Students’ concerns about nuclear war

The Ukraine and Russia war has been ongoing since Feb. and has no plans to end. The fighting has intensified as Russia is losing ground in Ukraine. Russia has increased attacks on civilians and infrastructure.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously threatened Ukraine and countries from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with the use of nuclear weapons.

At the end of September, in a statement to the nation, Putin said he will protect all territories of Russia, including the Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson parts of Ukraine that Putin claims were annexed. “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will, without doubt, use all available means to protect Russia and our people – this is not a bluff,” Putin said.

Just this week, Putin reversed course and said that Russia has no plans to use nuclear weapons on Ukraine despite the previous threats. Putin says the use of nuclear weapons in the war “would have no political or military purpose.”

All NATO countries have called the annexation illegal and would not recognize it. The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution not recognizing the annexation of four regions of Ukraine.

Students on campus, like freshman nursing major, Marisol Mendoza, were concerned when Russia invaded Ukraine early this year and now have greater concerns. “I never thought Russia would invade in the first place,” Mendoza said. “For Putin to make threats like that is concerning and would create another world war.”

At a Democratic fundraiser, President Biden says the risk of nuclear war is at an all-time high. “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” Biden said.

Sophomore animal science pre-vet major, Debbie Weatherford says she wasn’t aware of the nuclear war threat. “I started getting concerned when the president said the threat has been great since the Cuban Missle Crisis,” Weatherford said.

NATO members have warned Russia of using a dirty bomb in Ukraine. The U.S. and Ukraine believe that Russia would blame Ukraine for using the bomb. Then use it as an excuse to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine.

Congressional Democrats called on President Biden to push Ukraine to start peace talks with Russia. The Ukrainians said it has no plans to negotiate with Russia after illegally annexing the four Ukrainian regions. The chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Representative Pramila Jayapal withdrew the letter to President Biden and said it had been “released by staff without vetting.”