The resumption of nuclear blackmail: Putin once again puts pressure on the international community by demonstrative shelling of the ZNPP

During January 25-26, the IAEA mission, which is located at the ZANEP — the largest nuclear power plant in Europe — recorded powerful explosions not far from the facility. It is assumed that the detonation of shells took place or that the Russians set up a test site near the power plant. These versions have yet to be verified, but any military presence near the ZNPP is unacceptable. This is an unprecedented threat to all humanity, and the Kremlin is deliberately using the nuclear factor as a tool of blackmail. With the galloping degradation of the Russian army, the Kremlin uses crime and terror as the main method of warfare and a way of political pressure on Ukraine and the West.

The Russian army has degraded critically during the 11 months of a full-scale war with Ukraine: Western analysts estimate its losses at 188,000 killedIts best personnel were killed on the outskirts of Kyiv during the first month of a full-scale invasion. Putin has already hopelessly lost, having lost the strategic initiative at the front, and he needs at least minor territorial gains or documentary fixation of the occupied territories of Ukraine as “new territories” within the Russian Federation. This is a crime against humanity and a gross disregard for the norms of international law. Separation of Ukrainian territories from Ukraine will create a dangerous precedent and may launch a geopolitical “domino effect” around the world, because the course of the Russian-Ukrainian war is closely watched, first of all, by dictatorial regimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America. They are ready to repeat the Russian practice of invasion and occupation of areas of their interest.

Putin’s gamble has created huge problems in Russia: unprecedented losses are mixed with the slow but steady destruction of the Russian economy and Russian industry. However, Putin is not yet ready to retreat and is going to fight «to the last Russian». At the same time, the Kremlin is really considering the possibility of negotiations with Ukraine and the West, but on Russia’s terms, which means only a pause, not an end of the war. And the demonstrative explosions near the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant are a primitive and previously used instrument of pressure by Russia in an attempt to get such negotiations. This is an ordinary crime, as well as everything that Russia uses at the front is criminal: from its army of marauders to the use of Kh-22 rockets on residential buildings in Ukrainian cities. No negotiations or compromises with the aggressor occupying and destroying the territories of Ukraine, killing the civilian population: only weapons for the Armed Forces of Ukraine as the only understandable factor that Putin will have to reckon with.