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Svitlana Matviyenko and Oleksiy Radynski: Nuclear Blackmail and Fossil Fascism | Lecture

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East Europe Biennial Alliance


Economics Political science


#SolidarityWithUkraine Russia-Ukraine war


Nuclear Blackmail and Cyberterror by Svitlana Matviyenko

The occupation of both Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhya NPPs in late February – early March 2022 created a sense of catastrophic proximity and, in some ways, echoed the nuclear threat articulated by Vladimir Putin on February 27, when he ordered the Russian minister of defense and the chief of the general staff to transfer deterrent forces of the Russian army to a “special regime of combat duty” as the occupation of the nuclear power plants weaponized their infrastructure by turning it into a nuclear weapon. These instances of “nuclear terrorism” lie at the nexus of “cyber” and “nuclear” warfare, where the two major forces of cyberwar converge for a full realization of its grimmest scenario.

Russian Fossil Fascism Is Europe’s Fault by Oleksiy Radynski

This presentation focuses on the case study of the infamous Nord Stream gas pipeline and its implication with Putin’s war in Ukraine. Launched in 2011, this project made Germany de facto complicit in the emergence of the Russian “fossil fascist” regime. The profits from the European consumption of gas were funding Russia’s military machine, while reliance on cheap Russian gas had delayed the energy transition from fossils to renewables, worsening the climate emergency. By joining the Nord Stream project, Germany had signaled – perhaps, unwittingly – that all the talk about Ukraine’s role in the European project is nothing but hollow rhetoric. In the European reality that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the newly independent Ukraine has been ascribed, shamefully, with only one real geopolitical role: that of a transit zone enabling the deliveries of Russian fossil fuels to their European consumers via the Soviet-era oil and gas pipelines buried in the Ukrainian land. The major rationale behind the Nord Stream project was to render this gas transit zone obsolete; at the moment when Germany had agreed to strip Ukraine of its transit potency, the stage for Russia’s 2022 invasion had been set.

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