Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s comments have shaken the world. In an interview with the state-run TASS news agency (July 5), he said the following about the protracted conflict in Ukraine.
Any war can be ended immediately.” All we have to do is to drop atomic bombs, as the U.S. did on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. A nuclear strike would have ended the war at the time, at the cost of some 300,000 civilian lives.
Ending the war with a nuclear attack.
In Ukraine, a terrible fear is becoming reality: the southern Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, one of the largest in Europe with six reactors, is about to come under Russian military attack. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Service has announced that Russian forces occupying the plant have placed explosives in four of the six reactors. Itsuro Nakamura, a professor emeritus at Tsukuba University and an expert on the situation in Russia, said, “The Russian military is engaged in a fierce campaign of aggression against Ukraine.
The Russian army was subjected to a violent Ukrainian counteroffensive, and its most elite unit, the private military company Wagner, was virtually dismantled. In such a devastated state, the only means left for a counterattack is to use nuclear weapons. It would be a catastrophe.
If the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant explodes, radioactive materials will spread throughout Europe. Agriculture, Ukraine’s main industry, would be severely damaged, and more than 100 million people worldwide would be seriously affected. It will be a second Chernobyl accident, a nightmare to be relived.
Simultaneous Loss of Europe’s North and South Seas
There are other developments that Russia cannot afford to ignore.
Turkey, which had been opposed to the idea of joining NATO, has now changed its position and agreed to it, and Sweden’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been almost finalized. The aforementioned Nakamura continues.
Sweden’s NATO membership would be fatal for Russia. The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe will become a ‘NATO sea,’ and St. Petersburg, President Putin’s hometown, which is the gateway to Europe, will no longer function. Not only that. The Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, which is a key naval base and faces the Baltic Sea, will be blockaded, and the Baltic Fleet will be incapacitated.
It loses the Black Sea in the conflict with Ukraine, and it loses the Baltic Sea with Sweden’s accession to NATO. …… For Russia, it will lose the North and South Seas of Europe at the same time. All is not well. It is quite conceivable that Russia, backed into a corner, will target Sweden with a nuclear attack as a means of a last-ditch effort.
Nakamura points out that President Vladimir Putin has a frightening idea behind this.
President Putin has described the invasion of Ukraine as a ‘military operation. He believes that the invasion of Ukraine is just the beginning, and that the real ‘war’ awaits after that. For Russia, the “war” is a battle with the West, including the United States, or NATO. Japan is no stranger to this. The entire Western world is a potential target for Russia’s nuclear weapons.
This is no longer a bilateral conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The threat of nuclear weapons and the outbreak of World War III is looming.