As Vladimir Putin’s humiliated army continues to be outmanned and outmaneuvered by Ukrainian forces, the Russian President has taken a bold step that appears destined to backfire in a major way.
Putin, using all of the dirty tricks that the Kremlin is known for, “annexed” four regions of Ukraine on Friday via sham votes held essentially at gunpoint. In some of these locales, Russian troops aren’t even in control, making the whole mess just about a phony as it could be.
Within hours, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had responded with a bold maneuver of his own.
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.
Nothing is guaranteed, however.
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.
Joining NATO would provide Ukraine with a rather sizeable back-up force, poised to take action against any incursion against a member state through Article 5 of their charter.
Of course, the move also had “WWIII” trending on Twitter, as the triggering of Article 5 would bring the western world face to face with Russia’s army on the ground in Ukraine.