Documents released by the so-called “Donetsk People's Republic” on Wednesday suggest Russia and its proxies could be preparing for the predicted nuclear incident in the occupied regions of eastern Ukraine.

The decree, published on the website of Russia’s Supreme Court, says it is aimed at “ensuring the safety of nuclear power facilities” in the occupied territories of the Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions.

It outlines three main decisions:

·      Russia's nuclear agency (Rosatom) will hold no legal responsibility for nuclear “accidents” in the illegally annexed regions;

·      Any citizen of Russia who is affected by such an event has no right to financial compensation;


·      There will be no investigations carried out for any nuclear accident in the Russian-occupied territories during the next five years.

The documents released on Wednesday, July 5 mirror similar documents that Russian authorities released in the days preceding last month’s explosion at the Kakhovka Dam in the Kherson region.

Less than a week before the dam breach, the Russian government decreed that “Until 1 January 2028, technical investigations shall not be carried out into accidents at hazardous production facilities and accidents at hydraulic structures that occurred as a result of military operations, sabotage and acts of terrorism,” in occupied Ukraine:

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Latest from the Institute for the Study of War.

Kyiv and Moscow have accused each other of planning “provocations” at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in southern Ukraine, raising alarm over the risks of a radioactive disaster.

Ukraine has said that the facility in Russian-occupied territory since March 2022, has been prepared for an act of sabotage in an effort by the Kremlin to slow Ukraine's advance east to liberate more occupied territories. 

In another development, according to reports in Ukrainian media, a St Petersburg-based company specializing in cleaning-up natural disasters and also nuclear accidents, is now hiring workers.


The company is apparently offering $550 per day for applicants with relevant experience, especially if they had acquired that serving with military “radio-chemical defense” units.

UN observers appealed on Wednesday for greater access to the ZNPP, Europe's largest nuclear plant, after Moscow and Kyiv traded accusations over a possible “catastrophic” act of sabotage at the Russian-controlled facility in occupied Ukraine.

 The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Wednesday called for additional access to the plant to “confirm the absence of mines or explosives at the site.”

 “With military tension and activities increasing in the region where this major nuclear power plant is located, our experts must be able to verify the facts on the ground,” IAEA head Rafael Grossi said in a statement.

 He said that “independent and objective reporting [by IAEA experts] would help clarify the current situation ... which is crucial at a time like this with unconfirmed allegations and counter allegations.”


In recent weeks, IAEA staff on site have inspected various locations, but so far have not observed “any visible indications of mines or explosives”.

But the UN nuclear watchdog says it has been unable to access the rooftops of reactor units 3 and 4, as well as parts of the turbine halls and the cooling system at the plant.

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