Putin’s War: Total Annihilation & the Future of Nuclear Deterrence

Jakub Ferencik
5 min readMay 23, 2022

Following World War II, Europe was devastated. Most major cities were burned to the ground including London, Warsaw, Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Kyiv, and St. Petersburg. Europe was leveled to the ground.

In the Soviet Union, 25 million people were left homeless. A further 70,000 villages, 32,000 factories, and 1,700 towns were destroyed during the duration of the War.

Approximately thirty-six and a half million Europeans died between the years 1939 and 1945, excluding estimates that include those who died from natural causes. Strikingly, 19 million of these deaths were noncombatants.

No one wanted anything like that to happen again and the liberal order that came following World War II, did everything it could to prevent it.

After the disturbing close calls to nuclear annihilation during the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall, most in the Global North believed that peace was now inevitable.

Then Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24 2022 and changed everything.

“I advocate world government because I am convinced that there is no other possible way of eliminating the most terrible danger in which man has ever found himself. The objective of avoiding total destruction must have priority over any other objective.” — Albert Einstein in 1948

Photo by Museums Victoria on Unsplash

There have been many attempts at deterrence in Europe after World War II. A more recent one, called the ‘Humanitarian Initiative,’ formed in 2015, calls for nuclear disarmament and included Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, and 21 other countries.

NATO’s main purpose, arguably, was deterrence. The logic was that the more countries there were in the defensive alliance, the less likely nations would invade.

Political scientists further argued that liberal democracies were less likely to go to war with one another. The influential political scientist and philosopher, Francis Fukuyama, went so far as to argue that liberal democracy would inevitably spread over the…

Jakub Ferencik

Author of “Up in the Air” & “Beyond Reason” available on AMAZON | MA McGill Uni | Research assistant for EUROPEUM Prague | 700+ blog posts with 1+ mil. views