President of Ukraine

The destruction of the Kakhovka HPP dam was well prepared and supported by Russian national legislation - Oleg Ustenko in Newsweek

12 June 2023 - 22:27

A few days before the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam, the Russian government adopted a law that could be a "smoking gun" in proving Russia's involvement in this disaster. This was stated by Oleg Ustenko, an economic advisor to the President of Ukraine, in a commentary to Newsweek.

According to Oleg Ustenko, on May 30, a week before the dam's collapse, the Russian government approved a law aimed at "ensuring the safety of hydraulic structures" in the territory of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions it proclaimed to have annexed in September 2022.

The legislation states that until January 1, 2028, investigations into accidents at hydro-technical structures that occurred as a result of military operations, sabotage and terrorist activities are prohibited. The decree was signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and came into effect on the day it was published.

Russia maintains that it wasn't behind the Kakhovka dam’s collapse, but as stated by Oleg Ustenko, it would take someone with a "very vivid imagination" to believe that the passing of the legislation days before the dam's collapse was a coincidence.

"Of course, coincidences happen. However when the Russian government passes a special decree, about a special regime, on special territories, in case of special accidents on hydro technical objects — it looks suspicious," Oleg Ustenko noted.

"It looks like it could be evidence when the decree was signed by the Russian Prime Minister on May 30 and it became effective next day. Then one week later the greatest hydroelectric catastrophe happened in Kherson,” he added.

Oleg Ustenko emphasized that the attack happened exactly in the same way “accidents” were described in the official document related to the decree.

He believes the dam's destruction was well prepared and supported by Russian national legislation.

"Moreover, paragraph 10 in this legislation prohibits any investigation of such accidents till January 1st of 2028,” Oleg Ustenko stressed.

He added: "What is it if not a “smoking gun” of a terrorist?"

According to the President's advisor, the total damage caused by the destruction of the Kakhovka HPP dam amounts to billions of dollars.