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Politics Zelensky accuses Russia of ‘nuclear blackmail’ by launching artillery attacks from captured power plant

15:31  16 august  2022
15:31  16 august  2022 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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  Zelensky accuses Russia of ‘nuclear blackmail’ by launching artillery attacks from captured power plant © Provided by Washington Examiner

‘NUCLEAR BLACKMAIL’: The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was captured by Russia in early March, and it remains on the front lines of the war, especially now that Ukraine is attempting to launch a counteroffensive on the other side of the Dnieper River.

In recent weeks, Russia has been using the plant as a fire base for its artillery attacks, raising fears of a Chernobyl-style nuclear accident, and prompting the U.S. and Western countries to call for Russian troops to vacate the facility.

“Under the cover of the plant, the occupiers are shelling nearby cities and communities. The Russian troops hide ammunition and equipment right in the facilities of the plant,” said Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in his nightly video address.

Nuclear catastrophe 'miraculously' avoided, Ukraine's state nuclear company says

  Nuclear catastrophe 'miraculously' avoided, Ukraine's state nuclear company says A nuclear catastrophe was "miraculously" avoided following the shelling of Europe's largest nuclear power plant, Ukraine's state-owned nuclear company said. Energoatom reiterated accusations that Russian forces shelled the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant last week, under Russian control, as an act of "nuclear terrorism," saying it was a "miracle" nuclear disaster was averted. "This time a nuclear catastrophe was miraculously avoided, but miracles cannot last forever.

“The world has been fighting for many decades for proper control over all activities with nuclear materials and radiation safety. And if now the world lacks the strength and determination to protect one nuclear plant, it means that the world loses — Loses to terrorists. Gives in to nuclear blackmail.”

“Any radiation incident at the Zaporizhzhia NPP can affect the countries of the European Union, Turkey, Georgia and countries from more distant regions,” Zelensky warned. “If Russia's actions cause a catastrophe, the consequences may also hit those who remain silent so far.”

NIGHTMARE SCENARIO: Ukrainian workers at the nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, live in daily fear of an accident or explosion, according to interviews a half-dozen workers gave the Washington Post, after fleeing to Ukrainian territory on the western side of the river.

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“They are so stressed, they are not even sleeping at night,” a 40-year-old engineer who left last week told the Washington Post. “The boiling point is really high. There is no connection to your family when you are at work. All you hear is the outgoing [artillery fire], you don’t know what’s happening.”

“In the months since it was seized, the plant’s Ukrainian workers describe the Russian troops in control becoming increasingly paranoid,” the Washington Post report said. “At one point, they requested that cooling pools be emptied as Russians hunted for weapons that could be used against them, but backed down after being informed of the dangers.”

Yesterday, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres discussed the deteriorating security situation at the plant with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and at the State Department, spokesman Ned Price called Russia's use of the plant as a de facto base “the height of irresponsibility.”

Zelensky accuses Russia of nuclear blackmail at power plant

  Zelensky accuses Russia of nuclear blackmail at power plant Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is accusing Russia of “blackmail” after recent shelling near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. “The occupiers are trying to intimidate people in an extremely cynical way, using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,” Zelensky said in an address to Ukrainians on Saturday, saying Russia hides behind the plant to attack nearby cities. …“The occupiers are trying to intimidate people in an extremely cynical way, using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,” Zelensky said in an address to Ukrainians on Saturday, saying Russia hides behind the plant to attack nearby cities.

“It is not what we would expect of a country that purports to be a responsible nuclear power. We believe that the fighting there is dangerous, it's irresponsible, and we do continue to urge an end to all military operations at or near Ukraine's facilities and the return of full control of those facilities to Ukraine,” he said, adding the U.S. is “closely monitoring” the activity at the plant and that so far, radiation sensors are working show no indication of abnormal radiation levels.

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Zelensky says Ukrainian forces will target Russian soldiers firing from nuclear plant

  Zelensky says Ukrainian forces will target Russian soldiers firing from nuclear plant Ukrainian forces will start targeting Russian soldiers who fire from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, according to an announcement by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In a video address, Zelensky repeated his accusations that Russia is using the ZNPP as "nuclear blackmail" against Europe and claimed once again that invading Russian forces are firing at their own positions in and around the plant. He added a new threat to Russian soldiers operating in the nuclear facility, saying they will now be targeted by Ukrainian forces.

Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue!

HAPPENING TODAY: Rep Liz Cheney (R-WY), the senior Republican on the Jan. 6 committee, is facing likely defeat in today’s Wyoming primary, as voters there are expected to punish her for her unrelenting denunciation of former President Donald Trump as a danger to American democracy.

Polls show Cheney trailing her Trump-approved challenger Harriet Hageman by a nearly two-to-one margin.

“No matter what happens on August 16, I'm going to wake up on August 17 and continue to fight hard to ensure Donald Trump is never anywhere close to the Oval Office ever again,” Cheney said in an interview on CNN last month. Asked if her work on the Jan 6 committee was worth losing her job over, she replied, “There's no question. I believe that my work on this committee is the single most important thing I have ever done professionally.”

ALSO TODAY: Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin faces off against two others in a race to fill the seat of Republican Don Young, who died in March. Alaska will be using a new ranked voting system, which means results won’t be known for a week or two.

Ukraine Strikes Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Russia Says

  Ukraine Strikes Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Russia Says Top news stories on Russia's Channel One from August 7 to August 14, 2022, covering the war in Ukraine and other international affairs.Ukraine strikes Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, chemical enterprises

Also, incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski is fending off a primary challenge from Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka.

MCCAUL: BIDEN WANTED OUT OF AFGHANISTAN ‘COME HELL OR HIGH WATER’: Among the conclusions of the House Republican interim report on the Afghanistan withdrawal is that the flawed Doha agreement negotiated by the Trump administration had little bearing on President Joe Biden’s decision to proceed with unconditional pull-out of all U.S. troops.

In an interview on CNN, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said it was clear from his own words that Biden was hell-bent on getting out of Afghanistan, with or without the Doha agreement.

“We came across an interview that President Biden did with George Stephanopoulos where he said, you know, what, irrespective of Doha, I was going to get out one way or the other,” McCaul said. “We portray, I think, the truth of this president, who got elected, and from day one, come hell or high water, he was going to get out of Afghanistan.”

Here’s what Biden said in that ABC interview two days after the fall of Kabul:

STEPHANOPOULOS: So would you have withdrawn troops like this even if President Trump had not made that deal with the Taliban?

BIDEN: I would've tried to figure out how to withdraw those troops, yes, because look, George. There is no good time to leave Afghanistan. Fifteen years ago would've been a problem, 15 years from now. The basic choice is, am I gonna send your sons and your daughters to war in Afghanistan in perpetuity?

SEE IT: Russian forces shield military vehicles inside Ukrainian nuclear plant

  SEE IT: Russian forces shield military vehicles inside Ukrainian nuclear plant Video footage circulating online on Thursday purportedly shows Russian military vehicles being stored inside a Ukrainian nuclear plant under the control of Russian forces. The vehicles, at least five green trucks marked with the white letter "Z," indicating they belong to the Russian military, were seen parked inside a turbine hall connected to a nuclear reactor at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, according to reports. It's unknown when the video was taken, but the surreptitious nature of the camerawork suggests it could have been filmed by one of the many Ukrainian technicians that continue to operate the facility.

No one can name for me a time when this would end. And what constitutes defeat of the Taliban? What constitutes defeat? Would we have left then? Let's say they surrender like before. OK. Do we leave then? Do you think anybody — the same people who think we should stay would've said, "No, good time to go"? We spent over $1 trillion, George, 20 years. There was no good time to leave.

“We can debate whether that was the right decision,” said McCaul, “But if you're going to do this …for God's sakes do it right. And they were in such a rush, and they weren't listening to the intelligence community … by the way, none of the top generals, including Gen. [Mark] Milley and [Frank] McKenzie or the IC, believe that we should have withdrawn.”

