If one day away in the history books (or the one that will replace them) the crises that have led, or risked to lead, the world to a third world war are told, probably the one I am about to tell you will be one of the most important.
Roadmap of a difficult relationship
in 1991, when (in fact) the USSR was divided between the Western elites and the nomenklatura of the former Soviet, many agreements were reached: the most important of these? The end of mutual military offensives.
The Russian Federation, which was practically the 100% military copy of the Soviet Union, abandoned its bases in Europe and around the world. It ended the 24-hour patrols of nuclear-armed submarines and aircraft entering US territory and stopped the copious trafficking of weapons to "unstable" countries.
He uses? Since 1996 they have held a rather different conduct. In Russia hundreds of organizations have sprung up more or less "spontaneously" directed by the American way of life with consequent patchy colored revolutions. Have you ever seen a single NGO on American soil promote the Russian vision of how Americans should live their lives? It is not enough: the US has slowly started a 'encirclement' maneuver in the countries of the former Union, placing troops almost everywhere, including those equipped with nuclear weapons.
From the 1996 to the 2003, Russia has asked the US to review its policy. From the 2004 to the 2007, the requests have become firmer. 2008 from today, Russia said it was increasingly prepared to react (just collect and reread the Putin's speeches) without hiding his willingness to respond, even militarily.
In December 2021, the Kremlin issued an ultimatum.
And is this supposed to mean a third world war?
Not at all. Not yet, at least. But let's go back to last month. The Russian ultimatum to the US, published following talks held in Geneva, Brussels, Vienna and remotely, predictably fell on deaf ears. Third World war? Let's not joke. It takes longer for these things. But the alarm is strong, to the point that even neighboring countries such as Sweden they try to strengthen the defenses in view of worse times.
But what is the Kremlin asking for? Always the same thing for at least 13 years: the territorial downsizing of NATO. And as you probably understand, an escalation is inevitable at this point.
What the Western media does not point out is that the relationship between Russia and Ukraine has long been compromised: at least the western side of the former Soviet state is considered lost, far from the Russian spirit. The Russians have been mocking the Khohly (Ukrainians) for years as idiots, traitors, money thieves. Putin's goal is to economically strangle Ukraine and pick up the pieces with the eventual implosion of the country.
And then what?
The Russian presence will not extend to Cuba, Venezuela or Nicaragua. Not right now, at least. I'm not ruling out that this is in the plans, but it wouldn't make sense right now. The US has opened too many fronts (China, Russia, control of the South American states) and risks closely resembling the USSR itself, which has imploded to try desperately to keep all the pieces together. They will remain at the window with their bases in Mexico, enjoying the internal turmoil that the Americans will begin to relive from the mid-term to the "bloody" elections of 2024.
What immediately makes sense, and which would represent a point of no return from the real risk of unleashing a third world war, would be the taking of Svalbard.
A legally contested, controversial point that Russia should share with Norway. Most people are aware of the "mysterious" damage to the submarine cable that connects Norway to the Arctic satellite station.
The taking of Svalbard
A (eventual) claim of the Svalbard archipelago would technically be a walk in the park for the Russians. There would probably be few casualties, no civilians. Economically it would be very profitable, because the territorial waters of that area are full of natural gas.
Militarily? I doubt the US would react abruptly on this point: Svalbard is partially Russian, and no one lives there permanently. But the message would be unequivocal, and if the Americans retain their civil, social and military unity they will prepare for the worst.
Controlling Svalbard means starting to get your hands on Greenland, the last large chunk of the planet that is (unfortunately) becoming habitable due to climate change.