Lawmaker views Russia’s control of Zaporozhye NPP as key to regional nuclear security
Dhaka August 13 2022 :
Inside Russia : Outside Russia : News Digest by the Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on August 13 2022
Zelensky is either to face tribunal or return to comedy shows — Russia Security Council
MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has no choice other than to face a tribunal or play secondary roles in comedy shows, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with journalist Nadan Fridrikhson, which was posted on his Telegram channel on Friday.
Medvedev’s secretariat has confirmed to TASS the authenticity of the interview.
Thus, when asked what he thinks about Zelensky’s future, Medvedev said, “Either a tribunal or secondary roles in comedy shows again.”
He said he had visited Lugansk on Thursday to discuss what can be done more to defend people living in the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, and on other liberated territories.
According to Medvedev, he was not afraid to visit the zone of combat operations. “It is they who should be afraid of us,” he stressed.
During his visit to the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), Medvedev met with LPR’s head, Leonid Pasechnik and DPR head Denis Pushilin. He also held a government meeting on top-priority measures to ensure security od Donbass residents. The meeting was attended by Russian Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, first deputy head of the Russian president’s administration Sergey Kiriyenko, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Minister of Construction Irek Faizusllin, director of the Federal Security Servuce Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin.
Medvedev blames Kiev, West for attempts to stage another Chernobyl at Zaporozhye NPP
MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. The deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, has accused the Ukrainian authorities and the West of an attempt to stage a Chernobyl-like disaster at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. With a capacity of around 6,000 megawatts, the Zaporozhye NPP generated a fourth of Ukraine’s electricity. Since 1996, it has been part of Ukraine’s Energoatom generating company. In March 2022, Russian forces established control of the facility. Now, the NPP is operating at 70% of its capacity due to the oversupply of electricity on the liberated territories of the Zaporozhye region.
“The scumbags in Kiev and their Western backers seem to be ready to stage another Chernobyl. Rockets and shells are falling ever closer to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant’s reactors and radioactive isotope storage facilities,” Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Friday. He dismissed the allegations Russia was behind these attacks as “one-hundred-percent nonsense.”
“Even the UN does not believe this,” Medvedev stressed.
The Zaporozhye NPP, located in the city of Energodar, is currently under the Russian army’s control. In recent days, Ukrainian forces have carried out a number of strikes against its territory, using drones, heavy artillery and multiple rocket launchers. In most cases, the attacks were upset by air defense systems, but several shells hit some infrastructure facilities and the nuclear waste storage area.
Crimea’s senior official plans to invite Cuban delegation to boost interregional ties
SIMFEROPOL, August 12. /TASS/. Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance of the Republic of Crimea Irina Kiviko, who is also the chairperson of the regional organization of the Russian Society of Friendship with Cuba, proposed on Friday to invite a delegation of Cuban representatives to the peninsula in order to strengthen bilateral relations.
“The deputy premier noted that she would turn to the administration of the republic with a request to invite to Crimea representatives of Cuba as well as officials of the Cuban Embassy in Russia with the aim of developing and strengthening interregional relations,” the regional organization of the Russian Society of Friendship with Cuba said in a statement.
According to the statement, one of the first lifetime busts of Fidel Castro was recently discovered at the vocational training college in Crimea’s Dzhankoi. It was made to be presented to the leader of the Cuban Revolution, but remained in Crimea due to unknown reasons.
“As a result of the search work of our organization’s activists we have discovered a bust of Fidel Castro, which was made by sculptor Inna Smerchinskaya. It was made in 1961 and was handed over to Cuban students, who studied in Dzhankoi at that time as part of an exchange program, to be later presented to the leader of the Cuban Revolution,” the statement added.
Upon a decision of the Soviet Union’s leadership, some 300 Cuban nationals studied agriculture and cattle breeding in Crimea’s Dzhankoi between 1961 and 1963. According to various sources, Fidel Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevara visited Crimea in the early 1960s.
Crimean reunification with Russia
After Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a coup in February 2014, mass protests erupted in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. On March 11, 2014, Crimea’s Supreme Council and Sevastopol City Council adopted a declaration of independence.
On March 15, 2014, the Crimean authorities held a referendum on reuniting with Russia. Most voters supported the idea (96.77% in Crimea and 95.6% in the city of Sevastopol), with turnout reaching 80%. On March 18, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Ukraine, the United States and the European Union refused to recognize Crimea’s independence and its decision to reunite with Russia.
Zaporozhye Region’s Authorities Slam Guterres’ Position on NPP as Irresponsible
SIMFEROPOL, Russia (Sputnik) – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is acting irresponsibly by proposing to establish a security perimeter around the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP), Vladimir Rogov, a member of the main council of the regional administration, said on Friday.
