The Russian Attack That Nearly Hit Poland and the Day World War 3 Could Have Started – News

At the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the offensives commanded by Moscow were mainly concentrated in the east of Ukrainian territory, in the strategic region of the Donbass, and in the efforts to conquer the capital Kiev, which never came close to being conquered. But just when it looked like the western region was being spared, the air raids began.

On the 13th of March, the Russian attack on a military training center 20 km from Poland and 40 km from the city of Lviv killed 35 people and injured 134.

The military action further terrified the thousands of Ukrainians who at that time were trying to leave the country across the Polish border and raised even more questions about Russia’s objectives. President Vladimir Putin justified the offensive by saying it was part of a strategy to ‘liberate’ Ukraine from neo-Nazi groups. The invasion completes five months next Sunday (24) and there are still no signs of a ceasefire.

For Igor Lucena, a doctor in international relations from the University of Lisbon and a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, “if Russian missiles fell in Poland and the country decided to retaliate against this event, we would be seeing the official entry of NATO into the conflict, because the alliance has a mutual pact of defense among its members. It would be the beginning of a Third World War.”

The professor at the Portuguese university also points out that a direct clash between Russian forces and NATO would be an incentive for other nations to enter the conflict, such as China, which is closer to Moscow and could oppose Western troops. Last month, the leaders of the two countries agreed to increase economic cooperation between them amid Western sanctions imposed on Russia after the war in Ukraine.

In this context, Facamp professor of international relations James Onnig explains that, “as the attack took place very close to Lviv, if the missiles landed on the city it would be as if Russia were directly attacking the refugee exit routes. Furthermore, the situation would be further complicated as many embassies were moved from the capital Kiev to the region.”

“If Poland were hit, we would have drastic consequences and the stability of the planet would be at risk. This event might have been called the Third World War, but it doesn’t matter what name it gets, because it becomes secondary to all the lives that would be at risk.”

The Polish border was the crossing point for more than 2 million people looking for a safe place away from Russian bombings. Two out of three refugees from Ukraine went to Poland, mostly women and children.

Putin and the nuclear threat

On the third day of the invasion, March 27, Putin ordered the Russian military to put nuclear teams on high alert. From that moment, the West began to fear the possibility of a nuclear war. Moscow could be signaling the launch of a short-range nuclear bomb on Poland to secure control of a specific area.

Russia has the second largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world and an enormous amount of ballistic missiles. Armaments constitute the main part of the country’s “deterrent forces”.

“If Putin really used a nuclear weapon, NATO could enter the conflict and that would bring a different magnitude,” explains Onnig. “This bomb is not like the missiles that could have fallen on Poland because it is a nuclear weapon that destroys everything around it. So, this action could cause a domino effect of the use of bombs in Europe, so it is important to control nuclear weapons and, if possible, the end of these arsenals for the security of the planet.”

Igor Lucena also believes that the statement was a threat by Putin to prevent the West from joining his military offensive. According to the professor, “the vast majority of nuclear arsenals are in mobile submarines, which makes it very difficult to have the assertive use of a nuclear weapon.”

Massacre in Bucha

The images of hundreds of civilian corpses on the streets of Bucha, a city northwest of Kiev, shocked the world when Ukrainian forces managed to enter the region after the Russians left.

Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky called Russian soldiers “murderers, torturers, rapists and looters” after the bodies were found, some of them with their hands tied behind their backs.

Russia has rejected all charges linked to the dead bodies in the region and the country’s authorities have accused Ukraine of falsifying the images.

According to the experts, the denunciations of this war crime could also have caused the intervention of other countries in the conflict, however, the United Nations, which should defend human rights is “weakened”.

Lucena explains that “as the main means of the organization, the Security Council, is composed of Russia, its actions in relation to the war in Ukraine are not effective, which means that all its lower bodies are also.”

In addition to the UN’s limited power against Russia today, Professor James Onnig believes the ineffective actions raise questions about the West’s real aid to Ukraine. “The Ukrainian government may ask itself: ‘If all these tied up corpses weren’t enough for constructive humanitarian pressure to get Putin to stop the offensive, what else needs to happen?’”

West’s entry into the conflict

Although these three points of tension were not enough for new nations to mobilize their troops, experts believe that the entry of other countries into the war could still occur, which would make the situation in Eastern Europe even more serious.

Lucena points to the possible Moldova’s entry after being accepted alongside Ukraine as a candidate for membership of the European Union. For him, there is a risk that nations that are not members of the military alliance or of the European Union will be taken over by Russia.

The worsening of the humanitarian and economic crisis due to the price of food and cereals blocked in Ukraine could also contribute to the escalation of the war.

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