— The Erimtan Angle —

Archive for the ‘Ukraine’ Category

Chernobyl and Nuclear Power: 30 Years of Fallout

FRANCE_24_logo_svg’30 years ago today, a botched safety test led to the world’s worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in eastern Ukraine. France, with its 58 nuclear reactors, is particularly sensitive to this story. François Hollande reiterated a promise to close the oldest one at Fessenheim but no firm date is set. What future for atomic energy? And could the next Chernobyl be on purpose? It’s a serious question since Belgian authorities revealed that the Brussels attackers had considered targeting nuclear plants. (26 April 2016)’.


On a dedicated website, the IAEA presents this potted history of the impact of the Chernobyl disaster: “On 26 April 1986, the most serious accident in the history of the nuclear industry occurred at Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Since that time there has been much confusion about the real consequences of the accident, including implications for health, the environment, nuclear safety, society and the economies of countries affected by the accident. In 1996 at the time of the tenth anniversary there were major reviews of the information available in an attempt to clarify and synthesise a consensus on the actual consequences of the accident. In 2000-2001, by the fifteenth anniversary, several articles books, and important publications on the topic were issued, and international reviews were prepared on lessons learned. The most comprehensive analysis on human exposures and health consequences of the Chernobyl accident, both for workers of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, rescue and clean-up workers and for the population of Belarusian, Ukrainian and Russian areas contaminated with radionuclides, was provided by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), in its 2 000 Report to the General Assembly . . . In 2001, on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, two international scientific conferences were held in Kiev, Ukraine. The first of them, called ‘Fifteen Years after the Chernobyl Accident. Lessons Learned’ held April 18-20, 2001, discussed lessons learned from the accident in areas of nuclear and radiation safety, emergency preparedness and response, status and future of the Shelter and the exclusion zone, radiation health and environmental effects. The second conference entitled ‘Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident: Results of the 15-year follow-up Studies’, was held 4-8 June 2001, only considered the health effects of the accident, presented medical lessons learnt and developed recommendations for public health services and for future research. conclusions. During 2001-2002, the UN family organizations UNDP, WHO, OCHA, and UNICEF prepared and published, with the IAEA’s support, the UN report on The Human Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident – a Strategy of Recovery. After a proposal made by Belarus, the IAEA initiated a project in 1995 to convene an international group of high level experts who would review the information drawn from the long term environmental and social studies of the Chernobyl accident and its consequences. The study had been monitored by an International Advisory Committee under the project management of the Institut de protection et de sûreté nucléaire (IPSN), France. The project report, based mainly on the studies carried out by experts from Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine during the period 1986-1995, was published as an IAEA TECDOC, Present and future environmental impact of the Chernobyl accident – IAEA-TECDOC-1240 (3MB). Two further projects were initiated by the IAEA in its follow-up actions designed to mitigate the impact of the accident’s consequences. The first of these was to establish the Chernobyl Forum, through which the relevant organizations within the UN system the governments of the primarily affected countries (Belarus, Russia and Ukraine) and other relevant international organisations could discuss their views on the consequences of the accident and implement, jointly or individually. The Forum was launched in February 2003, and the first Organizational Meeting was convened at the Agency headquarters in Vienna on 3-5 February 2003. The second project is the new series of Chernobyl-related technical co-operation (TC) projects with the affected countries. Through the TC Programme over US $10 million have already been disbursed since 1990 within the frame of 31 completed and ongoing projects aiming to reduce the impact of the Chernobyl accident. During 2003 the IAEA launched its new topical regional TC project (RER/9/074) on the long-term rehabilitation strategies and monitoring of human exposure in the rural areas affected by the Chernobyl accident. The IAEA will continue to support activities aiming to overcome the adverse radiological effects of the largest nuclear accident in human history as long as they are internationally recognized to be justified”.[1]


The above-quoted verbiage appears to consist of a lot of words that indicate that the ultimate impact of Chernobyl is still hard to determine and that the process is still ongoing . . . or a project in progress, if you will.


[1] “Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident” IAEA. http://www-ns.iaea.org/appraisals/chernobyl.asp.

CrossTalk: Cold War Redux

‘Published on Jul 1, 2015: Over the past year at CrossTalk we have asked guests many times whether we face the specter of a new Cold War. Today it is all too obvious there is a new Cold War. What we need to ask now are the terms and conditions of this conflict and the possible outcomes’.

In fact, I wrote as long ago as the summer of 2011: ‘Is the Arab Awakening turning into the beginning of a New Cold War between the U.S. and Russia? The conservative American writer Conor Friedersdorf reminds people of the high stakes: “If you’ve lost count, that’s Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen where the Obama Administration will be warring.” Will these conflicts turn into proxy-wars fought between America and Russia, possibly aided by China?’.[1]  And, as we know now, the conflict in the east of the Ukraine as well as Syria’s not-so civil war now really do constitute the two real not-quite-proxy conflicts between Washington and Moscow . . . between Obama and Putin.

[1] C. Erimtan, “The Arab Awakening and the never-ending Cold War” Hürriyet Daily News (22 June 2011). http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/default.aspx?pageid=438&n=the-arab-awakening-and-the-never-ending-cold-war-2011-06-22.

The PM and the Caliph: An Existential Co-Existence???

Following the recent terrorist outrage on a Tunisian beach killing scores of British holidaymakers, David Cameron now feels at ease and able to reveal his true foreign and domestic policy programme to the world at large. As told by the Beeb: the “fight against Islamic State is ‘the struggle of our generation’, David Cameron has said, as it emerged the British death toll in the Tunisian attack will rise above 30. Home Secretary Theresa May will travel to Tunisia on Monday [, 29 June 2015] to meet ministers and those caught up in the attack. A total of 38 people were killed on a beach near Sousse by a gunman with links to Islamic State extremists. Mr Cameron said IS could be beaten but it would take ‘a very long time’. The prime minister told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the ‘absolutely horrific’ events had ‘shocked the whole of the world’. He said IS posed ‘an existential threat’ to the West, and its members in Iraq and Syria were plotting ‘terrible attacks’ on British soil. Mr Cameron – who will chair another meeting of the Cobra emergency committee on Monday morning – said the UK must have a ‘full-spectrum response’ to the IS threat – including continuing with air strikes”.[1]

In other words, a possibly deranged or brainwashed individual by the name of Seifeddine Rezgui, with no clear or apparent connections to the Caliph and his henchmen, has now handed Cameron his very own Bush moment. In the aftermath of what has become known as “9/11”, then-U.S. President George W. Bush craftily utilized the terror attacks to oil the wheels of the Military-Industrial Complex (or Mic,[2] if you will) and unleash the true successor to the Cold War in the form of the War on Terror, an endless affair that has received a new moniker since then. In addition, Bush also oversaw the introduction of the PATRIOT Act and the subsequent implementation of extreme and complete surveillance. But, back to Cameron now and his plans to unseat Bashar al-Assad, oops, I meant the Caliph Ibrahim (aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi): “Our strategy is to build up local armies. It’s much easier to just invade a country. . . it’s easier and faster, but that has consequences”.[3]  Still talking on Radio 4, Cameron declared that “[i]t is an existential threat because what’s happening here is the perversion of a great religion, and the creation of this poisonous death cult that is seducing too many young minds in Europe, in America, in the Middle East and elsewhere. This is going to be the struggle of our generation and we have to fight it with everything that we can”.[4]  And sounding just like Bush, the PM minced now words stating that “[]hey have declared war on us and they are attacking our people at home and overseas whether we like it or not”.[5]  And so it become apparent that the Tunisia beach attack has now given President Obama a true ally in his attempt to train, equip, and position non-extremist opposition fighters (known more commonly as Jihadi terrorists) in the fight against the new bogeyman.

[1] “Tunisia attack: Cameron says IS fight ‘struggle of our generation'” BBC News (29 June 2015). http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-33307279.

[2] “Military Industrial Complex (Snarkipedia #1) ” in “Snarkipedia” No Cure for That” The Erimtan Angle (22 Jan 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/snarkipedia-no-cure-for-that/.

[3] “Tunisia attack: Cameron says IS fight ‘struggle of our generation'”.

[4] Matt Chorley, “We CAN beat ISIS terrorists who threaten our way of life but it will take ‘extraordinary resolve and patience’, says Cameron” Daily Mail (29 June 2015). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3142884/David-Cameron-says-beat-ISIS-terrorists-threaten-way-life-Sousse-terror-attack.html#ixzz3eRiNnq1x.

[5] Matt Chorley, “We CAN beat ISIS terrorists who threaten our way of life but it will take ‘extraordinary resolve and patience’, says Cameron”.

Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN

At the October Palace, International Center of Culture and Arts, Kyiv, Ukraine (11 June 2015).  


Send Blair to The Hague

(11 November 2014) 

The ever-voluble MP George Galloway is at it again, Kickstarting his movie on Tony Blair, the true heir and successor of Margaret Thatcher and predecessor of Cameron (Gordon Brown was but a forgotten footnote in the middle).

Donetsk: An American Glance

‘RTD and Miguel Francis Santiago, the author of Crimea for Dummies, go to Donetsk where the bloody conflict between the Ukrainian army and the anti-government forces is in full swing. With contradictory information coming from the region, witnessing the situation first-hand is the only way to find out what’s really happening there (12 November 2014)’.

The U.S. back the Kiev Junta: Ukraine Update

‘The United States is backing a new offensive by the junta in Kiev as it is supporting its “puppet regime” in Ukraine and trying to push pro-Russian forces out of the struggle, says a political analyst. “I think Washington wants to strengthen the position of the Kiev junta without calling into question the fact that its origins was in a military civilian coup which overthrew the elected government and which then subsequently organized a very fraudulent kind of one-sided elections,” said James Petras, Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of sociology at Binghamton University, New York, in a phone interview with Press TV on Monday, 10 November. He made the comments one day after the White House called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw troops from Ukraine and stop sending weapons to pro-Russian forces in the country. US National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said in a statement that in order to enable “the restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty along the Ukrainian side of the international border,” pro-Russian forces should be disarmed. Petras said the US is only trying to support the Kiev junta that is “propped up by NATO, IMF, and EU funding”, going on to say that “The Russians are not stupid, they are not going to allow the US to engage with that junta to destroy the Russian-speaking majority in the eastern part of the country. If the US is really serious about demilitarization of the struggle, they first should begin restraining their puppet regime in Kiev because you can’t ask Russia to disarm the partisans in the east while encouraging the western leaders to engage in full-scale warfare on the civilian population in the east,” he said. The United States accuses Russia of sending troops into eastern Ukraine in support of the pro-Russian forces, an allegation denied by the Kremlin. The Obama administration has imposed several rounds of sanctions against Moscow over the crisis (11 November 2014)’.

Petras speaks of “the biggest power grab since George Bush seized Eastern Europe and converted it into a NATO bastion confronting Russia, [occurred recently when] the Obama regime, together with the EU, financed and organized a violent putsch in the Ukraine which established a puppet regime in Kiev” . . . the puppet regime headed by none other than Chocolashenko.[1]

[1] James Petras, “Obama’s Ukrainian Power Grab, Sanctions and the Boomerang Effect” The James Petras Website (03 November 2014). http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=1974.