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Russia, Ukraine, nuclear weapons — all the dominoes

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant on the banks of the Dnieper River in Zaphorizhzhia, Ukraine, on Aug. 13, 2022.David Guttenfelder/NYT

Global movement presses what UN treaty urges: total disarmament

Re “If Ukraine falls to Russia’s invasion, efforts to stem the spread of nuclear weapons will lose too”: While we agree with the editorial board’s concern over the danger of nuclear proliferation, the Feb. 13 Boston Globe editorial warrants elaboration on the problem of nuclear weapons more broadly.

The editorial made no mention of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which renders even possession of nuclear weapons illegal. An active and growing movement among world citizens is pressuring nuclear-armed countries to move toward disarmament and abolition, a direction the United States is far from even considering. Citizens can do more than support Ukraine’s fight; they can ask our country to take the lead in working for a verifiable, enforceable agreement among all nine nuclear-armed states to eliminate their arsenals.


As college students, we are engaged in work with Back from the Brink, a coalition that is pushing for the abolition of nuclear weapons as part of that global movement. In December 2021, we were among the 300 Boston Latin School students who signed a petition that Back from the Brink presented to Boston City Council with the resolution to support the UN treaty. The resolution passed overwhelmingly.

We invite every Massachusetts municipality and the state government to join us against nuclear weapons by passing such resolutions and demanding action from federal lawmakers.

Emma Lu


Jack Trapanick


The fight for freedom extends beyond Europe’s borders

Re “Russia hits targets across Ukraine with missiles, drones” (BostonGlobe.com, Feb. 10): Americans, for the most part, see Europe as a tourist destination, a place to enjoy diverse cuisine and classical architecture. It is seldom seen as the massive battleground it once was, where millions died in two world wars, including hundreds of thousands of our own service members. In Europe’s second-largest country, Ukraine, comfort and commerce have been replaced once again with the tumult of war.


As we approach the one-year anniversary of Russia’s unprovoked invasion, we are reminded that liberty has its vulnerabilities. It is never fully insulated and at times must be defended against aggressive force.

Had the United States and its coalition partners not intervened by providing military and economic assistance, a sovereign democratic European nation would not have survived to this point. This unwavering solidarity is an unmistakable acknowledgement that the fight for freedom extends beyond the borders of Europe.

Jim Paladino