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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 was the beginning of a third world war that has the potential to destroy our civilization.

The invasion was preceded by a long meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Feb. 4 — the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations and the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. At the end of that meeting, the two men released a 5,000-word, carefully drafted document announcing a close partnership between their two countries. The document is stronger than any treaty and must have required detailed negotiations in advance.

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