As Vladimir Putin was preparing to anger the world by “annexing” several regions in Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy was preparing a territorial bombshell of his own.
Putin’s Friday announcement was desperate, certainly, with Putin even suggesting that the annexation would last “forever”, in a statement reminiscent of a child trying to win an argument on a playground in 4th grade.
And so, in response, Ukraine has hastened their application to join NATO – something that could bring the western world into direct conflict with Putin’s flailing military.
After Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed to have annexed large swathes of Ukraine on Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded by saying his country had applied to join NATO. “We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO,” he wrote on his Telegram channel.
There’s no telling what could happen next.
Any application would require the unanimous support of the military alliance’s 30 member nations. Russia has previously threatened to retaliate against any countries that join NATO, accusing the alliance of waging a proxy war against Russia on behalf of the West.
NATO’s charter includes a section entitled Article 5 that suggests any attack against a NATO nation would be perceived as an attack on all NATO member nations, triggering a joint response from the entire organization.
Or, in other words: World War III.