Since the attack on Ukraine, more and more people speak about World War 3 every day. And a conflict of this type is very likely to involve atomic weapons. But would these weapons be used on all continents? Very unlikely. Just like World War 2, this new war will be probably fought mostly in Europe. What will that mean? Europe will be destroyed again and need decades to recover after an atomic war. If no treatment for cancer and radiation poisoning will be discovered soon (which is unlikely, given the contemporary level of medical development), the Europeans will suffer from radiation-related diseases for the next one hundred years.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that a third world war would be nuclear and devastating. Given the fact that 40% of Russia's federal budget comes from fossil fuels export, the Zero emissions target represents a threat to the Russian economy. At the same time, the dependence of Europe on Russian gas gives Putin the possibility to interfere in European politics. These are all reasons for Putin to want a third world war.
President Joe Biden recently said that a third World War would be a better alternative to the economic sanctions taken so far against Moscow. The atomic bombs are unlikely to reach American soil, because the battles are more likely to be fought in Europe, just like in World War 2, and just like then, they will destroy the European continent.
The situation of Europe nowadays has many similarities to the situation right before World War 1. There is political tension, with many unclear military commitments which can be easily exploited. It seems to be the calm before the storm. Government officials and political analysts have begun to warn about the approach of a disaster. A new world war, which might be nuclear, has become a probability.
It is very likely that after Ukraine, the next target of Russia will be the Baltic countries. So far World War 2 has been the most destructive in all history, but it could be surpassed by World War 3.
World War 2 has killed about 60 million people. Due to the war, large parts of Europe were totally destroyed. Buildings were turned to rubble, cities were consumed by firestorms, while bridges, roads, and railways were severely damaged. Cities were deserted, and death and desolation were everywhere. Approximately 60 million civilians lost their homes and had to move to other areas for safety.
Although Europe suffered a lot of destruction, the most destroyed city was actually not in Europe, but in Japan. 60.000 of the buildings in Hiroshima were destroyed in the nuclear attack, which proves the real danger that atomic bombs pose. About 140.000 people died, due to the explosion, the firestorm that followed, and the effects of injuries. Another 70.000 people were injured but survived, and about 5 square miles (more than 12 square km) of the city were destroyed. Many people died from the injuries from the blast, combined with radiation poisoning. Within about one month most of the victims situated in a radius of no more than 2 km away from the hypocenter died. Leukemia cases appeared after about 2 years, while cancer after 5 years because these are the latency periods of these diseases.
Nevertheless, besides the destruction, a war of this type is also likely to consolidate the European Union, since the European countries will realize that a large state is stronger than a multitude of small states that do not cooperate in a unitary manner. Small states do not have the political and financial means to ensure prosperity, safety, and stability. Being part of the EU will lead to GDP growth, wages, and pensions being higher, it will ensure stability, prosperity, and will help grow the internal market.
Hopefully, World War 3 will be stopped in time, by using diplomacy and economic sanctions, to prevent the suffering and the loss of many innocent lives.