War in Ukraine: Russia appropriates the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in a decree signed by Vladimir Putin

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 on Wednesday October 5. “The government will have to ensure that the nuclear facilities at the plant… are accepted as federal property,” can we read in the decree, published even as a visit to Ukraine and Russia by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, is looming.

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The Ukrainian operator Energoatom has for its part said to consider the decree of Vladimir Putin “null and void, absurd and inappropriate”. “The Zaporizhia power plant will continue to operate in Ukraine, in accordance with Ukrainian legislation, in the Ukrainian energy system, in Energoatom”added the company on Telegram.

Retreat of Russian forces

While the administrative management of the plant was transferred to Moscow on Wednesday, Energoatom was indignant at “the creation of pseudo-companies with the names of Ukrainian companies”. This Russian decision shows “the agony of the mad fantasy world of the aggressor country”further castigated the Ukrainian operator.

The issuance of this decree comes even as Russian forces are losing ground in the illegally annexed Ukrainian territories of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia. According a military map released on Tuesday by the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Russian army retreated about 30 km in the region of Kherson, in the south of the country. The Kremlin promised on Wednesday what is “territories will be taken back”.

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