Day 176 Roundup: At Least 12 Killed in Deadly Blasts in Kharkiv; Russia Threatens to Shut Off Zaporizhzhia Plant

Photo: Ukraine State Emergency Services [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • In the last 24 hrs, Russian missile attacks on the northeastern region of Kharkiv have killed at least 12 civilians, local officials confirmed on Thursday. In the city of Kharkiv, at least ten civilians were reported killed and at least 35 more were injured in separate attacks. An additional two civilians were reported killed and two were injured in the nearby village of Krasnohrad.

  • Ukrainian officials also reported that three civilians were killed and six more were injured as a result of Russian shelling in the Donetsk region, where heavy fighting and artillery fire continues. Pro-Russia separatists from the Donetsk People's Republic reported one civilian was killed and nine were injured in Ukrainian attacks for the same time period. Russian shelling was also reported in Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia but there were no reports of civilian casualties.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Experts have made it clear – the situation at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant presents the risk of another Chernobyl. Nuclear disaster has, miraculously, been avoided so far, but continuing risks the safety and effectiveness of staff to control the reactors could have catastrophic consequences.

Establishment-critical narrative

Although Zaporizhzhia's cooling systems will be relatively vulnerable due to their contact with the outside world, the worst case scenario would only cause serious damage at a local level. Both Russia and Ukraine are over stating the risk of nuclear catastrophe to galvanize domestic support for the invasion and play upon Western fears to incentivize providing military and public support respectively.

Nerd narrative

There is an 15% chance that there will be a serious radiation incident at any nuclear plant in Ukraine by 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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