“He is acting like a completely irresponsible person, as if he were not the UN secretary general but the devil’s advocate. He is trying to accomplish the tasks set by our enemy — literally nuclear terrorists. We are not talking about [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy’s regime but about his overseers and supervisors,” Rogov said in a televised appearance on the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.
Guterres understands that the ZNPP will be defenseless in the event of Russian troops’ withdrawal from the plant, the official said, adding that the pant “will be damaged immediately.”
“Terrible things will happen there. Without Russian missile defense systems, without those guys protecting the safety of the nuclear power plant today, something simply irreparable will happen there,” Rogov said.
Guterres on Thursday called for an agreement on a safe perimeter of demilitarization to ensure the safety of the plant, which gets regularly targeted by Ukrainian troops since going under Russian control. The proposal stipulates the withdrawal of military personnel and equipment from the plant and a ban on their further deployment.
Over the weekend, both Moscow and Kiev blamed each other for shelling the site of the ZNPP. A Russian defense official said that a possible accident at the ZNPP would surpass the scale of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters. The official warned that in the event of such a disaster at the ZNPP, the entire territory of Ukraine, the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, as well as Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Bulgaria, and Romania would be affected by nuclear contamination.
The ZNPP, located on the left bank of the Dnieper River, is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe in terms of the number of units and output. Since March, the plant has been under the control of the Russian military. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the ZNPP is currently being managed by a Ukrainian operator.
Lawmaker views Russia’s control of Zaporozhye NPP as key to regional nuclear security
MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. The Russian military’s control over the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) is a key to the regions’ nuclear security, leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party and Chairman of the State Duma (the lower house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky said on Friday.
“The Russian military’s ongoing control over the Zaporozhye NPP is a key to nuclear security in the region, it’s obvious. The IAEA sees the need to send a mission to the Zaporozhye NPP and Russia is ready to provide full assistance, which has been made clear. However, Ukraine must stop its attacks on the nuclear facility. This is what the G7 countries should be concerned about,” he wrote on Telegram.
According to Slutsky, otherwise, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and his Western sponsors will have to bear responsibility for a potential nuclear disaster.
The senior lawmaker slammed an initiative to transfer control over the NPP to Ukraine to ensure access for IAEA inspectors as “sheer mockery.” “It is even similar to making concessions to ‘nuclear terrorists.’ All the statements that the foreign ministrers of G7 countries have made in support of these demands are nothing but attempts to sponsor nuclear terrorism,” Slutsky noted.
The Zaporozhye NPP in the city of Energodar is controlled by Russian troops. The Ukrainian military carried out a series of attacks on the facility in the past several days, which particularly involved drones, heavy artillery and multiple rocket launchers. Most attacks were repelled by air defenses but some infrastructure facilities and the nuclear waste storage area were hit.
The NPP, the largest in Europe, has six reactors with a total capacity of 6,000 megawatts. The facility currently operates at 70% of its full capacity because of excess electricity production in the liberated areas of the region.
Ukraine Food Exports: Figures and Routes
The international supply of grain and other agricultural products was undermined following the introduction of western sanctions against Russia and the start of the special military operation in Ukraine. In short, shipments from the world’s two key suppliers – Russia and Ukraine – were disrupted.
The food shortages that countries started to experience by summer 2022 prompted UN-led fears that global famine might erupt this year. The West and Ukraine accused Moscow of causing the disruption, but the Kremlin pointed out that the two main factors impeding shipments from the countries were Ukraine’s mining of its shores and western sanctions.
Ukraine, Russia and UN representatives met in Turkey in the middle of July to discuss ways to resume the shipments of grain to prevent a global famine. The “grain deal”, that was signed on July 22 and sees Turkey monitoring via a safe corridor, now regulates the export process for Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products.
Find out how many agricultural products Ukraine has shipped out since, and where they went:
SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE
Steven Seagal Filming Documentary About Conflict in Donbass
DONETSK (Sputnik) – American actor and director Steven Seagal is making a documentary about the military conflict in Donbass, the leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic said on Tuesday.
“Steven Seagal is filming a documentary about the war in Donbass. Today, he talked to prisoners of war held at the pre-trial detention facility in Elenovka,” Denis Pushilin said on social media.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the prison that Seagal has visited was hit by Ukrainian troops with a HIMARS rocket. The attack left 50 Ukrainian soldiers dead and 73 others injured. Ukraine denies striking the facility.
