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Ukraine War Has No End in Sight

  Ukraine’s current status as a wartime non-Nato ally has strengthened a long-held goal of the US and Nato of neutralizing Russia as a long-term military threat to Europe — in short, by transforming Ukraine’s military into a de facto Nato proxy.

As things stand, the best Russia can hope for is a permanent state of conflict with Ukraine — which would accomplish the US goal of “weakening” Russia.

Neither Russia nor Nato knows where and how escalation would end.

https://www.energyintel.com/00000180-d669-d410-aba9-f66dbd120000, Author Scott Ritter, Washington, May 18, 2022

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is grinding its way toward its inevitable conclusion, namely Russian control over the Donbas region. But this will not end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has expanded in scope and scale beyond the capabilities of the Russian military resources originally allocated. With no diplomatic off-ramp on the horizon, the war risks becoming a permanent state of conflict between Russia and Ukraine — with unknown consequences.

As the Ukraine conflict enters its third month, the Kremlin looks likely to achieve its major military objective of securing physical control over the eastern Donbas region. Peripheral territorial acquisition of the strategic southern city of Kherson, as well as a swath of territory connecting Crimea to the Donbas and the border of the Russian Federation, also looks likely.

While it seems clear that Ukraine will not be formally joining Nato any time soon, if ever, the reality is that the war has reforged the relationship between Ukraine and the trans-Atlantic alliance in a way that transforms the way the two entities work together. Ukraine’s current status as a wartime non-Nato ally has strengthened a long-held goal of the US and Nato of neutralizing Russia as a long-term military threat to Europe — in short, by transforming Ukraine’s military into a de facto Nato proxy.

Game Changer

Nato’s decision to arm Ukraine, combined with the willingness of several Nato nations to allow their territory to be used for training, has provided the Ukrainian military with the kind of strategic depth that was unimaginable when the war began on Feb. 24. The transition from supplying light anti-armor and anti-aircraft missiles to heavy weaponry such as artillery and armor has also enabled Ukraine to begin the process of reconstituting the heavy brigades that Russia is destroying in eastern Ukraine.

The creation of an impregnable Ukrainian strategic rear is a game changer. First and foremost, it provides Ukraine with the means to rearm, refit and re-equip its forces to Nato standards without fear of Russian intervention. This not only counters Russia’s stated military objective of “demilitarization” of Ukraine’s forces, but also steels the resolve of the Ukrainian government to reject any settlement that obliges them to embrace neutrality in perpetuity.

Russia’s efforts to disrupt the injection of Nato-provided supplies and material have proven haphazard at best. While warehouses containing military equipment have been identified and destroyed, Ukrainian units equipped with the latest US and Nato weapons are still appearing on the front lines. Likewise, while Russia has targeted Ukraine’s petroleum refining and storage capacity, the continued provision by Nato countries of refined petroleum products allows the Ukrainian military to remain mechanized. In short, while Russia will likely accomplish the objective of securing the Donbas and associated regions, unless it is willing to expand the scope and scale of its current interdiction efforts, it will not be able to bring to a successful conclusion its state of war with Ukraine.

Escalating Tensions

There currently is no identifiable diplomatic off-ramp for either Ukraine or Russia to end the conflict. Rather, all existing trends point to continued escalation. While Ukraine and Nato have constructed the strategic depth to allow Ukraine’s continued resistance, Russia’s current military configuration remains inadequate to the task of matching this mobilization. As things stand, the best Russia can hope for is a permanent state of conflict with Ukraine — which would accomplish the US goal of “weakening” Russia.

Add in expected pressures on Russia from Nato expansion in northern Europe (Finland and Sweden), and rising tensions involving Transnistria (a pro-Russian breakaway state between Ukraine and Moldova), and the current situation appears untenable for Russia without a broader mobilization of its military resources. While the outcome of any such action is impossible to predict, one thing is sure: Neither Russia nor Nato knows where and how such escalation would end.

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer whose service over a 20-plus-year career included tours of duty in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control agreements, serving on the staff of US Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf during the Gulf War and later as a chief weapons inspector with the UN in Iraq from 1991-98. 

May 21, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Chernobyl nuclear fears as forest near Exclusion Zone in FLAMES – emergency triggered 

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1612039/Chernobyl-nuclear-warning-forest-fire-Exclusion-Zone-emergency-Ukraine-latest

CHERNOBYL nuclear fears have surged after a forest near the Exclusion Zone erupted in flames as emergency services battled to extinguish the huge blaze.

