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Fears over nuclear fallout

September 5th, 2022

A liberal weekly accuses Russia of weaponizing the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. A pro-government commentator, on the other hand, thinks that Ukraine is targeting nuclear facilities in the hope of securing even more support from the West.

In a first page editorial, Magyar Narancs accuses the Kremlin of using the Zaporizhia nuclear plant as a dirty political weapon. The liberal weekly firmly believes that Russian troops occupied the facilities to secure a strategic advantage, as the Ukrainian army cannot attack troops billeted and weapons stored there. The liberal weekly alleges that Russia is also using the nuclear plant to force Ukraine into submission, by creating a nuclear emergency and threatening the world with radioactive fallout. Magyar Narancs is confident that Ukraine has no interest in risking a second Chernobyl, as a radioactive accident resulting from Ukrainian attacks would also be catastrophic for Ukraine and would alienate its Western supporters. Russia, on the other hand, unscrupulously weaponizes the nuclear facility in its imperial war and, according to Magyar Narancs, Russians are interfering with the facility to increase the risks.  Magyar Narancs concludes  that in order to avoid another disaster, the international community should force Russia to pull out of Zaporizhia and establish a demilitarized zone at the nuclear facilities.

In Magyar Demokrata, Zoltán Koskovics, analyst of the pro-government think tank Center For Fundamental Rights finds absurd the allegations of Western sources that Russia wants to create a nuclear emergency by targeting the Zaporozhia nuclear facilities. Koskovics thinks that Russia acted reasonably and responsibly when it occupied and secured the nuclear plant. Russia has no interest in the destruction of the reactors that it oversees, he continues, since nuclear fallout  from Zaporozhia would cut mainland Russia from the Crimean territories. Koskovics deems it more likely that Ukraine is targeting the nuclear plant on the basis that by creating an emergency, it can ask for even more support from the West. As for a potential meltdown, Koskovics is confident that even nuclear fallout would not have the same devastating results than the explosion of the Chernobyl reactor had, and Hungary would not suffer significant radioactivity. Koskovics is also hopeful that no catastrophe will happen – at least as long as  the International Atomic Energy Agency experts are in Zaporizhia.

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