Wed Aug 31st, 2022 at 04:30:14 PM EST
MK.ru.translate.goog | The United States supported the shutdown of the reactors of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, 29 Aug 2022
John Kirby, the coordinator of the US National Security Council for strategic communications, said that Washington is in favor of shutting down the reactors at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
"We continue to believe that a controlled shutdown of the reactors at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant will be the safest and least risky solution," he said.
He is also stressed that the United States fully supports the IAEA mission, which should arrive at the station in the coming days. Kirby added that the US believes a demilitarized zone should be established around the station.
What is the basis of this report? I wondered. More Kremlin "disinformation"? Or quotes taken "out of context" from dated NSA intelligence, perhaps engrossed by a G7 position non-paper supporting a "demilitarized zone" around
Europe's largest nuclear power plant? Does enemy journalism acurately quote Kirby's remarks on 29 Aug. on the occasion of IAEA inspectors' actual departure for Zaporizh*--despite Ukraine's unconditional terms?
In any case, I decided, this is a surprising departure from US-led NATO mission statements to defend Ukrainian and EU integrity at any cost.
My search for truth follows below.
KEYWORDS: "August 29, 2022 NSC briefing", ""August 29, 2022 NSA briefing"
National Security Council: The last press release published for Jake Sullivan is 13 July 2021, "Remarks by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan at the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Global Emerging Technology Summit"
C-SPAN: The last recorded NSA briefing featuring John Kirby is in 4 Aug 2022 White House Daily Briefing
GOOGLE: appended "John Kirby" returned a C-SPAN recording, 29 Aug 2022 White House Daily Briefing, A/V recording abruptly cut to @00:24:37
KEYWORDS: "August 29, 2022 US Supports The IAEA Mission To Nuclear Power Plant" returned ...
BING: returned a chronological list of relevant press articles, mounted by so-called publishers of record that I presumed rented seats for every White House press conference.
NY Yella Cake: "U.N. experts head to the Zaporizhzhia facility on a risky mission after weeks of talks"
Both Russia and Ukraine welcomed the announcement by the I.A.E.A. director general, Rafael M. Grossi, even as they repeated accusations that the other side was responsible for the shelling.
in Ukraine Announces Push in South; U.N. Inspectors Head to Nuclear Site
, 29 Aug, updated 30 Aug, 2022, 9:52 a.m
"Anyone want to know what our plans are?" President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address. "You won't hear specifics from any truly responsible person. Because this is war. And this is what it is during the war."WaPoo
: Why Ukraine's Big Nuclear Plant Raises Worries Again
, 29 Aug, "analysis by Patrick Donahue, Bloomberg
" is a pastiche of Chernobyl (1986) and Zaporizh* NPP service records and vestigial US State Dept. and Institute for the Study of War (ISW) notes.
2. What are Russia's objectives?yahoo! Finance
A nuclear plant is valuable war booty. The complex would cost more than $40 billion to build today. Though power is still flowing to Ukrainian consumers, according to grid operator Ukrenergo, Russian engineers have been laying plans to connect the plant to Russia's power grid and to charge the Ukraine government for whatever output would remain for Ukraine. In addition, European intelligence officials say that Russia is likely using the plant to shield troops and equipment, anticipating that the facility's sensitivity protects it from major attacks. Russia has used the wider area to rest its forces at night and has launched long-range artillery attacks from adjacent regions, the officials said. Ukraine has circulated photographs showing Russian armored personnel carriers near Zaporizhzhia's critical infrastructure.
5. What interest do the two sides have in stressing the dangers?
The US-based Institute for the Study of War has said Moscow appears to be playing on fears of a nuclear disaster among allies of Ukraine in an effort to degrade their support for the country. For their part, Ukrainian authorities have been eager to leverage nuclear anxieties to press their demand that Russian troops leave. In an address warning of the threat to Zaporizhzhia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, "The key thing is that international pressure is needed to force the occupiers to immediately withdraw."
: National Security Council Press Briefing
, 29 Aug 2022 audio recording which at least corroborates John Kirby's participation, flagged by an anonymous *.ru informant, in one confirmed public event. (Here, absence
of David SANGER by-line, absence
of US comment in NYT and WaPoo feature stories of the day ultimately appears an auspicious key to dissembling "media literacy" among US Americans and NATO allies.) Following is my transcript.
WH PRESS SEC, JEAN-PIERRE?: [@00:06:20] Let's go to David Sanger at the New York Times.