By PAUL WITHERS, May 18, 2022  The State Emergency Service of Ukraine reported that litter in the forest near the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone had caught fire. More than a dozen firefighters and four units of equipment were involved in battling to put out the massive fire. At 2.10am local time, the fire had been localised to an area of 45 hectares. 

Video footage shared on Twitter shows the forest next to the Exclusion Zone engulfed in flames that are several metres high.

Rescue workers wearing protective face masks are also seen leading a local resident to safety.

The State Emergency Service of Ukraine shared footage of the fire on its Telegram channel.

The service also wrote alongside this: “May 17 near the village.   “In the forest of Vyshhorod district, forest litter caught fire.

“During the fire, our firefighters rescued a local resident.

“At 02:10 on May 18, the fire was localized on an area of 45 hectares.

“As of 09:00 there is decay of dry grass and stumps.

“Sixteen rescuers and four units were involved in the firefighting techniques.

The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is an officially designated 1,000 square mile area in Ukraine around the site of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster.

It covers an area where radioactive contamination is highest and public access and habitation are restricted.

The Exclusion Zone aims to restrict access to hazardous areas, reduce the spread of radiological contamination, and conduct radiological and ecological monitoring activities.

It remains one of the most radioactively contaminated areas in the world, attracting widespread interest over the high levels of radiation exposure in the environment.

The Exclusion Zone had been established by the Soviet Armed Forces soon after the nuclear power plant disaster in 1986.  This initially existed as an area with a radius of 30 miles from the structure, designated for evacuation and placed under military control.

Over the years, its borders have been widened to cover a much larger area of Ukraine.  

May 19, 2022 Posted by | climate change, incidents, Ukraine | 1 Comment

Ukraine controlled by US and UK – Russia

Rt.com 17 May 22, The stalling of the peace talks is a result of the wish of London and Washington to drag out the Ukraine conflict, Lavrov claimed. London and Washington have been exercising their control over the Ukrainian negotiators with the aim of dragging out the conflict, and this policy has led to the suspension of peace talks between Moscow and Kiev, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed on Tuesday.

Speaking at the New Horizons educational marathon, Lavrov said that Ukraine may have made its own decision in Istanbul, when it came up with some “acceptable principles for reaching agreements” during negotiations with Russia. However, according to the minister, these ideas were apparently not supported by the West.

We have information coming through various channels that Washington and especially London ‘lead’ the Ukrainian negotiators and control their freedom of maneuver. They want to drag out the conflict, and it seems to them that the longer it will last, the more damage they will inflict on Russian servicemen,” Lavrov said.

The foreign minister doubts, however, that “transferring the conversation to the level of Washington or London” would be able to change anything in terms of the progress.

Anyway, neither London, nor Washington, nor the West as a whole has put forward any proposals,” Lavrov said.

The West actually acknowledged that Ukraine is “expendable in a hybrid total war against the Russian Federation,” Lavrov claimed, citing remarks by the EU, UK and US officials who have said on multiple occasions that Russia should not be allowed to win in the Ukrainian conflict.

The war was declared by them. And not at all between Ukraine and Russia, but between the West and Russia,” Lavrov said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said that diplomatic dialogue between Moscow and Kiev had been completely suspended after Kiev withdrew from negotiations without providing any response to the latest Russian proposals.

A Ukrainian presidential adviser, Mikhail Podolyak, later confirmed that “after the Istanbul communiqué [in March], there have been no changes, no progress.”……. https://www.rt.com/russia/555640-russia-lavrov-west-ukraine/

May 19, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby happily predicts a bright and beautiful future for new nuclear reactors in Ukraine

Ukraine planning for post-war nuclear power plants, WNN,16 May 2022 Energoatom’s CEO Petro Kotin says that construction work on two new Westinghouse AP1000 units at the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant “will begin as soon as the war is over”.

In an interview with vesti.ua, he said that the agreement signed with Westinghouse covered the construction of five units in total, with the other three units to be distributed at the country’s other existing nuclear power plants.

Kotin said that in addition to those five units “we are looking at new sites. The most promising thing we are working on now is the Chyhyryn site in the Cherkasy region, where a power unit was planned to be built in Soviet times. There was a plot allocated for this and there are good conditions, the population is positive about the construction of such a facility. It is the centre of Ukraine, there is a high-power transmission line nearby, and a lot of water, which is important for a high-capacity nuclear power unit.”

He said that they would also create a garden city out of Orbita, the part-built town that was largely abandoned when the nuclear power plant plans were halted more than three decades ago.

