Ukraine

COP23 is drawing to a close - but what will be its legacy?

Ukraine proposal to position energy companies at the center of climate action

Arthur Wyns
| 17th November 2017
The UN climate negotiations in Bonn have turned out to be of a very technical nature, with much of the Rulebook to be laid out that is needed to implement the Paris Agreement (PA) by 2020. Almost unnoticed, however, a proposal that is the first of its kind in UN history has been laid on the table at the end of the first week of COP23. ARTHUR WYNES reports.

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Explosion cloud from the UK's Operation Hurricane atomic bomb test on Australia's Montebello Islands, 3rd October 1952. Photo: Wikimedia Commons (Public domain).

Chernobyl, genetic damage, and the UK nuclear bomb tests - justice at last?

Chris Busby
| 6th May 2016
Britain's nuclear bomb test veterans suffered severe genetic damage from radiation, writes Chris Busby, and their case for compensation is being heard in the High Court today. Key to their case is evidence of similar damage inflicted on in utero babies exposed to radiation from the Chernobyl disaster, and how the dreadful health impacts of radiation cascade down to future generations.

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The Zaporozhye nuclear power station seen from the 'Nikopol' bank of the river Dnieper, Ukraine. Photo: Ralf1969 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Thirty years after Chernobyl, what chance of a post-nuclear Ukraine?

Jan Haverkamp
Iryna Holovko
| 26th April 2016
The Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe may have scared most of the world off nuclear power, write Jan Haverkamp & Iryna Holovko. But mysteriously, not Ukraine, where the reactor meltdown actually took place. Thirty years on more than half of Ukraine's electricity is still nuclear, while the power sector is dominated by powerful oligarchs. So what are the chances of a post-nuclear Ukraine?

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Under construction: the New Safe Confinement arch at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, 23rd October 2013. Photo: Tim Porter via Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA).

Chernobyl entombed: new sarcophagus aims to make site safe for 100 years

Claire Corkhill
| 26th April 2016
The Chernobyl sarcophagus which has long contained the fissured reactor core is at risk of collapse, writes Claire Corkhill. The solution: build a pair of tracked arches 260m wide and 100m high, and slide them over the site to enclose it for a century to come: so creating a sealed space for robots and remotely operated machinery to deconstruct the reactor and sarcophagus piece by radioactive piece.

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Abandoned children's toys at Chernobyl - Pripyat, 17th May 2008. Photo: Fi Dot via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

It's not over yet! 40,000 more cancer deaths predicted in Chernobyl aftermath

Dr Ian Fairlie
| 26th April 2016
Thirty years since the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl the impacts are still being felt, writes Ian Fairlie, and they will persist long into the future. Some 40,000 cancer deaths can be expected across Europe over the next 50 years, and 5 million people still living in areas highly contaminated with radiation. Yet the nuclear madness continues, with even Belarus building new nuclear reactors.

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Mikhail Gorbachev's party member's card issued in 1986, the year of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Mikhail Gorbachev: 30 years after Chernobyl, time to phase out nuclear power

Linda Pentz Gunter
| 26th April 2016
Thirty years after Chernobyl former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev remains haunted by the world's greatest ever industrial catastrophe, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. Now 85 and a committed environmentalist, he's still campaigning to bring the failed nuclear experiment to an end before further disasters follow, and encouraging a clean, efficient and renewable global energy economy.

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Radioactivity warning sign on the hill at the east end of Chernobyl's Red Forest, so called due to the characteristic hue of the pine trees killed by high levels of radiation after the disaster. Photo: Timm Suess via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Blind mice and bird brains: the silent spring of Chernobyl and Fukushima

Linda Pentz Gunter
| 25th April 2016
Evolutionary biologist Timothy Mousseau and his colleagues have published 90 studies that prove beyond all doubt the deleterious genetic and developmental effects on wildlife of exposure to radiation from both the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. But all that peer-reviewed science has done little to dampen the 'official' perception of Chernobyl's silent forests as a thriving nature reserve.

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The dead have no voice: doll at Pripyat, near Chernobyl. Photo: Ben Fairless via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Radiation harm deniers? Pro-nuclear environmentalists and the Chernobyl death toll

Dr Jim Green
| 7th April 2016
Just as climate change deniers leap from scientific uncertainty over the precise impacts of greenhouse gas emissions to certainty of little or no impact at all, so 'pro-nuclear environmentalists' conflate uncertainty of the mortality arising from Chernobyl and other nuclear disasters to certainty of few if any deaths, writes Jim Green. Their position is equally indefensible.

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A US 11-megaton nuclear bomb is detonated at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, 1954. Photo: US Government via International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons on Flickr (Public Domain).

A World War has begun. Break the silence

John Pilger
| 23rd March 2016
The world is in the grip of a massive wave of militarism of which most of us are blissfully ignorant, writes John Pilger. When did mainstream media last tell you about the US's $1 trillion nuclear weapon renewal? NATO's massive build up of military power on Russia's eastern frontier? The encirclement of China by nuclear-armed US bases? The world is at war. Pass it on!

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The beneficiary - 'chicken oligarch' Yuriy Kosyuk, whose agribusiness company has received €500 million of loans from the EBRD, financed by the EU's taxpayers. Photo: UTR News via Wikimedia (CC BY).

EU taxpayers finance Ukraine's 'chicken oligarch'

Fidanka Bacheva McGrath
CEE Bankwatch
| 17th September 2015
Taxpayer-financed development banks have lent €500 million to Ukraine's biggest agribusiness company so it can undercut EU chicken producers, writes Fidanka Bacheva McGrath - while polluting the environment and grabbing land from local farmers.

