EDWARD LUCAS: I hope I'm wrong but historians may look back and say this was the start of World War III
'Vladimir Putin is striking at the heart of the West'
'We can chose to surrender any responsibility we have to protect Ukraine and the Baltic states'
'Or we can mount a last-ditch attempt to deter Russia from furthering its imperial ambitions'
'If we choose to resist Putin, we will risk a terrifying miltary escalation'
'I do not think it an exaggeration to say this could bring us to the brink of nuclear war'
By Edward Lucas
Published: 17:44 EST, 15 April 2014 | Updated: 02:42 EST, 16 April 2014
Deep in the flat and featureless landscape of eastern Ukraine, it is all too possible that the outline of World War III is taking shape.
Whipped up by the Kremlin propaganda machine and led by Russian military intelligence, armed men are erecting road blocks, storming police stations and ripping down the country’s flag.
They are demolishing not just their own country — bankrupt, ill-run and beleaguered — but also the post-war order that has kept most of Europe and us, here in Britain, safe and free for decades.
Vladimir Putin is striking at the heart of the West.