…………………  Kotin said there needed to be rules agreed in cases of such aggression in future against a civilian nuclear facility and agreement on “how to protect it, what actions should be taken by the the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the international level”. One measure Ukraine has wanted enforced was the adoption of a 30 kilometre non-military zone around nuclear facilities.

…………….. Another issue raised was that Ukraine currently has “a lot of capacity that is in reserve due to the reduction of electricity consumption in Ukraine”, which, he said, could be exported. And, on Monday, Interfax Ukraine reported that Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said at a government meeting Ukraine planned to resume additional power lines with Poland “to export electricity from Ukrainian nuclear power plants…………  https://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Ukraine-planning-for-post-war-nuclear-power-plants

May 17, 2022 Posted by | politics, spinbuster, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Injured troops to be evacuated from Azovstal – Moscow

 https://www.rt.com/russia/555560-injured-troops-evacuation-azovstal/16 May 22,

Evacuation from the Mariupol stronghold to a Donbass city agreed, Russian military said. Russian and allied troops blocking the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol will allow injured Ukrainian soldiers to leave the stronghold and go to hospital in Novoazovsk, the Russian defense ministry said on Monday. The evacuation is planned for later on Monday after an agreement was reached, the military said.

According to the Russian ministry, it has suspended hostilities at Azovstal to allow the humanitarian evacuation later in the day.

Novoazovsk is a small city about 40km east of Mariupol, which is controlled by the militia force of the Donetsk People’s Republic. The evacuated troops will apparently remain in the custody of the breakaway republic, which Russia recognized as an independent state before launching its attack against Ukraine in late February.

Azovstal serves as the last bastion of Ukrainian troops in Mariupol, a major port city that saw some of the most intense fighting during Russia’s offensive in Ukraine. The vast facility has an extensive network of underground tunnels and shelters, where Ukrainian fighters are holed up.

Russia decided not to storm the site, saying it would take too many lives of its soldiers, and opted for a prolonged siege instead. Ukrainian troops stationed there, many of whom belong to the controversial nationalist Azov battalion, have been complaining about a shortage of food, medical supplies and ammunition for weeks.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

May 17, 2022 Posted by | health, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The horrible dangers of pushing a US proxy war in Ukraine

If there is indeed a shift in strategy to another level of confrontation with Russia, we need to know what we’re getting into.

Responsible Stateccraft APRIL 27, 2022, Anatol Lieven,

To judge by its latest statements, the Biden administration is increasingly committed to using the conflict in Ukraine to wage a proxy war against Russia, with as its goal the weakening or even destruction of the Russian state. 

This would mean America adopting a strategy that every U.S. president during the Cold War took great pains to avoid: the sponsorship of war in Europe, bringing with it the acute risk of escalation towards direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO, possibly ending in nuclear catastrophe. The U.S. and NATO refusal to support armed rebellions against Soviet rule in eastern Europe was obviously not based on any kind of recognition of the legitimacy of Communist rule and Soviet domination, but simply on a hard-headed calculation of the appalling risks involved to America, Europe and humanity in general. 

……………………………… Lavrov compared the situation in terms of nuclear danger to the Cuban missile crisis. We might do well to remember in this context how very close humanity came to nuclear annihilation in the fall of 1962. At one point, the fate of the world depended on the wisdom and caution of just one Soviet naval officer on board a nuclear attack submarine: Commander (later Admiral) Vassily Arkhipov………..

LLoyd Austin. US SEcretary of Defense

Two of Lloyd Austin’s remarks are especially worth examining in some detail. The first is that weakening Russia is necessary in order to prevent it repeating its invasion of Ukraine elsewhere. This statement is either meaningless, hypocritical, or both. There is no sign that Russia wants to or indeed could invade any other countries. As far as an attack on NATO is concerned, the miserable performance of the Russian military in Ukraine should have made absolutely clear that this is a fatuous chimera. If Russia cannot capture cities less than 20 miles from Russia’s own border, the idea of an attack on NATO is ludicrous.

As far as Georgia, Moldova and Belarus are concerned, it already holds the positions it needs in these countries. Russia’s military presence in Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh is at the request of the Armenians themselves, and is indeed essential to protect them against Turkey and Azerbaijan. When it comes to combating Islamist extremism in Central Asia and elsewhere, Russia’s interests and those of the West are in fact aligned. 

Lloyd Austin also stated that U.S. officials believe that Ukraine can “win” the war with Russia given the right equipment and support from the West. The question is what “winning” means.  If it means preserving Ukrainian independence, freedom to join the European Union, and sovereignty over the great majority of Ukrainian territory, then this is a legitimate and necessary goal. Indeed, thanks to Ukrainian courage and Western weaponry, it has already to a great extent been achieved.

