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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Did Putin Tip Off Dam Attack With A Veiled Nuclear Threat Last Week?

After significant sections of the Nova Kakhovka dam were destroyed in a Russian-controlled part of southern Ukraine, independent Russian media Agents.Media has pieced together Vladimir Putin declarations on May 30 that may have been a warning of a false-flag attack.

Image of ​Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting in Moscow

The torrent of water unleashed after the attack of the Nova Kakhovka dam has flooded several nearby villages and sparked widespread evacuations. But it has also prompted fears for the security of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which depends on water from the river for cooling.

The proximity to the plant is, however, not the only link to a possible nuclear risk. After the breach of the dam, the Russian secret service FSB claimed to have thwarted a planned dirty bomb attack on Russian soil. The FSB claim comes exactly a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the specter of a dirty bomb attack and threats to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is just upstream from the Nova Kakhovka dam.

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Commentators have interpreted Putin’s statements as a veiled threat directed towards Ukraine, and the latest allusion to a possible Russian "false flag" operation that is used as a pretext for a major attack in response.

“Citizens of Ukraine, who, of course, do not have any say right now as total terror has been unleashed against them (by the Kyiv government), should at least know what the current leadership of their country is pushing for,” Putin said on May 30. “They must understand that there are other threats. For example, attempts to disrupt the operation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant or to use some dirty devices linked to nuclear technology. We have talked about this more than once. We know what they have in mind.”

Dirty bomb?

Following a comment on an apparent Ukrainian drone attack on Moscow on May 30, Putin accused Kyiv of plotting to disrupt the functioning of the Zaporizhzhia plant and of planning to use dirty bombs. Is it a coincidence that just a week later, on Tuesday morning, a significant breach in the Nova Kakhovka dam occurred, threatening water supplies to the nuclear plant’s cooling systems?

It was shortly after the incident, that the FSB made their claim about the would-be Ukrainian strike on Russian territory with a dirty bomb, a conventional explosive combined with radioactive material.

The FSB reported the detention of two people who it claimed were pilots who confessed to plotting the delivery of dirty bombs to an unspecified location. These devices were allegedly equipped with delay timers, intended to detonate simultaneously and render the targeted area uninhabitable, the secret service claimed.

Image of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

© Michael Brochstein / ZUMA

Shoigu's claims

Ukrainian nuclear energy operator, Energoatom, warned that the destruction of the dam could result in a significant decrease in water levels. But according to the operator, the current water supply is sufficient to maintain the safety of the nuclear plant. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also stated that there is no immediate threat to nuclear safety yet.

Russian authorities talked about the threat of a dirty bomb last fall. In October, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu called his counterparts from the United States, Britain, France and Turkey and claimed that Ukraine was preparing for a provocation using a dirty bomb.

Kyiv has denied Moscow's assertions, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned in October that Russia was planning a "false flag" operation at the Kakhovka dam.

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How Parenthood Reinvented My Sex Life — Confessions Of A Swinging Mom

Between breastfeeding, playdates, postpartum fatigue, birthday fatigues and the countless other aspects of mother- and fatherhood, a Cuban couple tries to find new ways to explore something that is often lost in the middle of the parenting storm: sex.

red tinted photo of feet on a bed

Parenting v. intimacy, a delicate balance

Silvana Heredia

HAVANA — It was Summer, 2015. Nine months later, our daughter would be born. It wasn't planned, but I was sure I wouldn't end my first pregnancy. I was 22 years old, had a degree, my dream job and my own house — something unthinkable at that age in Cuba — plus a three-year relationship, and the summer heat.

I remember those months as the most fun, crazy and experimental of my pre-motherhood life. It was the time of my first kiss with a girl, and our first threesome.

Every weekend, we went to the Cuban art factory and ended up at the CornerCafé until 7:00 a.m. That September morning, we were very drunk, and in that second-floor room of my house, it was unbearably hot. The sex was otherworldly. A few days later, the symptoms began.

She arrived when and how she wished. That's how rebellious she is.

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