By: Niharika Rajeev
Russia’s war in Ukraine was in some ways predictable and Crimea’s annexation into Russia alluded to this possibility. Nonetheless, the horrifying facts that are being reported are astounding to say the least. In the dawn of the attack, President Putin issued a bone-chilling warning to any and all who would dare assist Ukraine, a reminder of their nuclear arsenal and the havoc they can wreak.
Although Putin declared war first he states that “a direct attack on our country will lead to defeat and dire consequences for any potential aggressor.” While these threats may have been legitimate there was no real proof that Russia would actually resort to nuclear weapons. However, September 21 brings news that states that Putin may just use his arsenal against Ukraine. NBC News reports that, if only to save himself from an embarrassing loss, Putin is willing to use the weapons of mass destruction.
The Russian President, however, also accuses leaders of NATO for initiating talk of nuclear weapons. “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people . . . it’s not a bluff.”
Putin has also ordered 300,000 part-time military officers into the battle-field. The terror that these actions have wrought have not only been felt abroad but also in Russia itself. Flightradar24 states that “The AP is reporting international flights departing Russia have either sold out or skyrocketed in price after Putin announced a mobilization of reservists.”
Russians are petrified of “the imposition of Martial Law,” which would restrict the ability to travel for any men capable of fighting. While concerns are rising and the outcome of this act is uncertain, the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigui has stated that only men with prior experience with the army will be called on and students will be left alone. However, flight ticket websites show that this statement has done nothing to quell the panic of the Russian citizens who now look to other countries for refuge.
All in all, this war is affecting people all across the globe and civilians in Russia and Ukraine are left hoping that other countries may step in to stop Putin.