The two world wars started with disputes between two nations and other nations were slowly entangled in and swallowed.
New Delhi: On March 3, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that he want the entire Ukraine. Emerging out of tele talks, Macron told the media and the world that "the worst is yet to come".
On March 6, yet again, Putin remained defiant and firm. He told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that his campaign would not end till Ukraine stops fighting his forces.
With Putin remaining where he was since the beginning of the conflict on February 24, 2022, there is no sign of a ceasefire or reasoning. Is the world then heading towards its third world war?
At least 364 civilians are confirmed to have been killed in Ukraine since Russian troops invaded on February 24, and another 759 wounded, although the true numbers are probably "considerably higher", a UN monitoring mission said on Sunday.
History and legacy offer certain similarities, and so these are worrying signs. In the last two instances, the world wars started with disputes between two nations – like we have Ukraine and Russia now, other nations were slowly entangled in and swallowed.
Even otherwise, the world is not a happy place as of now. Nine countries, including India, China, Pakistan and two conflicting gang leaders, the US and Russia, have nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 13,000 nuke weapons across the globe.
Major countries are also in dispute among themselves. In this region itself, China has serious conflicts with Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and is in a standoff with India. It has major trade and policy conflicts with the US. There is a confrontation between Iran and Israel, Iran and the US, North Korea and the US, and troubles in Cuba, Syria, Palestine and Yemen.
In the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, after about ten days, a promised ceasefire in the besieged port city of Mariupol collapsed on Sunday, March 6, and Russian President Putin warned that the ongoing resistance is putting Ukrainian statehood in jeopardy. He also likened the West's sanctions on Russia to "declaring war", showing no signs of remorse or nervousness.
Russia's defence ministry said the country had struck and disabled Ukraine's Starokostiantyniv military airbase with long-range high-precision weapons. A Russian defence ministry official said Russian rocket forces had also destroyed a Ukrainian-controlled S-300 missile system.
Putin blamed the war squarely on the Ukrainian leadership and slammed their resistance to the invasion. "If they continue to do what they are doing, they are calling into question the future of Ukrainian statehood," he said
The number of people fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine has topped 1.5 million, making it Europe's "fastest-growing refugee crisis" since World War II.
The second world war began in 1939 after Germany invaded Poland on September 1. Two days later, then powerful nations France and Britain joined the battle. Gradually, 50 million people lost their lives.
Similarly, in the first world war, one leader was assassinated on June 20, 1914. A month after Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Bosnia, Austria and Hungary declared war on Serbia. By 1915, the war spread, the United States joined the war by 1916, and by 1917-18, it was the world war. The rest is a human tragedy and part of the legacy.