Moscow’s original goal of overthrowing the Ukrainian government and subjugating the whole of Ukraine failed utterly. Given the losses that the Russian military has suffered, it seems highly unlikely that Russia can capture any more large Ukrainian cities, let alone conquer the whole of Ukraine. 

If however what is meant by victory is Ukrainian reconquest — with Western help —  of all the areas lost to Russia and Russian-backed separatists since 2014, then this is a recipe for perpetual war, and monstrous losses and suffering for Ukrainians. The Ukrainian army has fought magnificently in defense of its urban areas, but attacking entrenched Russian defensive positions across open country would be a very different matter. 

Moreover, since Russia has annexed Crimea and the vast majority of the Russian people believe that this is Russian national territory, no future Russian government could possibly agree to give it up. A goal of complete Ukrainian victory therefore does indeed imply the destruction of the Russian state — something that Russia’s nuclear arsenal exists to prevent.

There is however a fatal ambiguity involved in such statements. For if what they suggest is a U.S. commitment to help Ukraine to go on fighting until Ukraine has reconquered all of the territory taken by Russia since 2014, including Crimea, then this implies a permanent war with the destruction of the Russian state as its goal; for short of the collapse of the Russian state, no Russian government will surrender Crimea, and for geographical reasons, no Ukrainian victory on the ground can bring this about. Furthermore, while China has so far been very restrained in its support for Russia over Ukraine, Beijing could not possibly tolerate a U.S. strategy aimed at the destruction of the Russian state and the consequent complete isolation of China.   https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2022/04/27/the-horrible-dangers-in-pushing-a-us-proxy-war-in-ukraine/

May 16, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Ending the War of Attrition in Ukraine

by Jeffrey D. Sachs, NEW YORK (IDN) 114 May 22, — Wars often erupt and persist because of the two sides’ miscalculations regarding their relative power. In the case of Ukraine, Russia blundered badly by underestimating the resolve of Ukrainians to fight and the effectiveness of NATO-supplied weaponry. Yet Ukraine and NATO are also overestimating their capacity to defeat Russia on the battlefield. The result is a war of attrition that each side believes it will win, but that both sides will lose.

Ukraine should intensify the search for a negotiated peace of the type that was on the table in late March, but which it then abandoned following evidence of Russian atrocities in Bucha—and perhaps owing to changing perceptions of its military prospects.

The peace terms under discussion in late March called for Ukraine’s neutrality, backed by security guarantees and a timeline to address contentious issues such as the status of Crimea and the Donbas. Russian and Ukrainian negotiators stated that there was progress in the negotiations, as did the Turkish mediators. The negotiations then collapsed after the reports from Bucha, with Ukraine’s negotiator stating that “Ukrainian society is now much more negative about any negotiation concept that concerns the Russian Federation.”

But the case for negotiations remains urgent and overwhelming. The alternative is not Ukraine’s victory but a devastating war of attrition. To reach an agreement, both sides need to recalibrate their expectations.

When Russia attacked Ukraine, it clearly expected a quick and easy victory. Russia vastly underestimated the upgrading of the Ukraine military following years of US, British, and other military support and training since 2014. Moreover, Russia underestimated the extent to which NATO military technology would counter Russia’s greater number of troops. No doubt, Russia’s greatest error was to assume that the Ukrainians would not fight—or perhaps even switch sides.

Russia’s greatest error was to assume that the Ukrainians would not fight—or perhaps even switch sides.

Yet now Ukraine and its Western supporters are overestimating the chances of defeating Russia on the battlefield. The idea that the Russian army is about to collapse is wishful thinking. Russia has the military capacity to destroy Ukrainian infrastructure (such as the rail lines now under attack) and to win and hold territory in the Donbas region and on the Black Sea coast. Ukrainians are fighting resolutely, but it is highly unlikely that they can force a Russian defeat.

Nor can Western financial sanctions, which are far less sweeping and effective than the governments that imposed them acknowledge. ………………

Moreover, the sanctions are creating serious economic consequences for the United States and especially Europe……………..

In the meantime, Ukraine continues to suffer grievously in terms of deaths, dislocation, and destruction. The IMF now forecasts a 35% contraction of Ukraine’s economy in 2022, reflecting the brutal destruction of housing, factories, rail stock, energy storage and transmission capacity, and other vital infrastructure.

