According to a decree signed by Vladimir Putin, Russia formally appropriates the Zaporijjia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, which it has militarily occupied for months. This decree is signed as a visit to Ukraine and Russia by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is looming.
Russia has formally appropriated the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, which it has been militarily occupying for months, according to a decree signed by its President Vladimir Putin. “The government shall ensure that the nuclear facilities at the plant … are accepted as federal property,” the executive order reads. Shortly after this announcement, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, who had planned to travel to kyiv and Moscow this week, announced his departure for the Ukrainian capital to discuss the establishment of a protection zone around the plant.
The latter, the largest in Europe, is located in the Zaporizhia region, one of the Ukrainian territories officially annexed last week by Russia, and not far from the dividing line between the territories controlled by kyiv and those occupied by Moscow. While the administrative management of the plant was transferred to Moscow on Wednesday, the Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom was indignant at “the creation of pseudo-companies with the names of Ukrainian companies”.
Bombings on the site for several months
This Russian decision shows “the agony of the crazy imaginary world of the aggressor country”, still lambasted Energoatom. Moscow and kyiv have accused each other of bombing the site for several months, with these strikes raising the specter of a major nuclear disaster similar to that of Chernobyl in 1986.
Last weekend, the Ukrainian director of the plant, Igor Murachov, was briefly detained by the Russians, before being released. The boss of Energoatom, Petro Kotine, has since taken over, he announced on Wednesday morning.