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Russia prepared to stop war, if Ukraine agrees to conditions, including independence of Donbass areas

Russia will stop ‘in a moment’ if Ukraine meets terms – Kremlin, https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/russia-will-stop–in-a-moment–if-ukraine-meets-terms—kremlin/47409340 Mon, March 7, By Catherine Belton, LONDON (Reuters) -Russia has told Ukraine it is ready to halt military operations “in a moment” if Kyiv meets a list of conditions, the Kremlin spokesman said on Monday.

Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was demanding that Ukraine cease military action, change its constitution to enshrine neutrality, acknowledge Crimea as Russian territory, and recognise the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states.

It was the most explicit Russian statement so far of the terms it wants to impose on Ukraine to halt what it calls its “special military operation”, now in its 12th day.

Peskov told Reuters in a telephone interview that Ukraine was aware of the conditions. “And they were told that all this can be stopped in a moment.”

There was no immediate reaction from the Ukrainian side.

Russia has attacked Ukraine from the north, east and south, pounding cities including Kyiv, Kharkiv and the port of Mariupol. The invasion launched on Feb. 24, has caused the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War Two, provoked outrage across the world, and led to heavy sanctions on Moscow.

But the Kremlin spokesman insisted Russia was not seeking to make any further territorial claims on Ukraine and said it was “not true” that it was demanding Kyiv be handed over.

“We really are finishing the demilitarisation of Ukraine. We will finish it. But the main thing is that Ukraine ceases its military action. They should stop their military action and then no one will shoot,” he said.

On the issue of neutrality, Peskov said: “They should make amendments to the constitution according to which Ukraine would reject any aims to enter any bloc.”

He added: “We have also spoken about how they should recognise that Crimea is Russian territory and that they need to recognise that Donetsk and Lugansk are independent states. And that’s it. It will stop in a moment.”

NEW TALKS

The outlining of Russia’s demands came as delegations from Russia and Ukraine prepared to meet on Monday for a third round of talks aimed at ending Russia’s war against Ukraine.

It began soon after Putin recognised two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian government forces since 2014, as independent – an action denounced as illegal by the West.

“This is not us seizing Lugansk and Donetsk from Ukraine. Donetsk and Lugansk don’t want to be part of Ukraine. But it doesn’t mean they should be destroyed as a result,” Peskov said.

“For the rest. Ukraine is an independent state that will live as it wants, but under conditions of neutrality.”

He said all the demands have been formulated and handed over during the first two rounds of talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations, which took place last week.

“We hope that all this will go OK and they will react in a suitable way,” Peskov said.

Russia had been forced into taking decisive actions to force the demilitarisation of Ukraine, he said, rather than just recognising the independence of the breakaway regions.

This was in order to protect the 3 million Russian-speaking population in these republics, who he said were being threatened by 100,000 Ukrainian troops.

“We couldn’t just recognise them. What were we going to do with the 100,000 army that was standing at the border of Donetsk and Lugansk that could attack at any moment. They were being brought U.S. and British weapons all the time,” he said.

In the run-up to the Russian invasion, Ukraine repeatedly and emphatically denied Moscow’s assertions that it was about to mount an offensive to take back the separatist regions by force.

Peskov said the situation in Ukraine had posed a much greater threat to Russia’s security than it had in 2014, when Russia had also amassed 150,000 troops at its border with Ukraine, prompting fears of a Russian invasion, but had limited its action to the annexation of Crimea.

“Since then the situation has worsened for us. In 2014, they began supplying weapons to Ukraine and preparing the army for NATO, bringing it in line with NATO standards,” he said.

“In the end what tipped the balance was the lives of these 3 million people in Donbass. We understood they would be attacked.”

Peskov said Russia had also had to act in the face of the threat it perceived from NATO, saying it was “only a matter of time” before the alliance placed missiles in Ukraine as it had in Poland and Romania.

“We just understood we could not put up with this any more. We had to act,” he said.

(Reporting by Catherine Belton, editing by Mark Trevelyan, Gareth Jones and Angus MacSwan)

March 8, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Ukraine is a sacrificial pawn on the imperial chessboard.

No meaningful diplomatic effort is being made by Washington to end the violence. Ukrainian lives are being spent like pennies to facilitate the agenda of US planetary domination by whipping up international support for the strangulation of Russia while pouring vast fortunes into the military-industrial complex rather than taking even the tiniest step toward de-escalation, diplomacy and detente.

