Like every citizen around the globe, I have also watched terrified how Putin has attacked Ukraine, ruining the lives of innocent people. Because I couldn’t understand the motivation behind his criminal actions, which can only be compared to those of Hitler, I tried to listen to his explanations regarding why he started this terrible war. I realized that his motivations sounded unreasonable and fake. He claimed that people were the victims of bullying and genocide and called Ukraine a militarized state, led by Nazis. Given the fact that Ukraine is a democratic state, his statements sounded at least a little strange. Under these circumstances, the real reason for the attack seems to be another one. What could be this reason then, and why is he hiding it?
The possibility of NATO expansion is said, by some, to be the real reason behind the war, yet, others say it is just a pretext.
In order to get an idea of what Putin’s real reasons might be, we should look a little bit at Russia’s history and at its present situation. Russia has always had territorial ambitions. At the moment there are two major factors that might represent a real concern of Russia, losing the power it has over Europe, as the major supplier of gas and the dependence of Russia’s economy on fossil fuels exports.
At the moment, Europe is very dependent on Russian gas. One of the most dependent countries is Germany. This is due to the fact that they closed most of their nuclear power plants, after they witnessed the Fukushima accident, and realized how dangerous nuclear power really is. Russia is the main gas supplier and tries to use this power for political ends. For this reason, Europe aims at reducing reliance on this fossil fuel.
Another reason why Europe wants to no longer be dependent on gas is the target of reaching net zero emissions. The net zero emissions have to be cut this decade if we want to avoid a catastrophic climate change. To reach that goal, we have to transition to renewable energy and stop using fossil fuels. In the long-term, this situation will threaten the Russian economy, since 40% of its federal budget comes from fossil fuels export. Only history can prove whether this is the real reason behind Putin's criminal actions or not.
At the moment our top priority is to stop this dictatorial leader from starting a nuclear war, which could destroy our entire planet. Our efforts of saving the planet, by reducing emissions would no longer mean anything if we face a nuclear catastrophe at a planetary level.
The start of a nuclear war is a real threat to every inhabitant on this planet, and it would mean the suffering and death of millions. Besides the terrible effects a nuclear war would have on the people, it would also irreversibly destroy the environment.
The high amount of debris that reaches the atmosphere after an explosion, would interfere with the radiation which enters and leaves the planet. The patterns of precipitation and temperature would change radically. Less solar energy would reach the earth, leading to a drop in temperature, which in its turn would lead to failing crops and famine. The nuclear bombs would ignite fires, which would destroy the local vegetation, kill the fauna and modify the weather patterns. Depending on the number of explosions, the weather changes could be smaller or larger in scale. The weather changes and the soil contamination would destroy the crops and this would lead to famine for the surviving people. The explosions would lead to ozone depletion, which would make more ultraviolet radiation reach the earth's surface.
This is just a short list of the terrible consequences a nuclear war would have on our planet and we have to stop such a catastrophe from happening at all costs if we want our children and all the future generations to be happy, healthy, and safe.