‘Bone-Chilling’ Says UN Chief As Russia Puts Nuclear Forces On High Alert

167

  • Vladimir Putin late last month said that his nation’s nuclear forces should be put on high alert, raising fears that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could lead to nuclear war.
  • He also said the U.N. was going to allocate a further $40 million from its Central Emergency Response fund to ramp up humanitarian assistance for Ukraine.
  • OSCE Chairman-in-Office Zbigniew Rau told a U.N. Security Council meeting that Russia’s aggression threatened the existence of OSCE.

On Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres raised the alarm over Russia’s decision to raise the alert level for its nuclear weapons after invading Ukraine, calling it a “bone-chilling development”, as reported by Reuters.

Cessation of hostilities

“The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility,” Guterres told reporters and repeated his call for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, has resulted in over 2.8 million people fleeing over the country’s borders and hundreds of thousands trapped in besieged cities, as well as sweeping Western sanctions against Russia.

High alert

Late last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that his country’s nuclear forces should be placed on high alert, sparking fears that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could lead to nuclear war. Officials in the United States have stated that there is no cause to change Washington’s nuclear alert levels at this time.

After the Cold War, which split the world for much of the twentieth century, pitting the West against the Soviet Union and its allies, Russia and the United States have by far the largest arsenals of nuclear weapons.

Critical supplies

Following a fire at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power facility in Ukraine, Europe’s largest of its kind, which broke out during a seizure by Russian forces, Guterres has asked for the security and safety of nuclear facilities to be preserved.

“It is time to stop the horror unleashed on the people of Ukraine and get on the path of diplomacy and peace,” Guterres said.

He also said the U.N. was going to allocate a further $40 million from its Central Emergency Response fund to ramp up humanitarian assistance for Ukraine.

“This funding will help get critical supplies of food, water, medicines and other lifesaving aid into the country as well as provide cash assistance,” Guterres said.

Brute force

Zbigniew Rau, Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), told the United Nations Security Council that Russia’s actions jeopardised the OSCE’s existence, which has over 60 members, including Russia.

“Its non-compliance with OSCE principals and commitments poses questions not only about the future of the organization but also about stability of the rules-based order,” Rau said, urging both the U.N. and OSCE to reinforce efforts to restore peace.

“Smoldering ashes of Kyiv, Kharkiv and Mariupol and thousands of innocent lives lost are a stark reminder of a heavy price that we pay for indifference in the face of brute force,” he said.

Did you subscribe to our newsletter?

It’s free! Click here to subscribe! 

Source: Reuters

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.