The past days have seen me getting engrossed with international news, on the war in Ukraine specifically. It would have been easy to dismiss this historic event on account of distance. Ukraine and Russia, the invader, are both far from the Philippines. But the war they are engaged in has dire consequences on the world on many fronts. We are even now continuing to feel its effects on the economy, notably on the prices of fuel.

But what gripped me more is that it could trigger the feared nuclear holocaust. This wasn’t readily felt early on when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his military to invade Ukraine in February. It seemed easy to dismiss then Ukrainian armed resistance considering its size when compared to the Russian Federation. But the tide has slowly turned, with the Ukrainians recovering the regions they initially lost. Conventional war favors the army with high morale. And who can be more courageous than an army defending its own territory?

This development has exposed the weaknesses of the Russian army and of Putin’s hold on the federation. With his soldiers killed, captured or running away from bartle, Putin has threatened to use tactical nuclear weapons. But two things must be noted here. One is that the effectiveness of tactical nuclear weapons is still to be tested in actual war settings. Second is that it could spark a bigger war drawing in countries with nuclear warheads like the United States, those in Europe and some Russian allies.

US President Joe Biden has already warned of an “armageddon” or world war if that happens. Nobody wins in that war, considering the number of nuclear weapons, some of them in submarines, that the US and Russia possess. That is the essence of the so-called MAD or mutually assured destruction that nuclear war presents. But the alternative for Putin is losing face and his hold on the Russian populace. Meaning that Putin’s gamble to annex Ukraine now seems to be a losing move.

We have to go on living our lives despite this, of course. While doing this, we have to keep one eye on Ukraine and Russia. With globalization, information is no longer hard to come by. We have to prepare for any eventuality and pray hard that a wider war won’t break out. If you ask me, I hate invaders. That is why I want Ukraine to prevail even if that is fraught with danger. Upholding the integrity of nations should be primordial.

To downplay the willingness of people to fight for and defend the integrity of their country even with less modern weapons available to them is wrong. Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan showed the way. Vietnam proved such a war can be won. The current Ukrainian advance is another example. If other countries help, the might of bigger nations can be defeated.

Putin is among the world’s surviving dictators. If he loses, the implications of a Ukraine triumph would be far reaching. Let us all pray that such a possibility happens.