04.05.2024 Author: Seth Ferris

West in Meltdown over Nuclear Safety and Electrical Infrastructure in Ukraine!

West in Meltdown over Nuclear Safety and Electrical Infrastructure in Ukraine!

Just when we thought western hypocrisy over the war in Ukraine had reached rock bottom, lo and behold, they get out an excavator and keep digging.

A series of precision strikes across the country over the last few days have devastated thermal and hydroelectric power plants, including the largest ones in Kiev and Kharkov.

Almost immediately, western leaders decried the attacks as “targeting civilian infrastructure” as well as labeling them “war crimes”, a cry that has been going on since much earlier in the special military operation. The US State Department demanded such attacks cease immediately.

“Overnight, Russia launched what some have termed one of the worst attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure since the start of Russia’s invasion. Russia must be held accountable for its actions,” U.S. Ambassador to UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in a statement.

President Putin, on the other hand, has described the strikes as retaliation for Ukrainian drone and missile strikes on Russian energy infrastructure, and legitimate targets in the ongoing campaign to demilitarize and denazize the former Soviet republic. He also pointed out that Russia had deliberately not struck these targets during the winter to avoid harming civilians.

One really must protest at this blatant hypocrisy by the west in general, and the US in particular.  I am reminded of the New Testament passage where Jesus warned his followers to remove the log from their own eye before commenting on the speck in that of their neighbors.

The US led war against Iraq, Operation Desert Storm, in 1991, began with a massive air campaign that targeted and destroyed Iraq’s 19 power stations, as well as the transmission system. This was entirely in line with US military doctrine, as shown by numerous official publications, with a horrendous total of deaths., as one US military publication noted:

“There is little doubt, on the other hand, of the impact of the loss of power in Iraq on the civilian population. The civilian effects from the loss of power were quite severe, including the loss of power to hospitals, the breakdown of water purification systems, and damage to sewage systems, which then contaminated the water supply. One report attributed 70,000 deaths to this indirect collateral damage caused by a lack of electricity.60 The negative political backlash of such reports is unquantifiable but nevertheless real, and must be considered in future air campaign planning.”

The same playbook was used in 1999 during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, when NATO forces systematically bombed Yugoslavian power distribution facilities, along with hospitals, schools, TV stations, and, most famously, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.

The attacks cause widespread death and destruction, both via the so-called “collateral damage” and subsequent effects similar to those observed in Iraq. The attacks destroyed 80% of Yugoslav power production, leaving millions without electricity or water, a factor the NATO mission planners believed was completely acceptable.

It seems quite obvious in hindsight, that with continued resistance despite the targeting of the distribution network, that NATO would “up the ante” and begin destroying the power plants themselves, which they did on May 23rd 1999, beginning with a strike on the Nikola Tesla power plant, 30km south-west of Belgrade.

Needless to say, NATO spokesmen justified the bombing as strikes on infrastructure supporting military operations by the Yugoslavian armed forces. A claim that reeks of hypocrisy when contrasted with their crocodile tears and hand wringing over similar strikes in Ukraine today.

The pattern was repeated in the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, and the 2004 invasion of Iraq, perversely titles “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, As well as in the NATO led destruction of the state of Libya.  God alone knows how many hundreds of thousands of deaths can be attributed to the US led destruction of electrical infrastructure, but the US and its allies are trying to claim the moral high ground while their noses are barely out of the swamp created by the blood of their victims.

It is interesting to note the restraint shown by Russia in its targeting of the energy grid in Ukraine, compared to the way the US and its allies blatantly behave. As Putin noted, the armed forces of the Russian Federation deliberately held back from attacking during winter, in order to avoid hardship and death for the civilian population during the winter, as such attacks would have had devastating consequences for the communal heating system. Now, with spring finally here, and in response to Ukrainian attempts to disrupt Russian energy systems and the horrendous terrorist attack on the Crocus shopping center in Moscow, the Russians have, as we say, taken the gloves off.

And rightly so!

I suspect the Russian strikes are also a message to the west, given the announcements by Ukraine’s European allies that they will allow European arms manufacturers to set up factories in the war torn country, and threatening retaliation if such facilities are attacked. “Go right ahead, good luck making anything without electricity” seems to be the message.

Another disgusting piece of forked tongue hypocrisy relates to the recent Ukrainian attempts to attack the Zaporozhe Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) using drones. Despite witnessing Russian troops shooting down some of the drones, the IAEA representatives refused to attribute blame for the attack, and instead asked Russia to undertake the “urgent withdrawal of all unauthorized military and other unauthorized personnel,” and for the plant to be “immediately returned to the full control of the competent Ukrainian authorities,” which is laughable at best. The call was echoed by the usual suspects in the US government, particularly the State Department.

Regardless of the rhetoric, the nuclear safety and security situation at the ZNPP continues to be fragile and dangerous. While five of the plant’s six nuclear reactors have been in cold shutdown since September 2022, a significant amount of radioactive material remains on site. Even nuclear watchdogs are long on rhetoric as well, claiming that it is likely that Russia is, for its part, likely to accuse Ukraine of compromising the safety of the ZNPP and its personnel.

There seems to be some strange idea in western circles that Ukraine is inherently better equipped to maintain and run a nuclear power plant than Russia, which is simply more naive and stupid than many other false claims. . In reality, however, the real motive is to somehow convince the Russians to withdraw and allow the Ukrainians a foothold back on the left bank of the Dnieper, as a springboard for some fantasy lasts ditch counteroffensive in the Zaporozhe region, though it is not clear by whom and with what, given the dire straits the UAF and their fan cub find themselves in today.

The Ukrainians are really playing with fire; it is as if they want all of Ukraine to be a nuclear exclusion zone!


Seth Ferris, investigative journalist and political scientist, expert on Middle Eastern affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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