Just as the world battles the fresh surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is another type of crisis waiting to destabilise the world. If experts are to be believed, a World War will begin in a month’s time between Russia and Ukraine.
Europe has been on a high alert since the Russia-Ukraine border crisis deepened. A military expert in the region has predicted that the conflict could spiral into a war within four weeks’ time.
Defence analyst Pavel Felgenhauer voiced concerns of a European war as footage of Russia’s recent military build-up circulated. Moscow has deployed more than 4,000 troops close to the rebel stronghold Ukrainian border and annexed Crimea.
“The threats are growing, and rapidly. Much is not discussed in the media, but we are seeing very bad signs. The crisis has the potential to escalate into a pan-European war, if not even a world one.” he said.
Felgenhauer’s remarks follow Russia’s warnings to NATO that the country will take ‘military measures’ if NATO troops are dispatched in the tensions-stricken region.
As the United States pledged ‘unwavering support’ to Ukraine, Russian fighter aircraft, helicopters, artillery, and army tanks amassed on the border.
NATO, meanwhile, warned Moscow against formally deploying military troops into Ukrainian territory as a war-like scene on the Russia-Ukraine border put Europe on high alert.
How Ukraine crisis started
Ukraine is a Texas-sized country between Russia and Europe. It was once part of the Soviet Union until 1991.
This began as an internal Ukrainian crisis in November 2013, when President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a deal for greater integration with the European Union.
This sparking mass protest in the country which was attempted to put down violently by President Viktor Yanukovych.
Russia backed Yanukovych in the crisis, while the US and Europe supported the protesters.
In February, anti-government protests toppled the government and ran Yanukovych out of the country.
Russia, trying to salvage its lost influence in Ukraine, invaded and annexed Crimea the next month.
In April, pro-Russia separatist rebels began seizing territory in eastern Ukraine.
The rebels shot down Malaysian Airlines flight 17 on July 17, killing 298 people, probably accidentally.
Fighting between the rebels and the Ukrainian military intensified, the rebels started losing, and, in August, the Russian army overtly invaded eastern Ukraine to support the rebels.
This has all brought the relationship between Russia and the West to its lowest point since the Cold War.
Sanctions are pushing the Russian economy to the brink of recession, and more than 2,500 Ukrainians have been killed.
Ukraine and Russia have traded blame for a spike in violence in the conflict, which Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people since 2014.