Ukraine Is A Sacrificial Pawn On The Imperial Chessboard,  https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/03/06/ukraine-is-a-sacrificial-pawn-on-the-imperial-chessboard/ Caitlin Johnstone, The war is not going well for Kyiv, and it would be unreasonable to expect that to change. As a vastly superior military force overwhelms the US client state, reality is in the process of crashing down hard in the face of western liberals who bought into the war propaganda that the brave, sexy comedian was leading an upset victory to kick Putin’s ass out of Ukraine.

Zelensky is now raging at NATO powers for refusing to intervene militarily against Russia, apparently having previously been given the impression that the US-centralized empire might risk its very existence defending its dear friends the Ukrainians from an invasion.

“Unfortunately, today there is a complete impression that it is time to give a funeral repast for something else: security guarantees and promises, determination of alliances, values that seem to be dead for someone,” Zelensky said Friday.

“All the people who will die starting from this day will also die because of you,” Ukraine’s president added. “Because of your weakness, because of your disunity.”

It must be hard, the process of learning that you were never actually a valued partner in western civilization’s fight for freedom and democracy. That you were always just one more sacrificial pawn on the imperial chessboard.

In a new article titled “U.S. and allies quietly prepare for a Ukrainian government-in-exile and a long insurgency“, The Washington Post reports that US officials anticipate Russia will reverse its early losses and successfully drive the Zelensky regime out of the country, after which “a long, bloody insurgency” is planned against the invaders backed by billions of dollars in US funding. 

The US has a history of working to draw Moscow into gruelling, costly military quagmires which monopolize its military firepower while leaching it of blood and treasure. Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, author of US hegemonic manifesto The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, openly bragged about having lured Russia into its own Vietnam fighting the US-backed mujahideen in Afghanistan for a decade.

Just two years ago then-US Special Representative for Syria engagement said during a video event hosted by the Hudson Institute that his job was to make Syria “a quagmire for the Russians”.

So this isn’t something new or out of the blue, and what it means is that all the self-righteous posturing by the western political/media class about the need to pour weapons into Ukraine is not really about saving Ukrainian lives (only negotiating a ceasefire can do that), but about seizing this golden opportunity to hurt Russia’s geostrategic interests as much as possible. Ukraine on its own is powerless to stop Russia from taking Kyiv no matter how many weapons are sent, but those weapons can be used to fight a “long, bloody insurgency” after that happens which costs many more lives, keeps Moscow militarily preoccupied and hemorrhaging money, and ultimately hurts Putin’s popularity at home.

This by itself would do a great deal to advance US interests, but on top of that you’ve got the even greater benefit of manufacturing international consent for unprecedented acts of economic warfare against the entire nation of Russia, as well as killing Nord Stream 2 and rallying immense support for NATO and the imperial military/intelligence machine. The western world is now a united front against the Sauron-like menace of Vladimir Putin in much the same way it united against the threat of global terrorism after 9/11, and we’re probably only seeing the beginnings of the agendas this will be used to roll out.

We can expect these agendas to be used in an attempt to impoverish, undermine, agitate, and ultimately collapse and balkanize Russia, as the CIA and Washington swamp monsters have wanted to do since the fall of the Soviet Union.

This would leave China standing alone without its nuclear superpower guard bear and much more vulnerable to imperial operations geared toward thwarting the emergence of a true multipolar world, a goal US imperialists have had in writing for three decades.

That’s a whole lot of potential benefit to the US empire just for losing Ukraine. Kind of like sacrificing a pawn to get the queen in chess.

I think a big part of why I and others wrongly underestimated the likelihood of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine was that the cost-to-benefit math never made sense; on paper Moscow stands so much more to lose by this action in the long term than it stood to gain. There was also a bit of an assumption that the empire would rather Russia not take Ukraine, preferring to gradually encroach with NATO salami slicing tactics than give up a useful client state on Russia’s border, and would adjust its actions accordingly.

But chess is all about out-maneuvering your opponent to leave them nothing but bad options to choose from, and in the end leaving the king with no safe moves. The drivers of empire would have known that, as the late Justin Raimondo explained all the way back in 2014 for Antiwar, Putin could not afford to lose Ukraine to the west without losing crucial support in Russia. Combine that with increased attacks on Donbas separatists and the west’s adamant refusal to make even the most meaningless concessions like guaranteeing they wouldn’t add a nation to NATO who they had no intention of adding anyway, and you can understand if not support Putin’s drastic course of action.

