Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is now over a week in; thousands of soldiers and civilians have died. It’s been a disaster for Russia and a horrible trauma for the people of Ukraine.
So far, Russia has only managed to seize the city of Kherson in Ukraine, but it’s continuing to hit Odesa and Kiev hard. This war is far from over.
Putin Issues Threat
One consequence of the war geopolitically, is it’s pushing other countries closer to NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization).
The Republic of Georgia officially applied to join the EU, while non-NATO members Norway and Sweden are now saying they may join NATO.
Putin is now warning them to stay far away from such a decision, saying doing so will include “military consequences.”
BREAKING: Russia warned Finland and Sweden will face “severe military and political consequences” if they attempt to join NATO: FMpic.twitter.com/WRS3hHDrEp
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) February 25, 2022
Would Putin Really Invade Europe?
The answer is yes. Putin’s military operation in Ukraine is not going perfectly, but Russia is still an enormous nation with a massive military and nuclear capability.
The economic sanctions on Russia’s currency and economy have brought it to its knees and isolated it further from the world’s economy. Putin is desperate, enraged, and ready to strike.
The idea his invasion has only brought NATO and Europe together is extremely frustrating to him. In fact, part of the purpose of the invasion of Ukraine is to create huge refugee streams and destabilize Europe.
With already over one million refugees fleeing Ukraine, that part of Putin’s plan is on track.
Yet, what he didn’t count on was NATO and the EU coming together like this and even attracting the interest of new members like Sweden and Norway.
The two countries have already provided a lot of money and weapons to Ukraine in its defense against Russia, but taking the next step to join NATO would be a bridge too far for Moscow.
Russia’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dropped the warning on Putin’s behalf, saying Sweden and Norway would “damage” Russia’s security by joining NATO.
She said they should be very cautious to do such a thing, as it would include “military and political” repercussions.
A ten point THREAD on the situation from a country with a 1340km border with Russia:
1. The security threat is real. Putin wants to take over Ukraine, revamp the security structure of Europe & keep Finland & Sweden out of Nato. We must assume that his actions have no limits.
— Alexander Stubb (@alexstubb) March 3, 2022
Sweden and Norway React
Sweden and Norway say they are not going to be scared by Russia’s threats. Sweden, for its part, also said Russia needs to keep its aircraft out of Swedish airspace.
Meanwhile, volunteers from Sweden and Norway have also been going to join Ukrainian forces in the war; so have Americans and Canadians.
What happens if and when Russia captures one of these foreigners on the battlefield? Will they now claim to have a cause for attacking our nations? It’s something worth considering.
There is no doubt Putin has crossed the line from being aggressive to being openly hostile and threatening.