Most dangerous of all, as long as the war continues, the risk of nuclear escalation is real. If Russia’s conventional forces were actually to be pushed toward defeat, as the US is now seeking, Russia might well counter with tactical nuclear weapons. A US or Russian aircraft could be shot down by the other side as they scramble over the Black Sea, which in turn could lead to direct military conflict. Media reports that the US has covert forces on the ground, and the US intelligence community’s disclosure that it helped Ukraine kill Russian generals and sink Russia’s Black Sea flagship, underscore the danger.

The reality of the nuclear threat means that both sides should never forgo the possibility of negotiations. That is the central lesson of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which took place 60 years ago this coming October. President John F. Kennedy saved the world then by negotiating an end to the crisis—agreeing that the US would never again invade Cuba and that the US would remove its missiles from Turkey in exchange for the withdrawal of the Soviet missiles from Cuba. That was not giving in to Soviet nuclear blackmail. That was Kennedy wisely avoiding Armageddon.

It is still possible to establish peace in Ukraine based on the parameters that were on the table at the end of March: neutrality, security guarantees, a framework for addressing Crimea and the Donbas, and Russian withdrawal. This remains the only realistic and safe course for Ukraine, Russia, and the world. The world would rally to such an agreement, and, for its own survival and well-being, so should Ukraine. https://www.indepthnews.net/index.php/opinion/5298-ending-the-war-of-attrition-in-ukraine#.Yn3tJBvujtI.twitter


May 14, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine | 2 Comments

UN: There is ‘credible’ information Ukrainian forces are torturing Russian POWs  

  https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/foreign/un-there-is-credible-information-ukrainian-forces-are-torturing-russian-pows

Abigail Adcox, Washington Examiner, Tue, 10 May 2022 

There is “credible” information that Russian prisoners of war have been mistreated by Ukrainian forces since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February, a United Nations official said.

The evidence suggests that Russia is not the only country willing to break international norms during war, as the U.N. reports that Ukrainian forces have subjected Russians under their watch to treatment that violates

 international law, Matilda Bogner, head of the U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukrainesaid Tuesday.


“Ukraine and Russia must promptly and effectively investigate all allegations of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners of war. They must also effectively control and instruct their forces to stop any further violations from occurring.”

Russia is accused of several war crimes, including raping Ukrainian women, targeting and killing innocent civilians, and forcing others to go to Russia against their will.

Comment: Given Ukraine’s long history of prisoner abuse throughout the eight-year war on Donetsk-Lugansk, torture is its standard procedure. Were the UN’s complaints effective then?

Some of the violations were determined by Bogner and other U.N. officials during a visit to towns in the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions that were occupied by Russian armed forces until the end of March.

The group also reported that hundreds of educational or medical facilities have been damaged or destroyed in areas of hostility across the country. At least 50 places of worship have been damaged, more than half of which cannot be used. Bogner said:

“The best way to end the violations that we have been documenting will be to end the hostilities. However, while they are ongoing and for as long as they last, parties must in the conduct of operations take constant care to spare the civilian population.”

“We have received credible information of torture, ill-treatment and incommunicado detention by Ukrainian Armed Forces against prisoners of war from Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups. We continue to see the publication of videos, which show inhumane treatment, including prisoners from both sides being coerced to make statements, apologies and confessions, and other forms of humiliation.”

The mistreatment from both sides is considered a violation of international humanitarian law, as the U.N. continues to investigate and document egregious violations since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Ukraine and Russia must promptly and effectively investigate all allegations of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners of war. They must also effectively control and instruct their forces to stop any further violations from occurring,” Bogner said.

Russia is accused of several war crimes, including raping Ukrainian women, targeting and killing innocent civilians, and forcing others to go to Russia against their will.

Some of the violations were determined by Bogner and other U.N. officials during a visit to towns in the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions that were occupied by Russian armed forces until the end of March.

The group also reported that hundreds of educational or medical facilities have been damaged or destroyed in areas of hostility across the country. At least 50 places of worship have been damaged, more than half of which cannot be used.

“The best way to end the violations that we have been documenting will be to end the hostilities,” Bogner said. “However, while they are ongoing and for as long as they last, parties must in the conduct of operations take constant care to spare the civilian population.”

May 14, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Atomic energy chief: Ukraine’s nuclear safety situation ‘far from being resolved’

Russian troops are still occupying Europe’s largest nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia. Politico  BY LOUISE GUILLOT The risk of a nuclear accident in Ukraine is still a source of concern, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tuesday, calling the situation “far from being resolved.”

Speaking at European Parliament hearing, IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi said the agency’s main “preoccupation” remains Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine’s largest functioning nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian military control since early March.

