Full disclosure, I served for ten years as a medic with the Mexican Red Cross national society.
Over the last five hundred years, humans have developed a pretty comprehensive set of humanitarian laws. They are meant to protect people in times of war. They are also supposed to help regulate things like nuclear power and the environment.
None of those things emerged from nothing. Yet, they rely on humans doing far more than pay lip service to agreements they have signed. Here we are facing a Russian state committed to doing all it can to violate both the letter and the spirit of these agreements.
What about the International Red Cross or the International Atomic Energy Agency? They both rely on working quietly, with all partners, in the background. How do I know the Red Cross is not getting the access it needs? This is how:
The Red Cross is not known to take to Twitter to beg for access.
We have a similar situation with the Zaporizhia nuclear station. The IAEA has been asking for access since at least April. Back in June, the organization released a statement.
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano this morning reiterated the need for an expert mission to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, the site of which is under the control of Russian forces.
”The current situation is untenable. Every day it continues; every day that vital maintenance work is delayed; every day that supply chain interruptions cause a break in the delivery of vital equipment; every day the decision-making ability of Ukrainian staff is compromised; every day the independent work and assessments of Ukraine’s regulator are undermined; the risk of an accident or a security breach increases,” Mr Grossi said.
Since the situation has gotten worse, with soldiers getting posted. According to the Insider, Russians are also setting explosives. Essentially Russia is actively engaged in nuclear hostage-taking.
International law is clear on things like this. The Red Cross should get access, no questions asked. Bombs at a nuclear facility should not…