The Fears For The Zaporizhzhia Plant
The Russians quote the Amnesty International report to justify their attacks on civilians in Ukraine
The last couple of days have shown us that this conflict was expected, and that it will continue for quite a while. Countries are all pitching in to help train Ukrainian soldiers, and the pledged weapons are arriving in Ukraine on a regular basis.
We cannot escape the nuclear threat with Russia using a nuclear plant as a base, and the discovery that a former president had details of nuclear warfare in an unsecured and unapproved location. That is why we have the United Nations, who seem to be dozing off at the wheel and it is a concern. As we approach Winter, Europe is rightly concerned about energy supplies and prices. Those who haven’t experienced any adverse effects of the war may do so in the next few months.
Even if Russia ‘retreats’ I can’t see that as a permanent prospect, because they have made it clear what their aims are, and that is to reform the USSR. Russia wants the sanctions lifted, but are they being effective? The idea is to isolate Russia and to force them to leave Ukraine and stop the war, but neither of those seem to be happening. Ukraine is fighting back, but this war has cost thousands of lives and displaced millions already, and the truth is we don’t know what else is happening behind closed doors and what deals Russia has made with other countries.
Day 170 (12 August)
Russia creates obstacles as they continues control the Zaporizhzhia plant and do not allow IAEA inspectors to visit. Staff who have spoken anonymously have stated they are working with guns in their faces, and are being watched at work and at home.
The UN, and the G7 have called for Russia to leave the plant, but I really can’t see the point of asking them to do something that they have intention of doing unless there is a deal for them.
The plant was seized in March 2022, and there are fears that shelling in the area will hit the plant and cause damage to the plant, leaking radiation that will kill people in the area. Recent shelling has caused damage to radiation sensors. The alliances are calling for a demilitarised zone around the plant, but that would mean Russia could not use it as a base, which they are doing as a shield.
Amnesty International have been trying to save what is left of they reputation, and have claimed that the Strategic Communications Centre for Information Security, who claimed that the Amnesty International report on Ukrainian army tactics endangering civilians was based on interviews in filtration camps is false.
Having read the report, the evidence submitted is vague and is out of context, and while we have seen similar quotes from witnesses, it must be in context when making such allegations. They claim all interviews were conducted by their own investigators and were given willingly. However, they need to show some evidence of that, because right now no one believes them when they can’t even admit they have made a mistake that will cost lives. The movement is supposed to save lives, and not endanger them.
The grain blockade seems to be working for now, except that some buyers are not accepting delivery. The UN ship (Brave Commander) with 23,000 tonnes of grain has left Ukraine for Ethiopia and will help alleviate the food shortage
The UK is sending more MLRS to Ukraine and the Netherlands joins other countries by sending military personnel to the UK to help train Ukrainian soldiers. Ukraine confirms delivery of the weapons from the UK, perhaps to encourage other reluctant countries to do the same and to show Russia that Ukraine has support that will continue. To date, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway have joined the UK led training program. Where is France and Germany?
The sanctions against Russia have had some impact. but not much and Ukraine calls on the US to impose sanctions against all Russian banks to isolate the country as much as possible.
Gerhard Schröder is suing the German parliament for culling his publicly funded former Chancellor perks. This is due to his ties with Russia (director of several companies) and his friendship with Putin, where he refuses to criticise him.
The oil crisis seems to have been averted for the time being as a European bank (Dutch) has agreed to process payments when Transneft returned the payments for several countries (Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Hungary) at the beginning of the month. They claim they could not pay transit fees to Ukrtransnafta due to the sanctions. Oil supplies resumed for Hungary and Slovakia but not the Czech Republic yet.
Another Russian ‘war criminal’ has been identified as a Chechen associated with Ramzan Kadyrov (leader in Chechnya).
The economies in both Russia and Ukraine are suffering due to the war, and Kyiv is having to print money so that they can pay their soldiers. The EU funding that has been earmarked to help sustain Ukraine has been slow to arrive, like some of the pledged weapons
The unidentified Bucha victims were buried yesterday and have been numbered, 9 men and 2 women. Hopefully, one day they will be identified so their families can claim their bodies
Zelenskyy is looking to extend martial law for another 90 days as the current law will expire on 23 August 2022. Martial law was first proposed on 24 February 2022, and has been renewed since as this conflict continues.
Day 171 (13 August)
Ukrainian troops have destroyed a Russian ammunition depot near Vesele, and have also disabled the main bridge into Kherson at Nova Kakhova, thus they are isolating the Russian troops there as they liberate the city. The message to the Russians is to get out while you can
The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic are planning to hold a trial on 15 August 2022, for five alleged foreign mercenaries, accused of trying to seize power and for preparing terrorist activities. The five due to stand trial are Britons, John Harding, Dylan Healy, and Andrew Hill, from Swede, Matias Gustavsson, and from Croatia, Vjekoslav Prebag. The punishment could be the death penalty or life imprisonment. Where is Amnesty International now?
The oil supply to the Czech Republic resumed after a week, when is was suspended due to payment issues due to sanctions.
More pro-Russian proxies are being detained, more recently one in Kyiv where a woman was caught taking photos of military bases and passing them to the Russians.
The Amnesty International report will not go away. In the UN, the Russians have quoted the report to legitimise their actions in Ukraine, where they claim that due to the soldiers being in close proximity to civilians, that makes civilians targets and their deaths are the fault of the Ukrainian army. This is the irresponsible nature of the report, and such reports aren’t necessary when a conflict is escalating. What AI have done is give Russia an excuse to target civilian areas, and have tried to cover-up the report with other stories such as stating the Zaporizhzhia plant is being used as a Russian base to shield them. We have all known that for months!
More Amnesty International employees have spoken out or have resigned over the irresponsible report. The movement has still not made an apology or acknowledged the potential harm this can cause, and with the Russians quoting the report in the UN and on state television to justify their actions, how can the movement ever be considered one that fights to defend people when they have given the Russians the propaganda they needed to validate their attacks in civilian areas?