“Seagal said during our meeting that 98% of people talking to media about the conflict had never been here [in Donbass]. That’s why the world does not know the truth. He wants to change the way they see the conflict,” Pushilin said.
The star of martial arts films was granted Russian nationality at the order of President Vladimir Putin in 2016 and has traveled Russia’s Far East in search of his father’s Russian relatives. He is serving as the Russian Foreign Ministry’s envoy for humanitarian ties with the United States.
Russian Defence Ministry report on the progress of the special military operation in Ukraine (August 12)
The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation in Ukraine.
As a result of the Allied Forces offensive operation near Soledar, the losses of AFU’s 14th Mechanized Brigade have amounted to more than 2,000 people. The remnants of the brigade’s personnel have been withdrawn by the Ukrainian command to the rear areas.
As a result of high-precision strikes of the Russian Aerospace Forces, the losses of AFU’s 56th Motorized Infantry Brigade near Opytnoye and Nevelskoye in Donetsk People’s Republic exceeded 70 percent of their manpower. All of the 23rd Brigade’s battalion personnel had voluntarily abandoned their positions and gone to the rear.
Russian Aerospace Forces precision strike on a temporary deployment point of AFU’s 28th Mechanized Brigade near Novogrigoryevka in Nikolayev Region has destroyed up to 100 fighters and 9 pieces of military equipment.
As a result of concentrated strikes on combat positions of Ukrainian nationalists near Mar’inka in Donetsk People’s Republic, 3rd Battalion of 66th Mechanized Brigade have sustained over 50 percent losses in manpower.
In addition, as a result of hitting a stronghold of 58th Motorized Infantry Brigade, up to 40 nationalists and 5 vehicles have been destroyed near Zaitsevo, Donetsk People’s Republic.
Operational-tactical and army aviation, missile troops and artillery strikes continue against military facilities in Ukraine.
5 command posts have been hit, including 4th Tank Brigade near Zaliman in Kharkov Region, 103rd Brigade of Territorial Defence near Nikolaevka in Donetsk People’s Republic, as well as 157 areas manpower, weapons, military and special equipment concentration.
1 fuel depot for Ukrainian military equipment near Kurakhovo in Donetsk People’s Republic, 6 ammunition depots have been destroyed near Velikoye Artakovo in Nikolaev Region, Zaliman in Kharkov Region, Kramatorsk, Zaitsevo, Krasnogorovka and Avdeevka in Donetsk People’s Republic.
Russian Aerospace Forces have destroyed 1 US-made AN/MPQ-64 counter-battery radar station supplied to the Kiev regime near Chasov Yar in Donetsk People’s Republic.
As part of the counter-battery warfare, 4 platoons of Grad multiple-launch rocket systems have been suppressed near Serebryanka, Soledar in Donetsk People’s Republic, Shirokoye and Velikaya Aleksandrovka in Kherson Region.
In addition, 2 artillery platoons of Acatsiya guns and 4 platoons of D-30 howitzers hae been hit at firing positions near Georgievka, Konstantinovka, Novgorodskoye, Veseloye, Andreevka and Dzerzhinsk in Donetsk People’s Republic.
Russian air defenсe means have destroyed 5 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles near Yegorovka, Spartak in Donetsk People’s Republic, and Arkhangelovka and Volkhov Yar in Kharkov Region.
In addition, 2 shells of HIMARS multiple rocket launchers near Novaya Kakhovka and 4 shells of Olkha multiple rocket launchers near Chernobaevka in Kherson Region have been shot down in the air.
In total, 267 Ukrainian airplanes and 146 helicopters, 1,732 unmanned aerial vehicles, 365 anti-aircraft missile systems, 4,293 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 797 multiple launch rocket systems, 3,290 field artillery and mortars, as well as 4,844 units of special military vehicles were destroyed during the operation.
Afghanistan all over again: Ukraine’s rampant corruption means the Western supply of weapons is likely to eventually backfire
US elites have thrown the country into a proxy conflict without properly evaluating the consequences
Viewed from afar, the extent of Ukrainian corruption appears to go far deeper than the recent shift in the narrative might suggest, and it might come back to bite the West as weapons sent to Kiev’s forces are disappearing with no account as to their whereabouts.
Just as it was with America’s support for the Mujahideen in the 1980s in fighting a proxy war against the Soviets, its backing of the Ukrainian government may one day reap a whirlwind. And just like its involvement in Afghanistan, decades ago, supporting the ‘enemy of my enemy’ involves dealing with shady characters and whitewashing their wrongdoings.
