By Peter Hammond
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On the Brink of War
Along with the growing crisis over Red China’s threats to invade Taiwan, the world is facing the first real threat of a major war, possibly even including nuclear weapons, between nuclear-armed superpowers since the Cold War. In early November of 2021, the world was shocked by the sudden announcement of a massive Russian military build-up along Ukraine’s eastern border. The long-simmering territorial dispute over the Donbas, a region in eastern Ukraine that is culturally and linguistically Russian, almost overnight became a potential theatre for a major war between East and West. American and European leaders lined up in support of Ukraine and its president, Volodomir Zhelensky, even as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin drew a line in the sand. Ukraine, Putin insisted, was historically part of Russia’s sphere of influence and could not be permitted to join NATO. The West, in turn, accused Russia of threatening Ukraine’s sovereignty and vowed resolute action against Russia, including possible military involvement, should Putin invade.