Marine Le Pen: «Ukraine’s victory will lead to the Third World War». What is wrong?


Marine Le Pen is a former candidate for the presidency of France, a politician who has maintained close ties with Russia for many years.

In 2014, her Front National party received a loan of €9 million from a Russian bank, and she also claimed to share Putin’s «global vision.»

Marine Le Pen and Vladimir Putin. Meeting «old friends»

In a recent interview with El Pais, Marine Le Pen stated the following:

«If Russia wins the war, it will be a disaster, because all the countries with a territorial conflict will think that they can solve it with weapons. If Ukraine wins, it will mean that NATO has entered the war, because I am convinced that Ukraine is powerless NATO cannot defeat Russia militarily. And this means that the Third World War will be unleashed.»

Let’s analyze what is wrong with these theses.

Ukraine will not win the war without NATO’s help

NATO’s aid to Ukraine is really huge: after the full-scale invasion of Russia into Ukraine, NATO member countries provided Ukraine with about $120 billion in military, humanitarian, and financial aid for 2022. This is stated in the annual report of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Anatoly Kurnosov, expert of the Center for Political Studies «Doctrine»

However, is this the only reason for Ukraine’s success on the battlefield? We asked the opinions of experts.

«Yes, without the help of NATO countries — military (weapons, air defense systems, intelligence, training of the Ukrainian military), logistical and humanitarian, Ukraine would certainly not have survived. However, it is impossible to identify. You can’t put the USA, Poland, and Great Britain, whose contribution to our defense and security became crucial in the most difficult time, and, say, Hungary, which opposes Ukraine’s accession to NATO in every way, in the same row,» comments Anatoly Kurnosov, an expert at the Center for Political Studies «Doctrine»

Viktor Yermoshkin, analyst at the Analytical Center for Studying and Countering Hybrid Threats

«Manipulative statement. Correct statement: it will be very difficult for the Ukrainian state to survive without foreign aid in the war with the Russian Federation. The resources of Ukraine and the Russian Federation are not commensurate. That is why the Kremlin was counting on a quick victory. But foreign aid does not mean a direct military confrontation between Ukraine’s partners and the Russian Federation. Ukraine will hold out and win (liberate all occupied territories) provided that partners (including NATO) are resourcefully supported by finances, weapons, etc. It is not at all necessary for the partners to intervene in Ukraine’s war with the Russian Federation with their own armed forces. The statement is intended to create a sense of the inevitability of war between NATO countries and the Russian Federation in the event of their continued support for Ukraine», — says Viktor Yermoshkin, an analyst at the Analytical Center for Studying and Countering Hybrid Threats.

Ukraine’s victory will mean entry into the NATO war, and therefore the Third World War

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized that NATO would enter the war only in case of an attack by Russia on a NATO member country.

Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO

And in order for Moscow not to spread its aggression, it is necessary to prevent its success in the war in Ukraine.

«Ukraine is capable of winning without direct military support from NATO. This is proven by the current situation on the fronts of the Russian-Ukrainian war: the Russian Armed Forces are suffering colossal losses in manpower, and modern Russian military equipment is failing. The Civil Code of the Russian Federation is unable to reproduce losses in equipment and weapons, which forces the Kremlin to remove from storage antediluvian samples of equipment, which are already often found on the battlefield. At the same time, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation cannot demonstrate not only strategic or operational achievements, but even tactical ones. Under the current state of affairs (even without active actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation), the Russian Armed Forces will be completely exhausted at the fronts, which will lead to the impossibility of even holding the already captured territories. True, given the availability of human resources, and large reserves, albeit old, but weapons and equipment, it may take several years. But even in the case of a direct military confrontation between the Russian Federation and NATO, it will not lead to a world war. A world war by definition is a military conflict between blocs of countries of approximately equal power. The war between the Russian Federation and NATO is a major regional conflict, but not a world war. The Russian Federation does not represent a significant bloc either in the economic, military, or political sense compared to NATO. The statement is intended to cause fear of a repeat of the world war in an unprepared audience,» commented Viktor Yermoshkin.

Yaroslav Bozhko, head of the Center for Political Studies «Doctrine», comments:

«In the case of Le Pen’s thesis about the victory of Ukraine as the beginning of the Third World War, we are dealing with an indirect allusion to the thesis of Russian nuclear blackmail. Currently, there is every reason to believe that NATO will not intervene by force in the war if it continues to be fought primarily with conventional weapons.

Yaroslav Bozhko, head of the Center for Political Studies «Doctrine».

If we accept the idea of NATO intervention as realistic, then only in the case of the use of weapons of mass destruction by Russia. The instrumentalization of this topic by supporters of the Russian Federation in Europe is not accidental. The Russian Federation seeks to impose unfavorable terms of negotiations on Ukraine, for which it wants to put the West in front of a forced decision to refuse to support Kyiv with weapons and call for negotiations. This is currently most often used precisely in the context of the possibility of using nuclear weapons by Russia, which deliberately puts forward such statements to create the necessary information background. Further, this background is already being used on the ground by loyalists of the Russian Federation as an excuse for alarmist statements.»

Anatoly Kurnosov adds:

«I share the opinion of those still few experts who believe that on the contrary, an official statement is needed that NATO is in conflict (although not in a direct war) with the Russian Federation on the basis of the war in Ukraine. Politically and socially. And regardless of what Le Pen thinks, the Russian authorities, propaganda and society are convinced that they are fighting with NATO in Ukraine.

Weapons of NATO countries help Ukraine defend its sovereignty

Thus, the Western cautious attitude does not tie Putin’s hands in any way. This ties the hands of NATO and the entire West, mentally and politically. If the West openly admitted that the war in Ukraine is its war, then the consequence of such a statement would be the following statement that it intends to win this war. Nothing has affected Moscow more than the declaration of Western leaders, starting with Joe Biden, that «the conflict in Ukraine is our war, and we intend to win it.»

Vladimir Putin claims that Russia is at war with NATO in Ukraine, but there are no NATO troops in Ukraine

Since Putin is acting as if NATO is at war with Russia in Ukraine, and convincing the Russians of this, NATO’s recognition of this apparent statement cannot have any additional negative consequences for the West. On the contrary, in this way, it is possible to neutralize Russian propaganda and stop Moscow from escalating the conflict. Otherwise, the Kremlin will continue to escalate the war and, eventually, will indeed lead to an outright war with NATO. The key to peace in Ukraine and the world as a whole is to convince the Russians themselves that they have no chance of victory.»

A poll by French research and consulting company Elabe showed that Le Pen’s popularity has peaked amid protests against unpopular pension reforms and falling approval ratings for President Emmanuel Macron and the current government.

Against this background, the theses of Marine Le Pen are particularly threatening, since the increase in the number of her supporters is directly proportional to the increase in her influence on the masses of people.

The positions of Marine Le Pen are consistent with the theses of Russian propaganda, which say that NATO is fighting in Ukraine and that without NATO’s help, the Ukrainians would have lost a long time ago.

Anna Ostymchuk

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