I have tried not to comment on the anniversary of the Russian attack against Georgia- the scale of the crime and weakness of the Western response tell their own grim story. However another, perhaps less reported story has been the explosion at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydro electric plant which has killed at least 74 people.
The accident is typical of the spectacularly bad safety record that attends most significant projects in Russia these days- the cause of the explosion remains unclear, but it is quite likely that water entering a capacitor bank was a major contributor to the disaster. At this point, the impact on the Russian electrical grid system is not said to be significant, and though the loss of life is appalling, the incident is- in full Soviet style- being played down.
However, the failure tolerances in the Russian grid system- UES- are at a critical level. Without full capacity from Sayano-Shushenskaya, the pressure in the other stations in the Urals will almost certainly mean critical problems come the Winter. The situation has now gone beyond supportable levels, and black-outs in early 2010 are now all but inevitable.
Meanwhile certain figures in the regime seem to implicated in the mysterious disappearance and reappearance of the Russian owned Arctic Sea. It is suggested that military equipment was on board the vessel destined for shipment to Iran. It would be entirely in keeping for the criminal interests around the Kremlin to provide such material for a pariah regime- and I am sure we shall be hearing much more about this sinister event.
Russia continues to walk in darkness, and soon- thanks the indifference and corruption of the current regime- that darkness could be quite literal.