No meaningful diplomatic effort is being made by Washington to end the violence. Ukrainian lives are being spent like pennies to facilitate the agenda of US planetary domination by whipping up international support for the strangulation of Russia while pouring vast fortunes into the military-industrial complex rather than taking even the tiniest step toward de-escalation, diplomacy and detente.

And it’s entirely possible that this was all planned years in advance.

Is it a coincidence that before this started we were bombarded with shrieking anti-Russia narratives for five years, all of which were initiated by secretive and unaccountable intelligence agencies and none of which have ever been substantiated with hard evidence? The discredited conspiracy theories that there was a Kremlin asset in the Oval Office had nothing to do with Ukraine. Neither did the plot holeriddled and still completely unproven claim that Russian hackers intervened in the US election, or the baseless claim that St Petersburg trolls did the same. Neither did the claim that Russia was paying Taliban-linked fighters to kill US troops in Afghanistan, which was eventually walked back by the same intelligence cartel that made it.

All these hysterical anti-Russia narratives were shoved in everyone’s face day after day, year after year, with nothing really uniting them apart from the fact that they drove up general anxiety about Russia and that they were initiated by the US intelligence cartel. Even the empty Ukrainegate scandal which led to Trump’s unsuccessful impeachment was initiated by a CIA officer who just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

And while all those shrill narratives about a Putin puppet serving as America’s commander-in-chief were being aggressively hammered into public consciousness, Trump’s actual policies toward Moscow were extremely hawkish and aggressive. Beneath the narratives about Kremlin servitude, a new cold war was being dangerously escalated.

And now, lubricated years in advance by these mass-scale anti-Russia narratives, I’ve got western liberals in my social media notifications with blue and yellow profile pictures calling me a Russian propagandist and a Kremlin shill all day, every day. Because of that mass-scale propaganda campaign, we were paced to this point all the way from where we were at a few years ago when Obama was mocking Mitt Romney for his then-outlandish Russia hawkishness.

So we’re looking at increasingly aggressive confrontations between the US power alliance and the China-Russia bloc for the foreseeable future in a struggle which has already erupted in hot war and could easily get infinitely worse. All because a few manipulators in high places convinced the US establishment that global unipolar domination would be a good thing. Many of these unipolarist empire architects were involved in the murderous and influential Project for a New American Century (PNAC), whose founding members are now providing expert punditry on what should be done about the war in Ukraine.

Michael Parenti saw this all coming long ago:

The PNAC plan envisions a strategic confrontation with China, and a still greater permanent military presence in every corner of the world. The objective is not just power for its own sake but power to control the world’s natural resources and markets, power to privatize and deregulate the economies of every nation in the world, and power to hoist upon the backs of peoples everywhere — including North America — the blessings of an untrammeled global “free market.” The end goal is to ensure not merely the supremacy of global capitalism as such, but the supremacy of American global capitalism by preventing the emergence of any other potentially competing superpower.

We should not have to live this way. We should not have to see the horrors of war inflicted upon humanity with the risk of total nuclear annihilation hanging over our heads every minute of every day, all for some dopey grand chessboard maneuverings of a few sociopaths who can’t just let humanity be.

There is no good reason why nations cannot simply collaborate with each other for everyone’s benefit. There is no good reason we should accept these omnicidal games of planetary conquest as inevitable, normal, or fine. If our minds weren’t so pervasively locked down by mass-scale psychological manipulation, there is no way we would stand for this madness.

I don’t know if the US will succeed in this grand strategic confrontation to prevent the rise of a multipolar world. From where I’m sitting it depends on which side of the conflict has more tricks up their sleeve, and that could easily be the emerging China-centralized alliance of which Russia is a key player. But I do think it’s far too early for anyone to declare that the US-led world order is over and a true multipolar world has solidified.

There are many moves on the chessboard still to be played.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine, USA, weapons and war | 3 Comments

Japan’s power companies move to reduce plutonium stockpiles held overseas

Utilities move to reduce plutonium stockpiles held overseas, https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14556963 By JUNICHIRO NAGASAKI/ Staff Writer, March 8, 2022   Japan’s leading power companies decided to transfer ownership of tons of plutonium stored in Britain and France for reprocessing in a quest to reduce the stockpile as quickly as possible.

The plan was unveiled Feb. 18 by the Tokyo-based Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC). The recycling program will allow operators of pluthermal generation facilities to use plutonium produced by other utilities.

