Russia's invasion of Ukraine has altered the course of world affairs, creating what some experts call the most perilous international conflict since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, when the United States and the Soviet Union were on the brink of nuclear war. The comparison fits, experts say, because Russian President Vladimir Putin has openly threatened to use nuclear weapons against any country that interferes with the invasion. For the West, the invasion represents an unwelcome return to Russian imperialism. It also poses a direct challenge to the U.S.-orchestrated, rules-based international order, whose cardinal tenet rejects the acquisition of territory by force. For many Russians, however, the invasion reflects Putin's determination to halt any further expansion of the NATO military alliance toward Russia's borders, which he ...

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