WHITE HOUSE DEFENDS BIDEN'S AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL FROM 'ADVOCATES FOR ENDLESS WAR'

STILL NO IRAN DEAL: Despite the assertions that all the negotiations were over and the text finalized, Iran is asking for more changes before it will agree to return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal that the U.S. exited in 2018.

“A final deal to resume implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is closer than ever if the US accepts the requirements of a sustainable, reliable deal in action,” reported Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency.

Nabila Massrali, a spokesperson for the EU on foreign affairs and security policy, told the Associated Press that the EU received Iran’s response last night. “We are studying it and are consulting with the other JCPOA participants and the U.S. on the way ahead,” she told the AP.

“The only way to achieve a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA is for Iran to drop further unacceptable demands that go beyond the scope of the JCPOA,” said Ned Price at the State Department. “If Iran wants these sanctions lifted, they will need to alter their underlying conduct; they will need to change the dangerous activities that gave rise to these sanctions in the first place.”

Russia claims troops have been poisoned near nuclear power plant in Ukraine

  Russia claims troops have been poisoned near nuclear power plant in Ukraine The allegation has prompted fears the Kremlin may be seeking to justify the use of chemical weapons in Ukraine.The interior ministry in Kyiv hit back by suggesting the alleged illness could have been caused by servicemen eating out of date canned meat.

AUSTIN GETS COVID — AGAIN: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is fully vaccinated and double-boosted, and he’s already had COVID once in January, but now he’s tested positive again.

“I am experiencing mild symptoms, and will quarantine at home for the next five days in accordance with CDC guidelines. I will retain all authorities and plan to maintain my normal work schedule virtually from home,” Austin said in a statement, noting his last contact with Biden was over two weeks ago.

“Vaccinations continue to both slow the spread of COVID-19 and to make its health effects less severe,” Austin said. “Vaccination remains a medical requirement for our workforce, and I continue to encourage everyone to get fully vaccinated and boosted."

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The Rundown

Washington Examiner: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tests positive for COVID-19 for second time

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Bloomberg: U.S. Admiral Decries ‘Unsafe’ China Military Actions In Pacific

Agence France Presse: U.S. Commander Says China Missile Fire Over Taiwan Must Be Contested

New York Times: Culture, Family And Troops: China Lays Out Its Vision For Taiwan

Reuters: Taiwan Accuses China Of Exaggeration With Islands Footage

Air Force Magazine: Brown Tours Pacific as U.S. and China Hold Dueling Exercises

New York Times: Ukraine Chips Away At Russian Troops In South, But Task Is Daunting

Washington Post: Ukrainians Believe They’ll Win The War, A Survey Finds

Task & Purpose: From Saigon to Kabul: Vietnam vets tell Afghanistan vets how to cope with anniversary of the Taliban’s victory

Air Force Magazine: Air Force F-35 Stand Down Ends After Ejection Seat Inspections

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Calendar

TUESDAY | AUGUST 16

12 p.m. — Cato Institute virtual discussion: "The Taliban Today," with Andrew Watkins, senior expert at the U.S. Institute of Peace; Hassan Abbas, professor of international studies at the National Defense University; Mustafa Akyol, senior fellow at the Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity; and Sahar Khan, research fellow at the Cato Institute https://www.cato.org/events/taliban-today

12 p.m. — Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies virtual discussion: “Do Russian Oligarchs Retain Property Rights in the West?" with Ronald Cass, dean emeritus of Boston University's School of Law and president of Cass & Associates, and former vice-chairman and commissioner of the International Trade Commission; Paul Stephan, law professor at the University of Virginia's School of Law; and Jeremy Rabkin, law professor at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School https://fedsoc.org/events/do-russian-oligarchs-retain-property-rights-in-the-west

2:30 p.m. Alexandria, Virginia — National Training & Simulation Association's iFest 2022 conference with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Readiness Kimberly Jackson; Director of Military Training Fred Engle; Navy Rear Adm. Peter Garvin, commander, Naval Education and Training Command https://www.ntsa.org/events/2022/8/16/ifest-2022