Japan has nearly 40 tons of plutonium in storage, fueling international concerns over its potential for use in nuclear weapons.

Major utilities in Japan commission facilities in Britain and France to extract plutonium from spent nuclear fuel produced at atomic power plants in this country. It is processed into mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel for reuse at domestic nuclear plants.

Japan’s plutonium stockpiles in Britain and France totaled 21.8 tons and 15.4 tons, respectively, as of December 2020. Britain shut down its only MOX plant in 2011, which means it can no longer reprocess plutonium.

As a result, and for accounting purposes, pluthermal operators such as Kyushu Electric Power Co. will exchange their plutonium reserves in Britain for the stockpile in France for use by Tokyo Electric Power Co. and other utilities that have yet to introduce pluthermal generation. The plutonium will then be reprocessed and imported back to Japan.

As a first step, 700 kilograms of plutonium will come under the ownership transfer program for use in fiscal 2026 at the No. 3 reactor of Kyushu Electric’s Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture. 

The FEPC anticipates that pluthermal power production will be in service in at least 12 reactors across Japan by fiscal 2030.

As things currently stand, the technology only applies to four reactors: the No. 3 reactor of the Genkai plant; the No. 3 reactor of Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture; and the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors of Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture.

For that reason, utilities have not managed to drastically reduce the volume of stored plutonium.

A reprocessing facility operated by Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, to recover plutonium from spent nuclear fuel is scheduled for completion in the first half of fiscal 2022.

But there are fears the treatment plant will not start full-scale operations to stop plutonium from accumulating further. With that in mind, the FEPC began considering how to reduce the amount of stockpiled plutonium.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | - plutonium, Japan | Leave a comment

Ukrainian military to blow up experimental nuclear reactor at Kharkov Institute

[Ed. This may or may not be true. So much distortion, so many lies, on both sides of this war.]

Ukrainian military to blow up experimental nuclear reactor at Kharkov Institute — ministry, https://tass.com/defense/1418059?utm_source=m.facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=m.facebook.com&utm_referrer=m.facebook.com&fbclid=IwAR1eAxJ5Sa2Zm9gizbshjRjeqzJWDl4SLnpEjstcw_3X5lo0-HLT9l9bK6c

The Russian Defense Ministry noted that “on March 6, foreign journalists arrived in Kharkov to register the consequences of the provocation, followed by accusing Russia of creating an environmental disaster”

MOSCOW, March 7. /TASS/. The Ukrainian Security Forces and the nationalist Azov battalion are planning to blow up a reactor at the National Research Center of the Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology and accuse the Russian Armed Forces of launching projectiles at an experimental nuclear reactor, says Russia’s Defense Ministry on Monday.

“The Security Forces of Ukraine along with the militants of the Azov battalion are plotting a provocation with possible radioactive contamination of the area near the city of Kharkov. Nationalists mined a reactor at an experimental nuclear system located at the [National Research Center of] Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology. The Ukrainian military and the Azov battalion militants are planning to blow up the reactor and accuse the Russian Armed Forces of allegedly launching a missile strike on an experimental nuclear system,” the statement says.

The Russian Defense Ministry noted that “on March 6, foreign journalists arrived in Kharkov to register the consequences of the provocation, followed by accusing Russia of creating an environmental disaster.”.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine | 2 Comments

Russians fire at Kharkov Institute nuclear reactor

[This is the other version of the story]

Fears of a ‘large-scale ecological disaster’ have grown as Russian
military fire rockets at a physics institute containing nuclear material
and a reactor. Ukraine’s national security service said Vladimir
Putin’s forces were firing at the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and
Technology using Grad launchers. These missiles do not have precise
targeting, raising concerns that it could damage the reactor and release
radioactive material across Europe.

 Metro 6th March 2022

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rosatom’s woes before and beyond the war: implications of Russia’s embattled nuclear industry

 Pinar Demircan: Rosatom’s woes before and beyond the war: implications of Russia’s embattled nuclear industry.

Russia had a nuclear waste recycling agreement with Ukraine. According to this arrangement, Ukraine
would send the waste from its 15 nuclear reactors operating within its borders to Russia at the cost of 200 million dollars every year.