SANGER: Thanks, John. A quick question back on the nuclear power plant. You were discussing in the beginning. [N.B. SESSION BEGINS in medias res RESPONSE TO US NAVY PORT AT SOLOMON ISLANDS QUESTION @00:00:00] Does the US have any clarity on whether all of the all of the shells that are falling around the plant are in fact from Russia? Or whether we believe some may be shot off by the Ukrainians? Second, tell us how you analyze Putin's strategy in taking the plant hostage. Is he essentially trying to get many of the benefits of threatening a nuclear weapon by threatening the disaster at the power plant. Do you see this as a fundamentally different from what he was doing earlier in the war, when he was explicitly threatening he might have to use nuclear weapons?
JOHN KIRBY, NSA PRESS SEC: Those are great questions, David. On the shells, we don't have a way of counting shells or accounting for artillery fire around the plant. We've been very clear publicly, quite frankly, privately, that the fighting around the plant should stop. Period. We do know, while we can't count shells for you, we do know that Russia has essentially militarized the power plant by stationing forces there including weapons. And so we know, they are firing from around the plant. But exactly, you know, what the exchange is on any given day, it would be impossible for us to know that. We, again, [have] been clear that the fighting around the plant should stop. A nuclear power plant is no place to be in the vicinity of combat.
On your second quesion, to answer it completely accurately would require knowing exactly what Mr Putin has in mind, and that's difficult for us to ascertain on any day, particularly on any issue with respect to Ukraine. But we can piece together some things based on their activities and their actions. At the very least, we ascertain that by holding that plant he can hold Ukraine hostage with respect to their own electrical power capability. He can, as you know, the Zaporizh* nuclear power plant basically controls all the electrical power for much of southern Ukraine and even beyond. So he can hold that power hostage. He could also, um, he could actually, potentially, use some of that power uh uh to um transport, to be able to use, that power inside Russia if he wanted to. So he could benefit inside Russia as well. And again, it is essentially in keeping with his broader, over all strategic outcomes--which we do not ascertain have changed--which is in fact to take away Ukraine's sovereignty, replace their government, their democratically elected government, to one of his liking. We have enough ample information, public statements, from the Kremlin that their over all maximalist goals haven't changed. So having possession of one of the largest nuclear plants in Europe, certainly in Ukraine, is in keeping with this broader desire by Putin to exert control over Ukraine and over Ukraine's sovereignty. ###
Dissatisfied with contradictory representations of US-IAEA collaboration thus far and intrigued by persistent if cryptic references in Russian MSM coverage of the IAEA landing, I gathered bread crumbs for another 12 hours until I was finally rewarded with a pointer to another anonymous DOD "background briefing." Readers may recall the last one noted here
US DOD | Senior Defense Official and Senior Military Official Hold a Background Briefing
, 29 Aug
STAFF: Let's go to Barb Starr, CNN.
Barbara, are you there?
[STARR] Q: Yes. Thank you. Can you -- can you tell us if there is any U.S. role in helping keep the Zaporizh* nuclear power plant safe as it gets compromised? That's not a hypothetical question. I want to know if there is any U.S. role regarding that plant? And, secondly, can you tell us -- there are reports that U.S. officials believe U.S. weapon stocks in some cases are now quote "uncomfortably low." As [omitted], I can only imagine you have some detailed insight to the state of U.S. weapon stocks. What is that right now? Are weapon stocks for the U.S. low and in what instances is that happening?
SENIOR MILITARY OFFICIAL: Barbara, I'll answer the last question there, and then I'll pass it back to [omitted] on the nuclear power plant piece.
SENIOR DEFENSE OFFICIAL: Sure. Barbara, the focus for us on the Zaporizh* nuclear power plant is on urging Russia to vacate the power plant and allow the Ukrainians to operate it in peace. So our focus is on pressing the Russians to cease military operations in the area. In terms of the actual functioning of the plant, we're very intent on ensuring that the IAEA can send its team into the plant and ensure the safety of those plant operations. We know that those Ukrainian plant operators are doing the best they can under very trying circumstances. And we've seen reports of how the Russians have been pressuring them and harassing them and we applaud their efforts to maintain that safety. But we really need IAEA to be granted access.
We believe that the safest outcome would be a controlled shutdown of the Zaporizh* nuclear power plant reactors, that this would be the least risky course of action in the near term. That said, we also have U.S. scientists that are monitoring radiation sensor data at the power plant and we have seen no indications of increased or abnormal radiation levels so far.
So. *.ru reporting is not exact but true, and trusted US sources are neither. Where does that leave EU "partnership" in NATO existential flights from dependence on Russian energy toward dependence on US "intelligence"? John Kirby equivocated on the matter, too. Did you catch it?