Norwegian researcher fears Ukraine crisis could lead to major war, thousands of casualties, and millions of refugees

Photo: AP Photo / Sergei Grits

Kristian Åtland at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment fears that the Ukraine conflict will expand geographically and in intensity – and lead to a major war.

“Then we are talking about tens of thousands of killed and millions of refugees. I have to admit that this keeps me awake at night. This conflict has ripple effects that are far beyond the local level. This could have a major impact on the security situation in Europe in the years to come,” Åtland told Khrono.

“At any crossroads where Russia has had the opportunity to de-escalate the situation, they have instead chosen to escalate it,” he added.

Åtland’s concern is supported by Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, a UiT Norway’s Arctic University professor.

“I will not lie. I am worried. Many, including me, did not think Putin would come up with such an aggressive intervention against Ukraine,” she told the newspaper.

Gjørv does not believe that Russia will go further than Ukraine but is pretty sure that there will be a long-term conflict.

Russian attack on Ukraine

In the middle of the night, around 4 AM Norwegian time, in an extraordinary television address, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia was launching a military operation in Ukraine.

Putin announced the attack on Ukraine during an extraordinary session of the UN Security Council.

Ukraine has closed its airspace to civilian flights. CNN journalists report explosions in Kyiv and at least six other Ukrainian cities.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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