However, in 2005, Ukraine’s then Minister of Energy, Yuriy Nedashkovsky concluded a new agreement with the US-based company Holtec to establish a storage facility promising 100 years of protection in the Chernobyl plant site for 250 million dollars, thus, bringing to an end the earlier deal with Russia.
The dry-storage facility, built by Holtec with the financial loan support of the US-based Development Finance Corporation (DFC), which committed to offering protection for a maximum of 100 years, was to be put into operation on November 6, 2021, with trial tests at the end of 16 years.


Although there are currently 4,000 cubic meters of waste, this warehouse is now the key facility where nuclear waste from 15 nuclear reactors, which produce 51 percent of Ukraine’s energy needs, will be stored. Thus, Ukraine was spared from paying $200 million every year to Russia for the
removal of nuclear waste, and had to bear only a one-time expense of 250 million dollars under the new agreement. In other words, with theconstruction of this warehouse by the US corporate, Russia had lost both the supply of nuclear waste for nuclear fuel production and an income of
200 million dollars per year.

Moreover, the Russian-origin nuclear fuelcompany TVEL, which has been operating since 1991, had invested hundreds ofmillions of dollars to produce fuel from nuclear waste and had even starteda new facility in Moscow.

 DiaNuke 6th March 2022

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Russia, Uranium | Leave a comment

Women leading the fight against climate change

Women leading the fight against climate change

 Women and girls are disproportionately impacted by climate change. But they are also at the forefront of global efforts fighting for change

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

USA nuclear industry affected by shortage of enriched uranium, due to sanctions on Russia

As economic sanctions pile up on Russia, there’s growing concern that
export restrictions on the world’s top supplier of nuclear fuel has the
potential to disrupt the U.S. power industry. Russia produces about 35% of
the world’s enriched uranium for reactors, about twice as much as the No.
2 provider, and supplies about 20% of the U.S. industry, according to UxC
LLC, a nuclear industry researcher.

 Bloomberg 3rd March 2022

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-03/russian-sanctions-pose-risks-to-u-s-nuclear-power-industr

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Wildfire on South Korea’s east coast threatens nuclear and liquefied natural gas plants


Wildfire on South Korea’s east coast threatens nuclear and liquefied natural gas plants

ABC  Sat 5 Mar 2022 Thousands of South Korean firefighters and troops are battling a large wildfire that has been tearing through an eastern coastal area and threatened a nuclear power station and a liquefied natural gas plant.

Key points:

  • Around 7,000 personnel, 65 helicopters and 513 vehicles have been deployed to contain the fire
  • President Moon Jae-in issued an alarm as the fire reached the perimeter of the seaside nuclear power plant
  • The operator reduced production to 50 per cent and cut off some electricity lines as preventive measures

The fire began Friday morning on a mountain in the seaside town of Uljin and burned across more than 6,000 hectares to the nearby city of Samcheok………………..

Around 7,000 firefighters, troops and public workers as well as 65 helicopters and 513 vehicles, have been deployed to contain the fire, which after reaching Samcheok began moving southward back toward Uljin, driven by wind……………

President Moon Jae-in issued an alarm Friday afternoon as the fire reached the perimeter of a seaside nuclear power plant in Uljin, forcing the operator to reduce production to 50 per cent and cut off some electricity lines as preventive measures.

Hundreds of firefighters were deployed to the plant and kept the blaze under control before winds drove it northward toward Samcheok…………   https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-05/south-korea-wildfires-threaten-nuclear-lng-plants/100885914

March 8, 2022 Posted by | climate change, South Korea | Leave a comment

Norway: NATO to conduct largest war games since Cold War — Anti-bellum

High North NewsMarch 4, 2022 Cold Response:Russia Says No to Observing NATO Exercise Some 30,000 soldiers from 27 countries will participate in the NATO exercise Cold Response…. Largest exercise since the Cold War The NATO exercise Cold Response takes place mainly in Northern Norway during March and April. It will be the largest Norwegian-led NATO […]

Norway: NATO to conduct largest war games since Cold War — Anti-bellum

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Azov Regiment commander calls for no-fly zone over Ukraine — Anti-bellum

Let’s not forget – the AZOV Regiment is made up of white supremacists, neo Nazis

Interfax-UkraineMarch 7, 2022 Commander of Azov regiment calls on international community to close sky over Ukraine, help stop humanitarian catastrophe in Mariupol Commander of the Azov Regiment Major Denys Prokopenko called on the world community to close the sky over Ukraine and help stop the humanitarian catastrophe in Mariupol. …Prokopenko said in his video message […]

Azov Regiment commander calls for no-fly zone over Ukraine — Anti-bellum

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment