Ukrainian nuclear site faces new threat
RT.com, Aug 13 2022

Dam at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station

Shelling of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station by Ukrainian forces risks a “nuclear catastrophe” at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Arseniy Zelensky, the Kakhovka facility’s deputy director for reconstruction, told reporters on Saturday. According to Zelensky, as quoted by TASS, Kakhovka is now operating in a “very dangerous” emergency mode. The Kakhovka plant is located in Kherson Region in southern Ukraine, which was seized by Russian forces in the early stages of Moscow’s military operation. Together with Russia-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the biggest in Europe, it has been attacked by Kiev’s troops, with use of Western-supplied weapons, according to the regional authorities. The deputy director of the Kakhovka plant explained to journalists that if the dam is destroyed, the nuclear facility would be deprived of the water needed to cool its reactors. He said:

In case of problems with the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station, there will be big troubles at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. This could lead to a nuclear catastrophe. The station has been working in emergency mode since the first days of hostilities. The station’s own needs, backup 6 kV, are lost, we are working in a very dangerous mode. One of the turbines had to be turned off following Ukrainian rocket attacks. If the military action ceases, the plant can be restored within a week. Fortunately, the station has not yet received major damage, except for hydroelectric unit number three, which burned down in March, it takes 1.5 years to complete the work.

Zelensky’s remarks came the day after Kirill Stremousov, the deputy head of the military-civilian administration of Kherson Region, revealed that the city of Novaya Kakhovka had again been attacked by “Ukrainian nationalists” but “no tangible damage” was caused. “The hydroelectric power station was not damaged,” he said. On Thursday, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, told the Security Council that a nuclear disaster can happen “at any moment” amid the “reckless” shelling of the Zaporozhye plant by Kiev’s forces. Nebenzia said:

Kiev’s criminal attacks on the nuclear infrastructure facilities are pushing the world to the brink of a nuclear disaster that would rival the Chernobyl one.

Responding to Kiev’s claims that Russia was the one targeting the plant in an alleged plot to discredit Ukraine, the diplomat said that Russia has no reason to target the facility or its own troops, and that multiple attacks on the facility have been documented from Ukrainian-held territory in Dnepropetrovsk Region. However, the US State Dept took Kiev’s side by endorsing the demand for a DMZ around the Zaporozhye nuclear plant and calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops that control the area.

Most German howitzers in Ukraine out of order – MP
RT.com, Aug 12 2022

Bundeswehr deploy Pzh 2000 in exercises near Munster.

Most German Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 howitzers that have been supplied to Ukraine by the West have already broken down and are in need of repair, according to Bundestag member Marcus Faber, who recently visited Ukraine. In a Wednesday interview with the German news outlet NTV, the politician claimed he was surprised to learn from Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense that only five of the 15 German-made PzH 2000 howitzers supplied to Ukraine by Berlin and Amsterdam were still operational. He added that the cause of the failures was not Russian fire, but the fact that the guns were “massively used” by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. While Kiev has yet to officially confirm Faber’s statements, it was reported last month by Der Spiegel that Ukraine had informed Germany that a number of PzH 2000 howitzers were malfunctioning after extensive use. According to the outlet, the German Ministry of Defense believed the issues may have resulted from high intensity firing, which may have impacted the artillery round loading mechanism. Der Spiegel said 100 shots a day was considered a “high level of shooting intensity” for the howitzer. Faber also stated that Kiev had requested more spare parts for the weapons and was “optimistic” that it could bring the howitzers back into working order. He noted that while Germany had already supplied Ukraine with spare parts packages, not all of them were “the right ones.” He pointed out that spare parts were not always enough and that larger repairs required special workshops, meaning the Ukrainians could only carry out minor repairs themselves. According to Faber, Kiev has already requested help in building their own repair facilities in order to avoid having to send the howitzers out of the country for maintenance. Germany has so far supplied Kiev with ten PzH 2000 howitzers, while another five were provided by the Netherlands, who have promised another three. Meanwhile, German arms manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann struck a deal with the Ukrainian government in late July that would see the firm produce and supply Kiev with some 100 PzH 2000 howitzers, according to a Der Spiegel report. A company spox was quoted as stating that the arms deal was worth $1.72b, almost triple the cost of all military aid Berlin has sent to Kiev’s forces since Russia launched its military operation in late February. However, Faber has pointed out that these 100 howitzers will not be delivered to Ukraine before the end of next year and has called on Berlin to send Kiev weapons out of its own reserves, which could then be replenished by Ukrainian order. Germany has previously supplied Ukrainian forces with thousands of portable anti-tank and anti-air missiles, tens of thousands of anti-tank mines, as well as millions of rounds of ammunition. However, Kiev and even the former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany have still criticized Berlin for what they called reluctance to send military aid to Ukraine and the slow pace of deliveries. Moscow has repeatedly warned the West against sending weapons to Kiev, saying it only prolongs the conflict and increases the number of casualties.

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