Following the onset of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, the media very abruptly ceased its coverage of Ukraine’s seedy political underbelly – with dirty dealings that go all the way to the top. Even America’s sweetheart, Vladimir Zelensky, did not come away unscathed in those reports.
Just months prior to the conflict, mainstream publications, such as The Guardian, were reporting on Zelensky’s offshore connections, as exposed by the Pandora Papers. As detailed in the report, Zelensky, who campaigned for office on an anti-corruption platform, failed to disclose the extent of his offshore assets and his connections to some of the very oligarchs he promised to strip of political influence – and continued to treat everything as ‘business as usual’ once he came to power.
Fast forward to the present day: Zelensky is a squeaky clean beacon of strength and icon of liberal democracy. Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called him a “hero,” and numerous celebrities have appeared alongside the Ukrainian leader in photo ops to promote his image.
But for all the pomp and grandeur surrounding Zelensky, the issue of Ukraine’s corruption is once again rearing its head. Reality is setting in for many in the West – much of the funds and armaments directed towards Ukraine’s military are going unaccounted for, and average Americans and Europeans are paying the price for it. Literally.
It’s one thing for a politician to walk back on campaign promises, but Zelensky’s apparent corruption is becoming a liability for his Western supporters.
Ukrainian-born US congresswoman Victoria Spartz, one of the loudest cheerleaders for calling on the US government to support Ukraine, has been blowing the whistle on the Ukrainian authorities, including Zelensky. As detailed by CNN last week, Spartz has leveled numerous accusations against the Ukrainian government, drawing attention to its deep-seated corruption – and she’s asking questions about where all the funds are going.
But her peers in Congress are reportedly tired of her “bellicose rhetoric,” arguing that her questions are making Ukraine look bad. After all, Zelensky’s image as a clean politician is one that needs to be preserved if members of Congress, especially those with personal stakes in defense contractors, want to keep milking the American taxpayer for continued support towards the proxy war against Russia.
But a facade as shaky as Zelensky’s can only be maintained for so long. With the economy spiraling into recession and inflation at record highs in both the US and UK, among other NATO countries, there’s only so much politicians are willing to do to maintain the narrative, especially as numerous US Democrats are struggling to hold onto their seats in the upcoming midterm elections.
Spartz isn’t alone in her criticism of the Ukrainian government and its corruption. CBS published a documentary called ‘Arming Ukraine’ detailing how much of America’s military aid to Ukraine has disappeared. Jonas Ohman, founder of the nonprofit Blue-Yellow, provides an assessment in the documentary that only as little as 30% of the military aid sent by the US ever reached the front lines.
The CBS documentary prompted a massive backlash from Ukraine’s loudest supporters on social media, with many demanding that the channel retract the report – all because it made Ukraine look bad. And CBS capitulated, putting out a retraction to state that the information was old and that the “delivery has improved.” The documentary is being “updated” accordingly. It’s anyone’s guess whether CBS got the call from on high, or if it simply caved in to the demands of Twitter users with Ukrainian flags in their profile.
Regardless of the retraction, the concerns are valid and echo those raised by US intelligence sources who told CNN in April that Washington has no idea where the weapons it’s sending are actually ending up.
“We have fidelity for a short time, but when it enters the fog of war, we have almost zero,” said one of the sources. “It drops into a big black hole, and you have almost no sense of it at all after a short period of time.”
Even more recently, in July, NATO and EU states demanded accountability from Ukraine for the weapons flowing into the country, noting that everything from MANPADs and rifle ammunition, to armored vehicles aren’t being properly tracked – if at all.
The Financial Times reported that NATO states called on Kiev’s leadership to establish detailed inventory lists and tracking for weapons supplied by the West.
“All these weapons land in southern Poland, get shipped to the border and then are just divided up into vehicles to cross: trucks, vans, sometimes private cars,” sa Western official told the FT. “And from that moment we go blank on their location and we have no idea where they go, where they are used or even if they stay in the country.”
Such an assessment belies CBS’ new claim that “delivery has improved,” which would not account for the billions in munitions and military aid sent to Ukraine since the onset of the conflict.
Apart from highly-regulated armaments such as the US’ state-of-the-art HIMARS mobile artillery pieces, much of the weaponry sent to Ukraine has simply disappeared into a black hole – a fact made evident by concerns raised by Swedish police who warned that “there is probably a high risk that flows of illegal weapons will enter Sweden.”
With so little accountability about where any of the weapons are going, and an unwillingness to face the facts, the West may stand to face something akin to a renewal of the War on Terror, especially with existing threats such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS already in the process of regrouping and rebuilding – and potentially rearming with Western weapons.
