Russian Newspapers: Could the Conflict in Ukraine Escalate into World War III?

Western countries' escalating military support for Ukraine has raised concerns in Russian media about the potential for the conflict to escalate into a global war

by Sededin Dedovic
Russian Newspapers: Could the Conflict in Ukraine Escalate into World War III?
© John Moore / Getty Images

Russian military analyst Mikhail Khodaryonok from Gazeta warned that actions taken by many Western capitals concerning the war in Ukraine could lead to the outbreak of a third world war, reports AlJazeera. He explained that many Western countries are currently considering sending military units to the Russia-Ukraine battlefield and allowing their weapons to be used for attacks within Russian territory.

He added that there are significant differences on these issues among Western countries, while the United States opposes such attacks. He noted that Sweden, for instance, does not oppose the Ukrainian armed forces using weapons supplied by Stockholm to attack targets in Russia.

**Sweden, Britain, and the Czech Republic**

He pointed out that Stockholm is providing Ukraine with Archer self-propelled howitzers with a range of up to 60 km, and discussions are ongoing about the possibility of transporting Taurus cruise missiles with a range of up to 500 km.

The author stated that Britain has already allowed Kyiv to use its weapons for attacks on the Crimean Peninsula, primarily Storm Shadow missiles, which the UK is increasingly supplying. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala considers it permissible for Ukraine to use foreign weapons to attack targets on Russian territory.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also believes that Ukraine should have the opportunity to use Western weapons to attack legitimate targets on Russian territory.

**Baltic States, Poland, and France**

The author notes that, in addition to weapons, NATO countries are preparing to send military personnel to the operations zone in Ukraine.

In contrast, Ukraine welcomes such steps, and all necessary documents have already been prepared. The Baltic states have already announced the possibility of sending their soldiers and commanders to Ukraine, believing that if the line in Ukraine falls, they will have to send their ground forces into Ukraine.

According to the author, besides France and the Baltic countries, Poland has also begun talking about sending forces to Ukraine. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has taken a similar step, expressing support for French President Emmanuel Macron's initiative to send troops.

**Germany and the United States**

Germany initially limited itself to supplying uniforms and medical equipment, but later began sending its latest tanks and anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine. At the start of the conflict in Ukraine, says Khodaryonok, US President Joe Biden categorically opposed the transfer of F-16 multirole fighters to Kyiv, but later revised his stance, and the Pentagon began training Ukrainian aviation pilots for these aircraft.

U.S. Air Force F16 fighter jets© Ezra Acayan / Getty Images

**World War III Bells**

The author believes that if the restrictions imposed on Kyiv for the use of Western weapons against Russia were lifted and a decision made to send NATO military units to the area of military operations, these activities would raise the conflict to a completely different level and increase the possibility of escalating the confrontation in Ukraine to a global scale.

It would be the zone of a third world war. Russia announced on Thursday that eight American ATACMS missiles fired by Ukrainian armed forces overnight were shot down over the Sea of Azov, according to Anadolu. As stated in the Russian Ministry of Defense's announcement, Kyiv also attacked Russian facilities in other locations, adding that eight Ukrainian drones and two underwater drones were destroyed in the Black Sea.

China might organize a peace conference with the participation of Russia and Ukraine, cited the news agency RIA, quoting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Lavrov said that such a move would be a continuation of Beijing's efforts to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, reported Hina, referring to Reuters.

"We share China's view that the root causes of the conflict should be addressed and the legal interests of all parties should be protected, followed by agreements based on the principle of equal and indivisible security," Lavrov said in an interview with the agency.

"Let me emphasize once again, this implies respecting the realities on the ground, which reflect the will of the people living there," he added. Russia has repeatedly called for negotiations on the condition that Kyiv and the West recognize its territorial gains in Ukraine.

Kyiv has rejected these proposals.

**Criticism of the US**

Lavrov criticized the United States for helping Ukraine, saying that Washington has become "an accomplice in the crimes of the Kyiv regime." He also said that Russia considers the planned delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine with nuclear weapons as a "signal action" by NATO.

"They are trying to tell us that the United States and NATO will stop at nothing in Ukraine," Lavrov said. "However, we hope that the current Russian-Belarusian exercises on the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons will make our adversaries more reasonable, reminding them of the catastrophic consequences of further nuclear escalation," he added. In the Middle East, Lavrov said, the United States is also "fanning the flames of conflict."

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