“We have been living in a very fragile situation,” he said, explaining that the plant is currently run by Ukrainian state nuclear operator Energoatom but occupied by Russian troops.

Grossi added that Russian nuclear experts are also on site, but said their function “is not entirely clear.” Their presence “goes against every safety principle that we have” and creates the “potential for disagreement, for friction, for contradictory instruction,” he warned.

Russian military control of Zaporizhzhia in eastern Ukraine is also raising questions about the status of nuclear material at the site.

Because IAEA experts currently don’t have access to the plant, they can’t perform regular nuclear safeguard activities, including physical inventories and monitoring, according to Grossi.

“Without that we cannot ensure to the international community where the nuclear material is or what’s happening with it,” he said.

He added that IAEA had no evidence that Ukraine had started a nuclear weapons program before the war — contrary to Russian allegations.

“But when I’m confronted with a situation … where we have more than 30,000 kilograms of enriched uranium and a similar amount of plutonium and I cannot go and inspect … the situation with this nuclear material, it is a very real danger and something that should be considered in all its seriousness,” he said.

…………  Talks are ongoing with both sides, according to Grossi. “We’re not at a dead end.”

He added that a group of IAEA experts will make a second trip to the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant “very soon” to carry out additional repairs, but that the situation “appears to have been stabilized.”……..  https://www.politico.eu/article/iaea-rafael-mariano-grossi-ukraine-nuclear-safety-situation-not-resolve/

May 12, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Ukraine seeks Russia’s total defeat – top officials

Kiev insists the only document it will sign with Moscow is Russia’s “capitulation”,  https://www.rt.com/russia/554887-ukraine-treaty-russia-capitulation/ 3 May 22,

Ukraine’s top security official has said that, instead of a peace treaty, Kiev is only prepared to sign a document with Moscow that would finalize Russia’s defeat. The announcement comes as the conflict between the two countries continues to rage.

During an TV interview on Monday, Alexey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), was asked about international security assurances for Kiev and possible peace with Russia.

Danilov replied: “With Russia we can only sign an act of its capitulation. The sooner they do it, the better it will be for their country.”

The official noted earlier in the interview that President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office handles the talks and not the NSDC. “We have our own views. The president knows my stance on the issue,” he said. He added that he believes Zelensky will not violate Ukraine’s constitution, which guarantees the country’s territorial integrity and aspirations to join NATO.

Later on Monday, Zelensky’s adviser Alexey Arestovich brought up Danilov’s remarks during a chat with activist and YouTuber Mark Feygin. “The statement is very simple: there will be no peace treaty with Russia. There will only be the capitulation of the Russian Federation,” Arestovich said.

Asked whether Danilov had been authorized to make such statements, Arestovich said: “He doesn’t just make statements like that. He’s an official of the highest rank. It’s a completely new reality.”

Moscow wants Ukraine to renounce its bid to join NATO, as well as recognize Crimea as part of Russia, and the independence of the Donbass republics. Moscow also seeks the “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine.

Peace negotiations stalled after a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, in late March. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Kiev on Sunday of frequently changing positions and “sabotaging” the talks. 

Russia attacked neighboring Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

May 7, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK PM scuttled Kiev-Moscow peace talks – Ukrainian media

 https://www.sott.net/article/467527-UK-PM-scuttled-Kiev-Moscow-peace-talks-Ukrainian-media RT, Thu, 05 May 2022 ,

UK PM Boris Johnson • Ukraine War Last month’s visit by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was key in persuading Kiev to break off peace negotiations with Moscow, the newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda (UP) reported on Thursday, citing officials close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The West had originally advised Zelensky to flee because Russia would win in 72 hours, but was now backing him fully, they claimed.

According to the “behind-the-scenes look” at the ongoing crisis published in the Kiev-based outlet, Ukraine’s western backers were convinced that the Russian military would seize Kiev within three days and offered Zelensky to govern from exile in London or Warsaw.

When this failed to happen, and Russia offered negotiations, Zelensky sent a delegation with the goal of creating the impression he was willing to make a deal. According to UPthe points of agreement made public by Russian envoy Vladimir Medinsky after the March 29 talks in Istanbul, Turkey “are in fact true.”

Then Russian troops withdrew from northern Ukraine and British PM Boris Johnson arrived in Kiev, “almost without warning” on April 9.Johnson brought “two simple messages” with him, according to UP.The first was that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin was “a war criminal, who should be prosecuted and not negotiated with.” The second was that even if Ukraine was ready to sign some kind of agreement with Russia, the West was not.

