Disinfo: Ukraine could face new Chernobyl disaster due to a nuclear graveyard

Summary

Despite the Russian help, the Ukrainian leadership created a new nuclear graveyard right near Kyiv. This facility may lead to a new Chernobyl disaster in the future. The new nuclear graveyard impedes the development of the exclusion zone as a tourist route and forever assigns to it the status of a radiation-dangerous territory. In the future, the nuclear graveyard can store radioactive waste from European countries.

Disproof

No evidence provided. A new facility was actually commissioned in the Chernobyl zone. This is not a “nuclear graveyard”, but a plant for the processing of liquid radioactive waste that was generated as a result of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986. In test mode, the plant was launched in July of this year. The new plant only accepts nuclear waste that still pollutes the exclusion zone after the Chernobyl disaster. During processing, the radioactive waste goes through several stages of conversion and by cementing it turns into solid radioactive waste, which is considered a safer form for storage. On 5th September, the plant provided the first 120 packages of such waste for disposal, all of which will be placed in a specially equipped near-surface solid radioactive waste storage, which guarantees 300 years of safe disposal. This idea is not new; it was put into operation back in 2008. The new Chernobyl disaster recovery plant is located in a special exclusion zone, where a number of radioactive waste management facilities are located - it does not threaten neither the environment nor human lives. Nuclear waste from the countries of the European Union will not be brought to Ukraine for disposal at local storage facilities. This is prohibited by the international “Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management”, which Ukraine ratified in 2000. According to the document, all waste should be stored in the territory of the state where they were produced (Preamble, paragraph (xi)). Further debunking by StopFake. This message uses the catastrophe of Chernobyl in 1986 to advance pro-Kremlin aims. See here and here for other examples.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 164
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/09/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Nuclear issues, Chernobyl
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The Netherlands indirectly admitted its own complicity in MH17 tragedy

The 35 for 35 prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia once again revealed the two-faced stance of the so-called ‘Civilized World’ towards the MH17 tragedy in eastern Ukraine. Ahead of the prisoner swap, the Netherlands urged Ukraine to not hand over Vladimir Tsemakh to Russia. By this move, the Netherlands admitted that it is not a neutral side and is not interested in an objective investigation of the MH17 tragedy. The Dutch side had a lot of time to question the supposed witness. However, this was not enough and it wanted the person to remain in Ukraine, where Tsemakh would be subjected to constant physical and psychological pressure. The Dutch government, which is allegedly a neutral side in the MH17 case, is de facto impeding the objective investigation of the tragedy.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the downing of flight MH17 which attempts to question the legitimacy of the Joint Investigative Team, the JIT. Similar cases can be found here. Volodymyr Tsemakh was released to Russia in a prisoner exchange performed 7 September. Mr. Tsemakh, a Ukrainian citizen, was detained on separatist-held territory by Ukrainian authorities in June 2019 on suspicions of being an accomplice in the shooting-down of the MH17. A thorough investigation into Mr. Tsemakh's connection to the case was published by Bellingcat in July. Volodymyr Tsemakh is not among the four suspects, wanted by Dutch authorities for causing the MH17 crash and murdering all 298 persons on board, but is considered a ‘person of interest’. Dutch authorities interrogated Mr. Tsemakh before the prison exchange. No details from this element of the investigation have yet been disclosed. The European Union and NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability. On the basis of the JIT’s conclusions, the Netherlands and Australia are convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the Buk installation that was used to down MH17. The two governments are formally holding Russia accountable.

There is no evidence of Russian presence in Ukraine

What Russian forces? Where is at least one exchanged soldier? You have been talking so much how you are at war with mighty Russia! Where are the hundreds and thousands captured Russian soldiers?

Disproof

This narrative claims the war in Ukraine is a civil war and Russia has nothing to do with it, consistent with common pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine. It disregards a multitude of factual evidence of Russian military presence in Donbas. Consult the evidence database and publications with further evidence here and here. There is extensive evidence of active Russian soldiers taking part in fighting in Donbas. Most of the Russians captured have already been exchanged. Amid heavy battles in 2014 and 2015, Ukrainian army captured dozens of active Russian servicemen in Donbas. For instance, on 24 August 2014, amid the Battle of Ilovaisk the 51st brigade captured 10 Russian paratroopers from the 331st parachute infantry regiment of the 98th Guards Airborne regiment based in Russian city Kostroma. Later, Russia claimed that the soldiers simply got lost on Ukrainian territory. On 31 August Ukraine and Russia exchanged captured troops. On 15 May 2015 Ukrainian army captured two Russian GRU (Russian military intelligence) soldiers – Capt. Yevgeniy Yerofeev and Sgt. Aleksandr Aleksandrov. A year later they were exchanged for First Lieutenant Nadiya Savchenko who had been captured near Luhansk in June 2014 and then transported to Russia. More examples of Russian soldiers captured in Ukraine can be found here.

JIT ignored evidence supplied by Russia in MH17 probe

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which does not include Russia, despite the latter’s willingness to provide valuable data regarding the incident including radar readings, has ignored crucial evidence supplied by Moscow.

Disproof

The report advances recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the MH17 crash. First of all, Russia's interest in aiding the JIT investigation is not a relevant condition of its membership in JIT. The crash did not take place over Russian territory and claimed no Russian lives, which precludes any basis for Moscow to be represented in the JIT. Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke told a Russian newspaper that "if MH17 were shot down over Russia, I would have suggested that Russia be made a member of the JIT group." Secondly, the "evidence" claimed by Russia, namely radar data and the "field experiment" conducted by the Russian military company Almaz-Antey, is only a small sample of misleading claims advanced by Moscow since 2015, some of which have contradicted one another. See debunking by Bellingcat and similar cases here, here, and here.