WEDNESDAY | AUGUST 17

8:50 a.m. 400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, Virginia — Institute for Defense and Government Advancement two-day Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems Summit,” with Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl, commander of Marine Corps Combat Development Command, delivering keynote address on "The Evolving Threat Environment and Staying Ahead of the Adversary" https://www.idga.org/events-counteruas-usa

10 a.m. 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. — Hudson Institute discussion: "From Fist Bumps to Missile Fire: One Month since President Biden's Middle East Trip," with Andrea Stricker, nonproliferation and biodefense program deputy director and research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Michael Doran, senior fellow and director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Peace and Security in the Middle East; Jonathan Schachter, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute; and Robert Greenway, adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute https://www.hudson.org/events/2140-from-fist-bumps-to-missile-fire

10:30 a.m. 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. — National Council of Resistance of Iran — U.S. Representative Office conference: “Tehran's nuclear agenda on the 20th anniversary of Natanz revelation," with former Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.; former White House National Security Adviser John Bolton; former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph; former International Atomic Energy Agency Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen; former European Command Deputy Commander Gen. Chuck Wald; James Rosen, chief White House correspondent at Newsmax; Soona Samsami, U.S. representative at NCRI; and Alireza Jafarzadeh, deputy director of the NCRI Washington Office RSVP at media@ncrius.org

THURSDAY | AUGUST 18

8:50 a.m. 400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, Virginia — Institute for Defense and Government Advancement Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems Summit, with Army Col. Tony Behrens, deputy director of the Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense Organization https://www.idga.org/events-counteruas-usa

10:15 a.m. Colorado Springs, Colorado — National Defense Industrial Association 2022 Space Warfighting Integration Forum with opening keynote remarks from Lt. Gen. John Shaw, deputy commander U.S. Space Command. https://www.ndia.org/events

12 p.m. 1717 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. — Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies discussion: "Bosnia Herzegovina in Crisis," with former Bosnia Herzegovina Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija https://sais.jhu.edu/campus-events

11 a.m. Pentagon River Entrance — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin welcomes Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah to the Pentagon

2:30 p.m. 1000 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. — Cato Institute book discussion: "America's Great-Power Opportunity: Revitalizing U.S. Foreign Policy to Meet the Challenges of Strategic Competition," with author Ali Wyne, senior analyst at the Eurasia Group; Emma Ashford, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council; Zack Cooper, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; and Eric Gomez, director of defense policy studies at the Cato Institute https://www.cato.org/events/americas-great-power-opportunity

MONDAY | AUGUST 22

4 p.m. 1789 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. — American Enterprise Institute in-person book forum event: “A New Approach to US-China Relations,” with Aaron Friedberg, nonresident senior fellow, AEI and author of Getting China Wrong; and Kori Schake, director of foreign and defense policy studies, AEI https://www.aei.org/events/a-new-approach-to-us-china

WEDNESDAY | AUGUST 24

10 a.m. — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace virtual Nuclear Deterrence and Missile Defense Forum, with Rear Adm. Scott Pappano, program executive officer, strategic submarines https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register

1:00 p.m. 1616 Rhode Island Ave. N.W. — Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual and in-person event: “The Future of Army Vertical Lift,” with Maj. Gen. Walter Rugen, director, Future Vertical Lift Cross Functional Team, U.S. Army Futures Command; and Cynthia Cook, director, Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group and senior fellow, International Security Program https://www.csis.org/events/future-army-vertical-lift

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“We portray, I think, the truth of this president, who got elected, and from day one, come hell or high water, he was going to get out of Afghanistan.”

Rep. Michael McCaul disputing the White House argument that the 2020 Doha agreement left President Joe Biden little option but to withdraw from Afghanistan.

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Tags: National Security, Daily on Defense, War in Afghanistan, War in Ukraine

Original Author: Jamie McIntyre

Original Location: Zelensky accuses Russia of ‘nuclear blackmail’ by launching artillery attacks from captured power plant

Russia claims troops have been poisoned near nuclear power plant in Ukraine .
The allegation has prompted fears the Kremlin may be seeking to justify the use of chemical weapons in Ukraine.The interior ministry in Kyiv hit back by suggesting the alleged illness could have been caused by servicemen eating out of date canned meat.

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