Johnson’s message was understood as a signal that the collective West “now felt that Putin was not really as omnipotent as they had imagined,” according to Ukrainian officials quoted by UP. Between what they described as Ukrainian military victories and alleged Russian atrocities in “Bucha, Borodyanka and Mariupol,” the West stopped being “isolationist” and pledged to help Ukraine with all sorts of heavy weapons. Kiev officials are now publicly planning for a “total defeat” and “capitulation” of Russia. According to UP:

“The moral and values gap between Putin and the world is so great that even the Kremlin will not have a negotiating table long enough to bridge it.”

Moscow has said its military operation in Ukraine is proceeding as planned, with the “second phase” focusing on destroying or compelling the surrender of Ukrainian forces that have been shelling the Donbass for most of the past decade. The Russian military is also using long-range missiles to destroy railway junctions used to bring NATO weapons into Ukraine, as well as warehouses where they are being stored.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force. 

May 7, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine | Leave a comment

UK Nuclear Waste Services to airgun blast the Irish Sea – the public not consulted

 Nuclear Waste Services and the “Community Partnerships” of South and
Mid-Copeland plan to airgun blast the Irish Sea this summer to test the
sub-sea geology.

This plan is to take place over the heads of the public
who have had no say on the matter despite seismic testing being a dangerous
and controversial technology with damaging impacts on marine life. We have
sent a letter to Living Seas North West to ask them not to collaborate with
this terrible plan.

There is also a petition to sign – the more shares and
signatures the more we will raise awareness and opposition to this plan to
airgun blast the Irish Sea every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day for four weeks
in July/August. 

Radiation Free Lakeland 5th May 2022https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2022/05/05/halt-seismic-testing-of-irish-sea-for-deep-nuclear-dump-this-summer/

May 7, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Chernobyl radiation is not stable after Russian invasion

 Russian troop activity at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant since February
has led to an elevated risk of an accident or harmful radiation exposure.
Ukraine regained control of the site near Pripyat in March, but it still
presents a situation that is “not stable,” according to the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations’ atomic
watchdog.

Speaking at an event last month marking the 36th anniversary of
the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi
said the Russian occupation presented an abnormal situation for workers,
plus heightened radiation levels, which are still higher than normal,
although not at a level that is dangerous for one-time exposure; the
radiation level is concerning for continuous exposure, though.

 Popular Mechanics 3rd May 2022

https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a39893836/chernobyl-radiation-not-stable-after-russian-invasion/

May 5, 2022 Posted by | environment, Ukraine | Leave a comment

UN nuclear watchdog says situation at Russian-occupied Ukrainian nuclear plant is ‘unsustainable’

May 3, 2022 by Charles Digges, The United Nations nuclear watchdog has warned that Russian troops are
putting “unbelievable pressure” on workers at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear
power plant – which is both the largest in Ukraine and Europe as a whole
– saying the situation is “unsustainable.” Russian forces seized the
plant during a dramatic assault on March 4, and they have since then forced
Ukrainian plant operators to manage the site under extreme conditions. The
UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency has also reported that eight
specialists from Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, are also
onsite.

 https://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2022-05-un-nuclear-watchdog-says-situation-at-russian-occupied-ukrainian-nuclear-plant-is-unsustainable

May 5, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Ukraine’s nuclear power plants caught in the Crossfire of War With Russia

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered fears of another nuclear power disaster in the region, 36 years after the world’s largest nuclear accident. The Revelator, May 2, 2022 – by Jordan Gass-Poore’

It took less than a minute after an unexpected power surge for one of the nuclear reactors at Chornobyl (Chernobyl in the Russian spelling) to explode on April 26, 1986, ripping the roof off and spewing dangerous chemicals into the air.

The event, and emergency cleanup that followed, left 30 workers dead, thousands exposed to cancer-causing nuclear material, and a legacy of radiation. Now, 36 years later and with war raging, Ukraine is desperate to prevent another nuclear disaster.

Nuclear reactors generate more than half of the country’s power. Ukraine is the first country with such a large and established nuclear energy program to experience war, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The country’s 15 nuclear reactors, housed in four power plants, have layers of safeguards to prevent core meltdowns like the one that happened in 1986, when Chornobyl was part of the Soviet Union. But wartime is far from normal conditions, and experts warn that Russian military action poses numerous threats to these facilities.

Andrey Ozharovsky, a Russian engineer turned anti-nuclear activist, said Ukraine’s nuclear infrastructure is “quite vulnerable” to the chaos surrounding military attacks.

Chornobyl, Again

Those attacks have already begun.

The Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the 20-mile exclusion zone around it, set up to limit further spread of radioactive material following the 1986 disaster, were captured by Russian forces on Feb. 24. It was in their control until they withdrew from the site on March 31.

Although Chornobyl is not an active nuclear power plant, the massive cap covering the reactor that exploded decades ago still needs to be maintained to prevent further radiation leakage.

Sensors put in place by the Ukrainian Ecocentre in case of an accident reported a spike in radiation levels shortly after the capture, likely due to Russian military vehicles stirring up radiation in the environment.

The IAEA said the rise wasn’t enough to pose a public health hazard.

Ozharovsky, who was one of the first to raise an alarm about the recent spike at Chornobyl, said he’s concerned that radioactive dust from the site could spread across the continent.

“The most dangerous thing is that they can bring radioactive particles in their hair, in their clothes and their boots,” he says………………………

Nuclear Plant Captured

Chornobyl isn’t the only concern. Ukraine’s active nuclear-power facilities are also at risk.

On March 4, Russian forces captured Europe’s largest active nuclear-power plant, Zaporizhzhia, located in southeastern Ukraine. During intense fighting one of the site’s buildings caught fire, but didn’t harm the plant’s six reactors, and no radiation was released.

Ukrainian technicians continue to monitor Zaporizhzhia, but the country’s regulators have claimed that Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear power company, has engineers at the plant who are giving orders to staff. Further, Ukraine reports that plant management actions require approval from the Russian commander, according to the IAEA.

“Who is now in charge of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant?” asks Ozharovsky. “The Russian army is around, but armies aren’t nuclear engineers.”

Rosatom released a statement on March 12 and denied that they’re managing the operation of Zaporizhzhia. They characterized their staff’s presence at the plant as “consultative assistance” that takes place “on a regular basis.”

Grossi expressed “deep concern” about the situation in a statement last month.

Further Threats

Since then, there’s been more reason for alarm.

On April 16, three missiles flew over the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant, Yuzhnoukrainsk, according to Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-run nuclear power company.

Then on April 26 Energoatom reported that two cruise missiles flew over the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

The flight of missiles at low altitudes directly above the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant site, where 7 nuclear facilities with a huge amount of nuclear material are located, poses huge risks,” says Petro Kotin, Energoatom’s acting president, in a statement released on the company’s Telegram channel. “After all, missiles can hit one or more nuclear facilities, and this threatens a nuclear and radiation catastrophe around the world.”

The day before, Energoatom reported that Russia fired missiles over the cooling pond of the Khmelnytskyi Nuclear Power Plant in northwest Ukraine

Kosharna wrote in an email that if a missile would’ve hit one of the plants the consequences wwould have been “catastrophic” for the world.

Typically nuclear plants use back-up generators to maintain power with a grid disruption and keep the cooling systems functioning normally. In wartime fuel shortages are common, and this risks the stability of the generators. Ukraine’s current shortage is only getting worse, according to the Gas Transmission Operator of Ukraine, a gas pipeline operator

If the grid goes down and the generators are out of fuel and the cooling systems fail, there’s a last resort to prevent radiation from spreading. Containment structures around the reactors are designed to block any release of radiation, but they’re also vulnerable to missile attacks.

Reactor failure isn’t the only significant risk to the operation.

Staff operating facilities under extreme stress also poses a problem, Ozharovsky says, because any mistake they make on the job could be calamitous..

There are also other onsite dangers. Spent nuclear fuel storage pools that are a part of the waste-disposal system contain radioactive material. If they’re damaged the liquid could be released from containment, causing a massive spread of radiation. Japanese scientists considered this to be the “worst-case scenario” of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which had a series of meltdowns after a tsunami struck the plant in 2011.

Ozharovsky said he doesn’t believe the Russian military would deliberately sabotage one of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants because it would threaten their interests. But he added that even the possibility that the nuclear power plants could be harmed accidentally should trigger worldwide alarm.

“For me it’s scary,” he says. “All the other nuclear power plants, like Khmelnytskyi, like Rivne, like South Ukraine (Yuzhnoukrainsk); they can be damaged during this war. And the international community needs to take care of that.”

Any attack on a nuclear plant is a breach of international humanitarian law. The Geneva Convention’s Article 56 considers attacking a nuclear power plant a war crime.

“I hope that many other countries who still have nuclear energy on their territory will rethink physical safety, military safety,” Ozharovsky says. “That’s a challenge no one country can solve.”   https://therevelator.org/ukraine-war-nuclear-power/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ukraine-war-nuclear-power

May 3, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment