Legal analysis of Russia’s actions at nuclear facilities in Ukraine

The Russian Federation signed (14 September 2005) and ratified (29 January 2007) the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism of 13 April 2005 (hereinafter the Convention), which primarily states that "the activities of armed forces […] which are governed by international law beyond this Convention and that the exclusion of certain acts from the scope of application of this Convention shall not be interpreted as condoning or making lawful otherwise unlawful acts, or precluding prosecution under other laws”.

Therefore, it is worth recalling two norms of international law that expressly prohibit the use of the armed forces of any state to attack and seize nuclear power plants.

Thus, the UN and the IAEA have every reason to open an investigation into Russia's actions at Ukraine’s nuclear facilities, as well as to exclude the aggressor from the IAEA membership.

Maksym Bielawski

Leading Expert, Energy Programmes

Born in 1986 in Zhytomyr oblast


Zhytomyr State Technological University (2008)

Ph.D in Technical Science (2010)

Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas (2012)

Author of 17 patents and 100 scientific works

Work Experience:

2008 – 2011 — Operator of Gas Infrastructure Units, Controller of Gas Transmission System in Rivne Division of PJSC "Ukrtransgas"

2011 – 2017 — Leading Engineer, Deputy Head of Press-Service, Head of Public Relation Department of PJSC "Ukrtransgas"

2017 – 2018 — HR Director of PJSC "Maine Gas Pipelines of Ukraine", Advisor to the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine

2021 — Director of Integrated Communications of NJSC "Naftogaz of Ukraine"