Posted by BW Actual on Sep 1st 2022



  • A group of 14 inspectors from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant yesterday.
  • Ukraine hopes their presence will become permanent and lead to a “demilitarizing” of the plant, but Russian officials say it’s going to be a one-day affair. Russia at least gave the IAEA “explicit guarantees” that its inspectors could access the plant and its Ukrainian operators today.


  • The NYT says Russian hawks are pushing for a military draft to counter Ukraine’s growing momentum in the south. Pres. Putin has resisted a draft so far – perhaps to maintain the aura of stability at home – but a growing contingent thinks he’s underestimating the enemy: “Putin has repeatedly framed the war as an existential battle for Russia but insists on fighting the biggest land war in Europe since World War II with a Russian military that is essentially at peacetime strength.”
  • The Kremlin’s reaction to Mikhail Gorbachev’s death has been muted, and Gorbachev is not going to get a state funeral. Putin has historically blamed Gorbachev – the last Soviet leader – for bringing about the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century:” the end of the Cold War.
  • Putin offered brief condolences, but they were overshadowed by posthumous criticism in state media: one column said Gorbachev “serve as an illustration that good intentions of a national leader can create hell on earth for a whole country.”


  • Minutes before the end of her term as UN human rights commissioner, Michelle Bachelet’s office released its long-delayed report on China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
  • Naturally, Beijing had sought to keep the report under wraps and has already responded angrily to its release – although it wasn’t as critical as many activists had hoped it would be: it stopped short of accusing China of genocide against the Uighur minority, and instead said China’s detentions of Uighurs may “constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity.”
  • The U.S. and UK jumped on the report to call for stronger international condemnation of Beijing.
  • Separately, U.S. officials ordered Nvidia – a tech company that specializes in graphics – to stop exporting advanced chips used for AI graphics to China and Russia to “keep advanced technologies out of the wrong hands.” Sales of the affected chips to China represent about 5% of Nvidia’s revenues; it doesn’t currently sell those chips to Russia.


  • Israel struck Aleppo’s airport with a barrage of missiles yesterday, reportedly targeting some warehouses containing Iranian rockets. No casualties were reported.