SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Rotary Club came to grips Friday with the frightening possibility that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could explode into a nuclear confrontation.

The service organization heard from retired Springfield physician Dr. Ira Helfand, the co-chair of the nuclear weapons abolition committee. Dr. Helfand also spoke about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The danger is greater today than it’s been anytime since the Cuban Missiles Crisis and this is an important wake up call to all of us who have been trying to put out of mind this danger from 30, 40 and 50 years,” said Dr. Helfand.

“In the time we are in trying to fully understand what is really going on, and really take seriously the situation and everything of the world that we live in,” said Maurice Powe, President of the Springfield Rotary Club.

Dr. Helfand, a longtime Springfield physician, is a member of the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons and the author of a report called Nuclear Famine, Two Billion at Risk.