Invasion of Ukraine: for President Zelensky, the Russians will “try to take” Kiev tonight

Reader question

Can we fear an armed conflict between Western Europe and Russia?

— @c_l_e_m_clem (on Instagram)

We contacted the military historian Michel Goya, former colonel of the navy troops. Here is his response:

“The answer is no. Right now, there’s no reason for us to clash. Between the Atlantic Alliance and Russia, we are in a confrontation of two blocks equipped with nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapon is like the queen on a chessboard: even if it does not move, it is there, it influences the whole game. So rule number 1 is that the nuclear powers do not clash directly. Too dangerous.

Then everything under the nuclear umbrella is more or less preserved. In the Baltic countries, NATO members have deployed French, British and American air forces. They are not necessarily there to stop the Russian armored divisions, but simply to force the Russians to kill French, British or Americans. Which, all of a sudden, would raise the escalation towards a very dangerous threshold, which is the nuclear threshold.

On the other hand, in the zones outside these limits, this nuclear umbrella, the rule is a bit: the first to appear occupies the ground and drives out the other. In other words, if we had really wanted to protect Ukraine, we would have deployed well before, and even as early as 2014. We would have moved into a deterrent position. As we did not do it and we also said that we would never do it, it is the green light for the Russians.

Collected by Romain Boulho.

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