Days after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed an emergency session of the UN General Assembly. He said at the time that the thought of a nuclear is “simply inconceivable” – but warned world powers they must do everything possible in terms of diplomacy from reaching a nuclear showdown scenario.

But now more than two weeks into the war, and with ratcheted warnings flying between NATO/Western capitals and Moscow, the UN chief raised his threat assessment in a new statement Monday, warning the world that it now stands at a new dangerous precipice.

“United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday sounded the alarm over Russia raising the alert level for its nuclear forces, describing it a ‘bone-chilling development’ and added that the prospect of nuclear conflict was back within realm of possibility,” according to Reuters.

He said in the statement:

“The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility.”

It seems he was both responding to Russia’s prior widely-reported raising of its nuclear posture, which came closer to the start of the invasion, and the fact that Moscow and Washington are now openly trading threats and warnings that includes mention of “World War 3” scenarios.

Guterres further announced in the Monday statement that the United Nations is readying plans to allocate an additional $40 million in humanitarian assistance for Ukraine, which will come from its Central Emergency Response fund.

Regarding the nuclear warning it must be recalled that it was only in January that the independent consortium of scientists that produce the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the “doomsday clock” another 20 seconds closer to midnight:

Two years after moving the metaphorical minute hand of its Doomsday Clock to within two minutes of midnight — a figurative two-minute warning for all humanity — the science and security board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists revealed Thursday that it has moved that minute hand another 20 seconds closer to the midnight hour.

It remains now at “100 seconds to midnight” – and as NPR previously pointed out in late January, significantly prior to start of Russia’s Feb.24 invasion of Ukraine: “Never since the clock’s 1947 Cold War debut has it come so close to the putative doomsday annihilation represented by the 12 a.m. hour.”

Currently, a handful of notable Russia hawks in US Congress are urging a US-backed no-fly zone in Ukraine, which is something President Zelensky has been formally requesting. This would of course bring US jets and Russian fighters into direct conflict, quickly spiraling into a broader NATO-Russia world war.

It was merely last week that President Joe Biden warned of the possibility of “World War 3” over Ukraine, vowing that he’d keep US forces out of the war in order to prevent that dire scenario…

“We’re going to continue to stand together with our allies in Europe and send an unmistakable message. We will defend every single inch of NATO territory with the full might of the united and galvanized NATO,” Biden said after detailing some of the fresh anti-Russia sanctions.

“We will not fight a war against Russia in Ukraine. Direct conflict between NATO and Russia is World War III, something we must strive to prevent,” he stressed. Ukraine’s President Zelensky is meanwhile set to address US Congress on Wednesday, where it’s expected he’ll urge precisely greater direct Washington involvement in repelling the Russian invasion.

This is what Zelensky’s foreign minister had to say on Monday…

Republished from with permission

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