Is WWIII imminent?,

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Ukraine President Vlodomir Zelensky called for US President Joe Biden to be the leader of the world and to be a “leader of the world means leader of peace” in an emotional virtual speech delivered Wednesday morning addressed to the US Congress.

Part of his appeal for peace is his long-standing request for “a no-fly zone in Ukraine skies” coupled with more military assistance to continue defending his beloved country against Russia.

Should Biden agree, will this be the start of WW 111 because Russian President Vladimir Putin will construe this surely as a declaration of war by US against his country?

On the other hand, As I See It, Putin, knowingly or unknowingly, is also forcing a WW 111 based on his latest moves in trying to occupy Ukraine by all means defying international conventions!

First, unprovoked, he sent ground troops to Ukraine and they are now inching their way into the capital city of Kyiv.

Then, when he realized his ground troops are having difficulty moving in as planned due to Ukrainians heavy, determined, and unexpected military resistance, he used air strikes targeting not only military installations but also aiming at civilians, hospitals, residential buildings, the press, and government buildings.

Now… he is telling people to use chemical weapons in the process and is determined to do it because he doesn’t want to be humiliated by accepting defeat by withdrawing forces.

With the great resistance being waged by the Ukrainians, his ego is hurt being one of the “strongest nation” in the world with arms superiority 7 times more than Ukraine’s.

That is the reason why he is acting weirdly and angrily wanting to impose his superiority.

All the more, we got news that an international army of foreigner-volunteers is being formed so fast that it will be able to reinforce ground and air forces in Ukraine immediately to beef up and continue the resistance against Russia.

Putin’s latest move to escalate the war was when he asked China to support him by asking military assistance in Ukraine. All these led to provocations and a direct challenge to the whole world to join the fray!

Will China do it? Initially, China started to support Putin by reporting information beneficial to Russia. The government-controlled media is reporting painted information about Russia and no reports on the actual happening in the war in Ukraine.

In fact, the war is only becoming more dangerous and going out of control after Moscow told the US it would target Western arms shipments to the Ukrainian armed forces that have helped slow the Russian advance. This is the latest development of Putin forcing the already worsened issue of the war.

And… the possibility of progress in negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow, which are due to resume Monday, seem to be gloomy when Putin defied an appeal from French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday for an immediate ceasefire.

And… there is no sign that the Russian leader will cave in to further his personal ambition to destroy Ukraine.

The aggravating situation of the agony of the Ukrainians in the besieged city of Mariupol have already claimed more than 2,000 civilians, according to city officials. Worse is – there are no electricity, water or heat and people are running out of food and water.

There are also reports of extensive damage in the cities of Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Dnipro, Chernihiv and Sumy, which have been under relentless Russian bombardment.

And an American journalist and filmmaker, Brent Renaud, was killed by Russian forces on Sunday, police in Kyiv said, while another American journalist was wounded.

Well, none of these developments suggest the war is approaching a point where ceasefire, negotiations or peace talks might succeed. And the risks of a wider conflict appear to be looming and involving more nations to participate in the war, directly or indirectly.

Liu Pengyu, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in the US, said in a statement, “I’ve never heard of that,” when asked by CNN about the reporting of Russia’s request for military aid.

Rather than stepping back, Putin is intensifying his bombardment of Ukraine. As these are developing, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak said he still believes talks could “achieve concrete results” in the next few days since Russia has started to talk “constructively” according to Russian state news.

The New York Times story (written by David E. DXanger and Eric Schmitt) reported that a way out of the Ukraine war proves elusive.

How will the war end? There are three separate back-channel efforts underway to start negotiations — by the leaders of France; Israel and Turkey; and, in a recent entree, the new chancellor of Germany.

But so far, all have hit the stone wall of President Putin’s refusal to engage in any serious negotiation.

What’s more alarming is that the war might escalate beyond Ukraine and officials are saying that Putin might seek to take Moldova, another former Soviet republic that has never joined NATO.

Many Ukrainians sought refuge to the country and Moldova is having problems now sustaining the increasing number of refugees and their needs.

Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, mentioned that scenario on Sunday, appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation.

” “Part of the reason why Putin is resorting to the possibility of extreme tactics like the use of chemical weapons is because he’s frustrated because his forces aren’t advancing,” he said.

A French government account of a call to Putin on Saturday by Macron and Scholz termed it “disappointing with Putin’s insincerity: He is determined to continue the war.

” Wendy Sherman, the deputy secretary of state, said there was no evidence from the conversations so far that Putin has changed course; he remains “intent on destroying Ukraine.”

Despite his military’s logistical problems, Putin appears serious on intensifying his campaign and occupying Kyiv, the capital; Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city; and other Ukrainian urban centers.

Russian forces greatly outnumber the Ukrainian Army and the civilian and volunteer militia, but the Ukrainians have been ambushing them with Javelin anti-tank missiles supplied by NATO and the United States and showing deeper resistance to stop the Russians occupying the country.

They have the resolve to fight to the end… even if it will cost their lives.

While the fighting is going on, looking for a way out is being explored and negotiated although even the most basic progress towards diplomacy has proved elusive and impossible at this time.

Despite Russian assaults failing to achieve any of Putin’s initial objectives, occupying Ukraine is just a matter of time. On the battlefield, Putin’s superior military forces are closing in.

Beyond Kyiv, the northern cities of Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Sumy remain surrounded, or nearly so, and continue to suffer heavy Russian shelling.

While slow, progress in the east and south, has been steady, but it also hints what a divided Ukraine might look like in the long run.

Putin has used chemical weapons in the past… he might be inclined to do so again. Using battlefield nuclear weapons could decimate the whole country and beyond and the possibility of a nuclear detonation has been discussed more in the past two weeks, officials say.

And finally, once Putin employs cyberattacks, which have been strangely missing from the conflict so far, it may be Putin’s most effective way of retaliating against the United States for causing harm to the Russian economy due to economic sanctions employed by the US and NATO, the report said.

So, what comes next? Whatever side of the coin means an imminent world war! Can the US and NATO avoid WW 111 to happen? Let’s cross our fingers and hope for the best!

(ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com.)

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