Meanwhile, with the training provided to radical neo-Nazi extremists such as the Azov Battalion to combat the Russians, the West’s concerns with white supremacy may become manifest in something more than a few racist trolls on social media.
And it’s all because the politicians needed their anti-Russian stand-in state to appear as a dishonestly presented posterboy for ‘liberalism’ and ‘democracy’.
Fyodor Lukyanov: Collapse of the 20th century order means the world is in a very dangerous place
By Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs, chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and research director of the Valdai International Discussion Club.
Taiwan has been in the global spotlight this month. More specifically, attentions are fixed on US-China relations in connection with the confusing and ambiguous interpretation of the island’s status. This fudge has underpinned the interaction between Washington and Beijing for 50 years.
The agreement to combine the legal (Taiwan is a province of China) and de facto (Taiwan is an independent territory) state of affairs was an elegant innovation in the early 1970s. It paved the way for the development of very intensive relations between the two giant powers, first politically and then economically. The premise was a tacit agreement on the strange nature of the island’s borders – real and imaginary at the same time. Now the time has come when the agreement is no longer valid.
The whole history of international relations is about one side establishing borders and another trying to cross them. Both literally and figuratively.
There has been no century when borders have remained immutable, at least in the spaces where international politics were concentrated at the time. And it is clear that redrawing the dividing lines has never been without the use of force, sometimes on a very large scale.
The end of the twentieth century gave the impression – or the illusion – that geopolitical customs had changed. The previous 100 years were turbulent, including world wars and decolonisation – with the formation of dozens of new states. By the 1970s, however, there was a relative balance. The colonial empires came to terms with their own and others’ borders. In Europe, the centre of political tension, an agreement was reached, the expression of which was the Helsinki Final Act. This was in fact a division of spheres of influence between the USSR and the USA, with the recognition of existing borders – formal (state) and informal (political).
The second part contained a nuance: Moscow’s consent to general humanitarian principles, opened a loophole. It played a prominent role in subsequent processes, particularly in aggravating the crisis of the Soviet system. The latter, without a doubt, fell victim to its own problems, but there was also an external catalyst that spurred internal civic activity.
Those accords marked an important milestone in formulating the rules of the game. The sides agreed not to seek to attempt to change state borders by classical force, among other things.
Since then, the confrontation has evolved into attempts to shift boundaries invisibly – mentally and ideologically. The US and its allies have been more successful.
The late and post-Cold War period was a time of the powerful spread of Western influence over its former opponents. National boundaries were also changed, but more moderately than might have been the case, given the scale of what was happening. And with relatively limited violence. These few decades gave rise to the view that the political geography would not change again, even if many of the borders were illogical from a historical or strategic point of view.
But an important fact was not taken into account. The agreements on the inviolability of the dividing lines were negotiated in the context of an approximate balance of power. The end of the Cold War eliminated this and could not but shake the whole system of arrangements.
However, things were not static, and the situation has been shifting from complete domination by the West to a greater diversity of influences. It is not only the situation in Europe that has changed. Globalisation has turned the whole world into a stage for action – far more than it was in the twentieth century. Everything has become closely intertwined. But the European principles agreed in the last quarter of the twentieth century have not been valid worldwide, including in relation to borders.
What we are witnessing in 2022 demonstrates how the problem of borders is returning in a very classical way.
The cunning compromise of the 1970s to recognise/non-recognise Taiwan could only work if there was a clear balance of interests. This arrangement has collapsed and the problem has come to the fore in the most dangerous way – a blatant ambiguity in the interpretation of the political and legal status of the extremely important territory.
Today there are already calls (quietly so far) for a new Helsinki-style security conference. It is time, they say, to agree on new rules. The idea is obvious, but it does not seem realistic at the moment, because the treaty did not establish the status quo, rather it fixed it.
There is nothing to solve now – everything is in flux. Helsinki covered a big space – the Euro-Atlantic – but still a limited one. Now the place of action is the whole world, and there are so many players with different interests that it is not even methodologically clear how to take it all into account.
The CSCE (later the OSCE), established in 1975, was built on the principle of international regulatory institutions, which were in their heyday at the time. They are all in decline now and new ones are not emerging. And, of course, there was a desire for stabilisation back then. Today, there is no sign of it; the focus is on achieving goals by force.
The conclusion is simple – there are no magic remedies. The world is in a dangerous phase that requires all major actors to be extremely cautious and to be able to accurately understand the consequences of their actions. And there is no other form of international system for the foreseeable future. Everyone is talking about it. But still they continue to act as they wish.
So, the penny hasn’t dropped yet. Let’s hope that it does before it’s too late.
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