Ukraine

Emergency Compensatory Measures: Compensation for Housing Destroyed as a result of the Armed Conflict [EN/UK]

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1. Armed conflict in eastern Ukraine as a type of emergency

Due to the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has been ongoing for six years already, the residents of war-torn territories continue to face many challenges. Many people have been forced to leave their homes in search of a new life without shelling and fear, destruction and tears, hardship and feelings of total hopelessness. Yet, many of those affected by the conflict still stay in their homes. It may not be peaceful and quiet there, but they have roofs over their heads or at least some semblance thereof.

Deterioration of the standard of living is defined as the lack of drinking water, waste water disposal, electrical power, gas and heating supply (in autumn and winter), and/or changes in the technical condition of the residential house (premises) resulting in it being unsafe or unfit for living, and/or changes in the state of the territory (facility) making it impossible for the population to reside and carry out economic activity there.

Deterioration of the standard of living is defined as the lack of drinking water, waste water disposal, electrical power, gas and heating supply (in autumn and winter), and/or changes in the technical condition of the residential house (premises) resulting in it being unsafe or unfit for living, and/or changes in the state of the territory (facility) making it impossible for the population to reside and carry out economic activity there.

There are different terms used to describe the situation in the east of the country: hostilities, AntiTerrorist Operation (ATO), Joint Forces Operation (JFO), armed conflict, aggression by the Russian Federation, and occupation, among others. This has resulted in the mass displacement of residents in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and a deterioration of their standard of living2; regular threats to residents’ health and safety; many victims and casualties, including civilians; considerable pecuniary damages; and loss of housing.

It should be noted that the legal classification of the situation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions is crucially important, as it affects legal regulation of this issue. It also affects the Government, because it would determine the amount of the government responsibility for the State and each affected person.

Thus, there are significant reasons for determining the legal qualification of the situation based on the existing laws of Ukraine. These laws give grounds for imposing an emergency regime in eastern Ukraine due to the armed conflict.

Emergency is defined as a situation within the specific territory or economic entity therein or at the water facility that involves the deterioration of standard of living as a result of a disaster, incident, fire, natural disasters, infectious disease that threatens humans, animals, and/or plants, use of weapons, or other hazardous event. This situation then results in threats to people’s health or safety, many victims and casualties, considerable pecuniary damages, and people’s inability to live within such a territory or facility, or to carry out economic activity therein.

According to Article 5 of the Code of Civil Protection of Ukraine, emergencies are classified by their origin, coverage, human losses, and pecuniary damages.

Depending on the origin of the events that result in emergencies within the territory of Ukraine, emergencies can be man-made, natural, social, or military. The events in eastern Ukraine mainly constitute a military and social emergency.

A social emergency is defined as the deterioration of standard in the daily lives of people within either the specific territory or at the facility therein or at the water facility. This deterioration is caused by illegal actions of a terrorist or anti-constitutional nature or is related to the disappearance (theft) of weapons and hazardous substances, accidents involving people etc., such as seizing and holding buildings of government authorities, attacks on military facilities, disappearance or theft of armoured vehicles, artillery weapons, explosions in public places, residential areas, transportation infrastructure, the taking of hostages, kidnapping, and missing people, etc.

A military emergency is defined as the deterioration of standard in the daily lives of people within the specific territory or at the facility therein or at the water facility that is caused by the use of conventional weapons or weapons of mass destruction.