage.
Russia, a member of the UN Security Council, was doing everything in its power to block the speech. When Zelensky spoke to the Security Council online in April, he told the group that it should either act immediately for peace or “disband” itself, so it should come as no surprise. There is none.
“We are dealing with states that have turned vetoes on the UN Security Council into the right to kill.” he warnedZelensky could not have predicted any more, saying that if the UN fails to stop President Putin, it will be the law of the jungle, not international law, that will define the future of nations going forward. rice field.
The likelihood of Putin using tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine, or ordering other escalation actions involving chemical or biological agents, is roughly proportional to the increasing military retreat of Russian tyrants on the ground. is growing
Ukrainian scene of the week russian soldier — People who ditched their rifles, fled the battlefield on bicycles, ditched their uniforms and disguised themselves as locals — were all part of the mosaic of failures.
Violent implosion of Putin’s forces in southern and eastern Ukraine, which Ukrainian forces have at least recaptured 2,320 square miles gave new life to the territory talk Putin may have no way out of a lost war other than through a self-defeating Hail Mary, i.e. nuclear weapons.
For a leader whose claims to leadership have always focused on his personal masculinity and political invincibility, this growing awareness of his military incompetence and of his own weakness is a major factor in his continued You’re jeopardizing your control.
As Putin learned at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand this week, it in turn appears to be prompting a rethink among both a handful of his allies and the larger group. expressed concern as follows: speak publicly to Putin “Today’s times are not times of war, and we talked about this on the phone.”
Putin’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Samarkand this week also did not bring him relief. In fact, Putin is probably starting to realize the limits of what the two men called themselves. “unlimited” relationships In a statement just before the Beijing Olympics and before Putin started the war. Putin: ‘I understand your questions and concerns’ about war Said This week’s Xi.
Individual survival remains a top priority for dictators. For Putin, it must be on the back of his mind right now. What is less clear is what guarantees it. One possibility is to resort to weapons of mass destruction, especially tactical nuclear weapons.
The risks for Putin are huge, but the world needs to prepare for this eventuality. The world knows his plot, so the best way to do that is to get ahead of him, dissuade him, and be proactive rather than reactive.
“I am afraid [Putin’s Russia] Former NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoller Said BBC this week.
What she worries about is something that is gaining importance in the Kremlin’s strategy. These are tactical nuclear weapons weighing less than a few kilotons, some of which are 50 times less powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Such weapons are not designed to reach Washington or Berlin, but to coerce or, as Gottemohler puts it, “to terrorize the Ukrainians into surrendering.”
At the Atlantic Councilmemo to the presidentThis week, Matthew Kronig attempts to answer the question, “How to deter Russia’s use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, and how to respond if deterrence fails.”
“Such use of nuclear weapons could advance the Kremlin’s military objectives, undermine US interests globally, and cause a humanitarian catastrophe not seen since 1945. This could have serious consequences, and we stand ready to continue our regular military offensive against Russian forces should deterrence fail.”
It is also imperative that the United States conveys this message privately at a senior level and moves relevant conventional forces into the region in a way that underscores the seriousness of the United States.
I hope that when world leaders gather at UNGA, they will take the opportunity to hear Zelensky fully heard.
Ukraine’s ability to survive as an independent and sovereign democracy will have far-reaching implications for the international community as represented by the United Nations.
The next few weeks are in terrifying danger. But Putin’s failure on the battlefield and his declining international standing provide an opportunity to do the right thing: to accelerate and intensify all efforts to ensure Putin’s defeat and the defense of Ukraine. .
If not now, when?
— Frederick Kempe Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Atlantic Council.