Analysis: Could the war in Ukraine become the NATO-Russia war of 2022?
The War in Ukraine Is Getting Worse by the Day and Could Drag in NATO – In an interview on Britain’s Sky News aired on Thursday, United Kingdom Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warned that Russia’s goal of expanding control in Ukraine will persist. Wallace warned that Russia may become a “cancerous growth” on Ukraine.
“Well I think it’s certainly the case that Putin, having failed in nearly all of his objectives, may seek to consolidate what he’s got…sort of fortify and dig in, as he did in 2014,” Wallace said, referencing the Russian President’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
“And just be a sort of cancerous growth within the country of Ukraine and make it very hard for people to move from them out of those fortified positions,” Wallace also said, adding that Russia’s determination to control as much of Ukraine as possible was a reason for the West to help Ukrainian forces “get the limpet off the rock and keep the momentum pushing them back.”
The West’s commitment to supplying Ukraine with weapons and ammunition since the beginning of the invasion has never waivered. That relentless financial and military support to Ukraine is exactly what the country needs to continue fighting off Russian invaders, but the harder it gets for Russia, the more likely Vladimir Putin may be to pull the trigger on striking NATO targets.
New Threats from Russia
While the Kremlin has issued threats against the West since the beginning of the “special military operation” in Ukraine, the frequency and severity of those threats have increased in recent weeks.
During an address on Wednesday, which was aired on Russian state television, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened “lightning quick” retaliation against the West if NATO countries continue to supply weapons and ammunition to Ukraine.
“If someone decides to intervene in current events from the outside and creates unacceptable strategic threats for Russia, then [they] must know that our response, our retaliatory strikes, will be lightning-fast, quick,” Putin told his country’s legislators.
Former NATO Commander Says West Should Prepare for War
Former NATO commander Richard Shirreff told the BBC Radio 4 “Today” program this week that the West is taking “absolutely the right approach” and that the commitment to supply more aid to Ukraine must be “followed through with significant resources, and it’s got to be done right across the alliance of a whole.”
Shirreff also warned that the Kremlin is likely to respond aggressively to continued aid and that the West should begin preparing for the very real possibility of war.
“The worst case is war with Russia,” he told the BBC. “By gearing itself up for the worst case, it is most likely to deter Putin because ultimately Putin respects strength.”