Amnesty International has basically said it is ‘sorry, not sorry’ for revealing that Ukraine is deliberately placing military forces in residential areas in violation of international law.
The organization attracted controversy for accusing Ukrainian armed forces of violating “international humanitarian law and endanger[ing] civilians.”
According to the original report, Amnesty observers have witnessed Ukrainian forces stationed in the vicinity of residential areas and schools in at least 19 towns and villages across the country, thereby endangering civilians who are under increased threat from Russian bombardment.
Such tactics violate international humanitarian law and endanger civilians, as they turn civilian objects into military targets 👇https://t.co/EysZtcqqci
— Amnesty International (@amnesty) August 4, 2022
President Zelensky reacted to the report in his usual manner, by accusing Amnesty of being an “accomplice of Russia – a terrorist country – and a terrorist themselves and a participant in the killings,” asserting that “Ukraine is a victim.”
After receiving a massive backlash, Amnesty appeared to back pedal, telling the media that it “deeply regrets the distress and anger that our press release on the Ukrainian military’s fighting tactics has caused.”
However, dig a little deeper and it’s clear that the group is not retracting its original claim.
Amnesty emphasized that its “sole objective” in publishing the report was to ensure that “civilians are protected.”
The group made it clear that it “fully stand[s] by our findings,” with Amnesty International’s secretary general Agnes Callamard asserting, “being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian military from respecting international humanitarian law.”
In other words, ‘sorry, not sorry’, and yes Ukraine is violating international law by placing civilians in harm’s way.
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Poland Begins Handing Out Iodine Pills On Fears Of Ukraine Nuclear Plant Meltdown
Poland has begun a program of distributing iodine tablets to emergency workers and first responders, starting with regional fire departments – who can in turn hand them out to the general population – in the event of a possible radioactive disaster at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
A Polish deputy minister first announced the plan on Thursday, warning of the possibility of dangerous radioactive exposure amid continued fighting in neighboring Ukraine, where technicians at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant continue to struggle to maintain safeguards.
“After the media reports about battles near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, we decided… ahead of time to take protective action to distribute iodine,” the Polish official, Blazej Pobozy, said in a national radio broadcast.
“I would like to reassure all citizens that these are routine, preemptive actions that are to protect us in the event of a situation which… I hope will not happen.” Iodine tablets can help protect against conditions associated with radioactive exposure such as thyroid cancer.
The plant has suffered frequently cut power cables, having been removed from the nation’s power grid multiple times and reverting to back-up measures, amid shelling in the area as some 500 Russian troops have occupied the complex since March.
Both sides have continued to blame the other for the deteriorating operating conditions, which earlier in the month caused plant operators to take a sixth reactor off the grid out of an abundance of caution while a power line was being restored after fire.
Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, “Due to Russian provocation, the Zaporizhzhya plant is one step away from a radiation disaster.”
A couple of IAEA officials are still present at the site, with the UN nuclear watchdog talking about implementing plans to establish a “nuclear safety and security protection zone” around the plant.
Various attempts have been made to model the impact of potential radiation fallout centered at Zaporizhzhia…
Below is a timeline review of events based on Ukrainian regional reporting and Yahoo News:
- Russia captured the Chornobyl NPP in the beginning of the full-scale invasion in Ukraine. On 4 March, it captured the Zaporizhzhia NPP, creating a threat of radiation disaster. In mid-March, Russian occupying forces detonated ammunition on the territory of the ZNPP.
- On 15 July, Energoatom reported that Russia had deployed several missile systems on the territory of the ZNPP. Russian forces were using these weapons to fire on the area around the city of Nikopol.
- On 1 September, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission arrived at the ZNPP.
- On 2 September, Rafael Grossi, Director General of the IAEA, confirmed that two representatives of the organisation would remain at the ZNPP after the mission was over.
- On 5 September, four out of six IAEA inspectors finished their inspection of the plant and left the ZNPP. Two IAEA workers remained at the power plant.
- On 5 September, as a result of a fire caused by Russian shelling of the ZNPP, the last line connecting the ZNPP and the Zaporizhzhia Thermoelectric Power Plant to Ukraine’s power grid was disconnected.
Blinken Warns China FM Against Support To Russia At UN
Secretary of State Antony Blinken met his Chinese counterpart Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Friday – at a moment tensions over Taiwan are still on edge following Nancy Pelosi’s early August trip to the self-ruled island.
Blinken took the opportunity to again warn Beijing against providing any support to ongoing Russian operations amid the invasion of Ukraine. A statement said the top US diplomat “reiterated the United States’ condemnation of Russia’s war against Ukraine and highlighted the implications if the PRC [People’s Republic of China] were to provide support to Moscow’s invasion of a sovereign state.”
“He underscored that the United States remains open to cooperating with the PRC where our interests intersect,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said of Blinken’s meeting with the Chinese FM.
Blinken told Wang that the US administration desires to keep lines of communication open and wants peace, directly invoking the Taiwan crisis, also after a recent sail through of a US Navy warship of contested waters in the strait.
Blinken “emphasized that the United States is committed to maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, consistent with our longstanding one China policy,” Price said.
President Biden’s address to the UNGA the day prior struck a conciliatory tone when compared to his 60 Minutes interview last week, wherein he said the US would intervene militarily if China invaded Taiwan:
In remarks to the UNGA on Wednesday, Biden said the US opposes “unilateral changes in the status quo” in Taiwan by either side. He also stressed that Washington does not want a confrontation with Beijing.
“Let me be direct about the competition between the United States and China as we manage shifting geopolitical trends: the United States will conduct itself as a reasonable leader,” Biden said.
“We do not seek conflict. We do not seek a cold war. We do not ask any nation to choose between the United States or any other partner,” Biden had followed with, also speaking in the general context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Russia Prepares To ‘Ramp Up’ Stealth Jet Production Amid Rising Threat Of War With West
Russia’s war in Ukraine escalated this week when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of the country’s military and vowed to use “all available means” to deter future attacks against Russia — a reference to the country’s diverse nuclear weapons arsenal.
Then Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, provided fresh warnings Thursday on the heels of Putin’s nuclear threats that “Hypersound [hypersonic weapons] will be able to reach targets in Europe and in the United States much faster, guaranteed.”
Now there’s word that Russian state-owned defense corporation Rostec will increase production of Su-57 5th-generation stealth fighter jets.
“The Russian Air Force will receive new Su-57 jet fighters this year,” Rostec head Sergey Chemezov said on the company’s Telegram channel.
The multirole fifth-generation fighter was first delivered to Russia’s Aerospace Force in 2019. A video surfaced in 2018 of the jets used in Syria for combat operations.
Meanwhile, the US has been training for aerial warfare against Su-57s. We noted in 2019, Nellis Air Force Base had a General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon painted to mimic Russia’s fifth-generation stealth fighter.
“The next world war will be fought with fifth-generation fighters and hypersonic weapons,” we said in 2019.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
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