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The South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant (SUNPP), where faulty reactors are being operated beyond their design lifetime. But ciriticise, and you'll get sued. Photo: Вальдимар via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA).

Ukraine sues anti-nuclear campaigners

The Ecologist
| 28th August 2015
Ukraine's state-owned nuclear generator is suing anti-nuclear activists in its latest attempt to stifle public debate over the country's ageing fleet of 15 nuclear reactors, while refusing to release information in breach of international obligations.

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A barricade burns in Kiev, Ukraine in January 2014. Photo: Sasha Maksymenko via Flickr (CC BY).

Ukraine war leaves a long shadow of pollution, ill-health and ravaged industries

Nickolai Denisov
Otto Simonett with Doug Weir
Dmytro Averin
| 24th May 2015
Over a year after violent conflict began in East Ukraine, indications are emerging of its severe environmental impacts in the highly industrialised Donbas region, and the grave health risks to civilians that will endure long into the future. The area will need international assistance both to reduce the hazards, and to 'green' the region's often polluting industries.

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The abandoned reactors 5 and 6 at Chernobyl, under construction at the time of the catastrophe. Photo: Michael Kötter via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA) in 2014.

The Chernobyl catastrophe 29 years on: it's not over yet!

Kendra Ulrich
Greenpeace Japan
| 27th April 2015
The stricken 4th reactor at Chernobyl presents a massive long term hazard, writes Kendra Ulrich. A planned €2.15 billion containment arch remains underfunded, and even if it's ever completed, it will only last 100 years. Meanwhile the intensely radioactive nuclear fuel will remain in place representing a long term risk of further huge radiation releases.

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Oil pipelines in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. Photo: Tim Moore via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Where there's war, oil, gas and pipelines are never far away

John Foster
| 4th March 2015
Look beneath the surface of the wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, and what do you find? Oil, gas, and contested pipeline transit routes. Never mind high-sounding talk of human rights, national sovereignty, international law and UN Resolutions, writes John Foster - fossil energy is the world's main driver of armed conflict.

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Would the US tolerate a hostile military presence in Tijuana? So why do we expect Russia to welcome the advance of NATO to its borders in Ukraine? Photo: Jesus overlooks Tijuana from a hillside above the city; by Nathan Gibbs via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Ukraine and the Cuban missile crisis - we must choose peace over annihilation

William R. Polk
| 28th February 2015
As tensions grow between US-dominated NATO and Russia, former cold warrior William R. Polk hears the echoes of the Cuban missile crisis - only this time, it's Russia that feels forced to fight for its vital strategic interests. We must hear the lessons of 1962 Cuba - and negotiate a just and durable peace, before we sleep-walk into a world-destroying war.

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Grieving families are unlikely ever to know who really shot down MH17, as geopolitics rules out an open and impartial investigation. Memorials at Schiphol airport, Netherlands. Photo:  Patrick Rasenberg via Flickr CC-BY.

MH17 investigation - geopolitics triumphs over truth and justice

James O'Neill
| 25th December 2014
The official investigation into the downing of MH17 is without precedent in the history of aviation, writes James O'Neill, as it gives one of the prime suspects, Ukraine, a veto power over publication of the report. Grieving families of the victims may never know know the truth, as geopolitics triumphs over justice.

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A view of the Mizhrichyanskyi Regional Landscape Park. Photo: Dimeter Kenarov.

Greening the revolution - Ukrainian youth joins fight for nature

Dimiter Kenarov
| 21st October 2014
With 300,000 hectares of forests, fields and steppes damaged by fire, the war in Ukraine has done huge damage to the country's environment, writes Dimiter Kenarov. But there has been an upside: a new green spirit is taking root, and young volunteers are stepping in to protect wild spaces.

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Park rangers working in  Priazovskii National Park. Photo: Dimiter Kenarov.

Ukraine - now the war is to rescue threatened nature

Dimiter Kenarov
| 1st October 2014
Ukraine's Priazovskii National Park epitomises the problems faced by the world's natural areas, writes Dimiter Kenarov, as it contends with inadequate funding, rising sea levels, dried-out rivers, industrial pollution and illegal hunting. And that's not to mention the war. But the staff battle on: 'If we don't do this, then who will?'

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Dying for GMOs? One of 35 members of the neo-nazi Aidar Battalion killed in an ambush by rebels in East Ukraine, 6 September 2014. Photo: Colonel Cassad.

Ukraine opens up for Monsanto, land grabs and GMOs

Joyce Nelson
| 11th September 2014
Hidden from mainstream media exposure, the World Bank and IMF loan has opened up Ukraine to major corporate inroads, writes Joyce Nelson. Loan conditions are forcing the deeply indebted country to open up to GMO crops, and lift the ban on private sector land ownership. US corporations are jubilant at the 'goldmine' that awaits them.

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The Wolfsangel symbol of Adolf Hitler’s SS on a banner in Ukraine.

Ignoring Ukraine's neo-Nazi storm troopers

Robert Parry
| 14th August 2014
Western media have studiously ignored the far-right, violent and often outright Nazi politics of many of Ukraine's Euro-Maidan protestors, writes Robert Parry. But with the thugs now organized into Nazi brigades of the Ukrainian army, and waging war on Russian separatists, an unlikely British paper has dared tell the truth: the conservative Daily Telegraph.

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