Day 251: UN Watchdog Visits Sites of Russia's Dirty Bomb Allegations; Ukraine Grapples with Power Outages

On Tuesday, experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) — the UN's nuclear watchdog — began inspecting two sites in Ukraine at the center of "dirty bomb" allegations leveled by officials in Moscow. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said the inspections would be completed soon.

Day 251: UN Watchdog Visits Sites of Russia's Dirty Bomb Allegations; Ukraine Grapples with Power Outages
Image credit: The New York Times

Facts

  • On Tuesday, experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) — the UN's nuclear watchdog — began inspecting two sites in Ukraine at the center of "dirty bomb" allegations leveled by officials in Moscow. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said the inspections would be completed soon. The IAEA are visiting the sites at Kyiv's invitation, and Ukrainian and Western officials have widely dismissed Russia's allegations.
  • Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to grapple with power outages in many parts of the country after a fresh round of Russian strikes on the nation's energy infrastructure on Monday. According to the Ukrainian government, Russia has destroyed about 40% of the country's energy infrastructure, affecting a total of 16 regions.
  • As a result of Monday's strikes, Ukrainian officials said five civilians were killed and nine more were injured — reports say four people were killed and three more were injured in Donetsk, one was killed and five were injured in Mykolaiv, and one person was injured in Kharkiv. Officials added that the body of a civilian who'd been killed earlier was also discovered in Donetsk.
  • After Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative over the weekend, its military also reportedly attacked two civilian tugboats carrying grain near Mykolaiv. According to Ukrainian officials, two civilians died in the attack while one injured person was rescued. The fate of a further crew member on board at the time remains unknown.
  • Tugboats were never part of the initial agreement, however a number of larger vessels carrying grain continued to depart from Ukrainian ports on Monday in seeming defiance of Russia's withdrawal from the deal. Moscow's reaction to the development remains to be seen.
  • Renewed Russian attacks were again recorded across the country on Tuesday with reports of strikes in Sumy, Poltova, Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk. According to initial reports, one civilian was killed in Mykolaiv.
  • Meanwhile, Russia has said it repelled a Ukrainian attack in the direction of Beryslav in the southern Kherson region. Local officials stated that, in light of Ukrainian attacks and potential flooding from the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant, a decision has been made to extend the evacuation of civilians by a further nine miles (15 km).

Sources: Associated Press, Ukrinform, Pravda, MSN, and Tass.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by The New York Times. Russia's allegations of a "dirty bomb" are transparently false. The claims are a ploy being utilized by the Kremlin to justify a drastic escalation of the war.
  • Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by Tass. Russia has collected evidence to back up its claims that Ukraine is plotting a dirty bomb, which it is prepared to provide to Western countries. These allegations must be taken seriously.

Predictions