Russia’s Ukraine War Spreads Radiation, Fuels Climate Change

March 2nd, 2022 - by Niamh Cavanagh / Yahoo News & Ben Adler / Yahoo News

Russian Airstrike Hits
Radioactive Waste Disposal Site near Kyiv

Niamh Cavanagh / Yahoo News & Ben Adler / Yahoo News

(February 27, 2022) — Russian bombs struck a radioactive waste burial facility near Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, overnight, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine said on Sunday morning.

In a post published to its official Facebook page, the organization wrote: “At [1.20 a.m.] Kyiv time as a result of the mass bombing of Kyiv with all types of anti-aircraft and missile weapons available to the Russian Federation, the missiles hit the radioactive waste disposal site of the Kyiv branch of the State Specialized Enterprise ‘Radon.’”

The organization stressed that there was no threat of radiation to people outside of the protection zone that surrounds the burial site.

All employees have remained in a shelter due “to the ongoing mass [shelling].” The agency added that the automated radiation monitoring system failed, but the missiles had been caught by surveillance cameras.

The extent of the radiation will be assessed by portable devices as soon as the bombing has finished, the agency said. The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said it had been a “difficult night” following a Russian strike against civilian infrastructures.

Major attacks overnight included an assault on Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city. Ukraine accused Russian troops of blowing up a natural gas pipeline there.

A burning oil depot reportedly hit by shelling near Vasylkiv.

An oil depot in Vasylkiv, a city near the capital, was also set ablaze after an apparent missile strike. Authorities in Kyiv warned civilians to stay indoors and keep windows shut after the explosion caused toxic fumes.

The Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine said that the transmission of natural gas was continuing “normally” despite the Kharkiv pipeline explosion. Ukraine is one of the major transmission routes that brings gas from Russia to Europe.

Continuing into its fourth day, the Russian invasion has taken more than 200 Ukrainian civilians’ lives, a defense official said. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his country’s nuclear arsenal had been put on alert in response to sanctions against the country.

“Western countries are not only taking unfriendly economic actions against our country. Leaders of NATO countries are making aggressive statements against us,” Putin said on Sunday. He went on to say that he had ordered the Kremlin’s nuclear deterrence “on a special regime of duty.”

Russian Climate Official
Apologizes for Ukraine Invasion

Ben Adler / Yahoo News

(February 27, 2022) — The leader of the Russian delegation at an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conference on Sunday apologized for Russia’s invasion of UkraineAgence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

The news agency cited three anonymous sources who were in the virtual, 195-nation meeting, which is closed to the press and the public. Politico and the Washington Post also confirmed the report.

“Let me present an apology on behalf of all Russians not able to prevent this conflict,” Russia’s Oleg Anisimov reportedly said at the closing plenary meeting. Those who see what is happening “fail to find any justification for the attack on Ukraine,” he added.

Anisimov, a veteran climate scientist who has authored previous IPCC reports, expressed “huge admiration” for the Ukraine delegation, which has kept working even as its country is under attack from its much larger neighbor.

Participants told AFP that everyone present found Anisimov’s comments moving, especially in light of the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin is known for ruthlessly punishing internal dissidents. “He knows that there is a risk for him; it was a very sincere message,” said one participant.

The comments were made in Russian and simultaneously translated into English. AFP received only the translated remarks, not the original Russian.

“The surprise intervention from Russia’s Oleg Anisimov at the closed-door meeting followed an electrifying live statement from his Ukrainian counterpart, Svitlana Krakovska, who spoke passionately about her country’s plight,” AFP reported.

“We will not surrender in Ukraine, and we hope the world will not surrender in building a climate-resilient future,” Krakovska said in English, according to AFP ‘s sources.

“Human-induced climate change and the war on Ukraine have the same roots — fossil fuels — and our dependence on them,” she added. It is unclear what exactly she meant by that, but Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas revenues, and Europe’s dependence on Russian gas has made it unwilling to extend its sanctions to cutting off Russia’s ability to sell gas on the continent. If Europe did not rely on fossil fuels to generate energy, it might be able to more effectively counter Russian aggression, according to global energy market experts.

The IPCC’s Working Group II, which focuses on the human impacts of climate change, is scheduled to release its report for this, the sixth, “assessment cycle,” on Monday morning. Krakovska expressed disappointment that the war in Ukraine will likely overshadow it in media coverage.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.