In a comprehensive roundup 24 hours after Russian forces began swooping into Ukraine on February 23, Voice of America correspondent Steve Herman summarized the outlook:
“In the hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine — although no country has declared war on Russia — many are asking: ‘Is this the start of World War III?’
“No, it’s not,” correspondent Herman added, quoting Joshua Pollack, editor of The Nonproliferation Review, a specialist who previously has advised Washington on issues related to weapons of mass destruction, arms control, and deterrence.
“The real question,” Mr. Pollack added, “is whether it’s the start of Cold War II. The answer may depend on the longevity of Putin’s regime.”
Brian Clark, a Hudson Institute specialist, agrees. As he put it, according to VOA correspondent Herman, “This isn’t the start of World War III, at least in terms of how previous world wars played out. Russia can manage its Ukraine operations to keep the conflict from escalating out of control, and the United States, NATO, and the European Union have not (as of early evening February 25) intervened militarily.”
Latest fresh West economic measures in the crisis
President Biden said on February 24 that the United States is imposing sweeping economic sanctions against Moscow. These freeze United States assets in Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine.
According to The Economist, the freeze includes:
—Withdrawing America’s assets in Moscow’s biggest banks.
—Hampering Russia’s ability to raise debt to fund its occupation of Ukraine and near neighbors to the east.
—Restricting its import of high-tech goods, and seizing assets in the West of Russian elites and their children.
The current critical geography of Russia’s assault in Ukraine
As of dusk February 25 in Ukraine, Moscow’s forces were in the northern suburbs of its capital, Kiev. People seeking to escape were huddled in overcrowded masses in the city’s subway system.
A larger-scale Russian occupation of Ukraine could hasten the escape of as many as an estimated one million Ukrainians to nearby countries such as Poland and Romania. That would be the largest displacement of Europeans since World War II.
As a 36-year veteran of the Voice of America (VOA), Alan Heil traveled to more than 40 countries a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, and later as director of News and Current Affairs, deputy director of programs, and deputy director of the nation’s largest publicly-funded overseas multimedia network. Today, VOA reaches more than 275 million people around the world each week via radio, television and online media. Read More