The recovery of damages from the aggressor represented by the Russian Federation and the receipt of reparations for the destroyed cities and villages from the first days of a large-scale offensive prompted the legal community to look for solutions on how Ukraine can receive compensation for the damaged and lost property of communities, businesses and the state. Of course, at the state level, the priority issue is criminal justice and the preparation/holding of a tribunal for war criminals. However, the effective punishment of the violator of international law requires taking into account all aspects and a comprehensive approach to all the losses that Ukraine suffered because of the war.
The preparation of any claim involves an assessment of the damage caused, and if long-established algorithms of civil law and expertise can be applied to material losses, then the issue of compensation to the families of dead fellow citizens, injuries to civilians and military personnel, and the destructive impact of war on ecosystems requires separate consideration. What indicator should be used as a starting point in order to calculate mathematically how much should be recovered from the aggressor and how to allocate funds to citizens whose rights to life and health have been violated by the neighboring country and its Belarusian satellite, as well as to communities whose livelihoods are directly affected by the destruction of the environment - so that it is fair and effective?
The answer to this question lies in the area of risk assessment and actuarial calculations, which guide the insurance industry to determine the amount of payments in various insured events, in particular in road traffic accidents (RTA). Similar to many areas where Ukraine needs to resolve long-standing issues in an accelerated mode, insurance also requires institutional correction so that the insurance market becomes the subject of positive changes in the country, and does not remain at the level of basic functions - the collection and redistribution of funds among its customers.
Moreover, the adaptation of the legislation of Ukraine to the legislation of the European Union is a priority component of the European integration process, and one of the main problems on the way of this adaptation in the field of insurance is civil liability insurance of land vehicle owners. The developments of expert circles to determine the scientifically based amount of the sum insured, and, as a result, the establishment of the appropriate amount of the insurance rate will also be useful at the stage of compensation for damage.
The fact is that before the war, the greatest loss of life and health of citizens of Ukraine was due to accidents on the roads and environmental pollution, which in turn led to economic losses. In particular, according to the Ministry of Infrastructure, in 2020 the amount of economic losses from road accidents amounted to 68 billion hryvnias.
“Life expectancy in Ukraine averages about 66 years (in Sweden - 80, in Poland - 74). To a large extent, this is due to environmental pollution due to the production activities of enterprises in the mining, metallurgical, chemical industries and the fuel and energy complex. According to the state statistical reporting of 2009, the main pollutants of the atmospheric air are enterprises of the processing and extractive industries and enterprises of electric and heat power industry," it was indicated in the Law of Ukraine "On the Basic Principles (Strategy) of the State Environmental Policy of Ukraine for the period up to 2020" , invalidated due to the adoption of a new “strategy until 2030”, without a proper report and analysis of what has been achieved.
Of course, the purpose of the previous law was not to transfer responsibility for the shortened years of Ukrainian life to the industrial sector or FIGs, but to fix the specifics of managing resource- and energy-intensive industries and recognize the shortcomings in the organization of nature management in Ukraine. One of the legislative requirements at that time was the preparation by 2015 of a state target program for preventing risks to the health of the population of Ukraine from environmental factors, which provided for the application of a risk assessment methodology and the introduction of an environmental risk management system by 2020 (including cases of man-made and natural emergencies). In this case, the law-strategy was without tactics and with the corresponding result.
The lack of a proper analysis of the laws, in this case the environmental strategy, once again showed the problem of state management and irrational attitude to natural capital (it is enough to compare the state of water bodies and the quality of water management in Ukraine and Israel). Risk assessment in the public sector has been reduced, at best, to surveys of experts or staff members. Accordingly, environmental insurance is quite nominal, and initiatives from representatives of the current government last year were reduced to the creation of an environmental insurance fund, by analogy with the MTIBU (Motor (Transport) Insurance Bureau of Ukraine). That is, there was a standard administrative initiative - the cart before the horse.
At the same time, at the level of civil society, lawsuits were initiated against enterprises of various forms of ownership that violated the norms of environmental legislation, the requirements of sanitary and civil protection of the population, in order to compensate people living in the area of influence of these enterprises - damage for violating their the constitutional right to a safe environment for life and health (we are talking about a fire at an oil depot, excessive emissions from thermal power plants and dusting of ash dumps , pollution of soils and rivers by a solid waste landfill and animal waste from a poultry farm).In addition to the reaction of enterprises to mass lawsuits in the form of specific actions (for example, covering an array of ash dumps with water to reduce the spread of dust to settlements), the Supreme Court of Ukraine decided on the obligatory payment by legal entities that owned an oil depot of moral damage to people living nearby from 10 thousand to UAH 50,000 (case No. 372/1308/6-c). The amounts look modest, but the practice of recognizing compensation for non-pecuniary damage in cases that are usually difficult to prove is important.
In the countries of the Anglo-Saxon system of law, such precedents were in the 70s of the twentieth century. Successful litigation in the interests of victims on environmental issues gave impetus not only to a more careful attitude to industrial safety issues, but also prompted insurance companies to adjust rates to assess the threat of damage to potentially dangerous objects that harmed the environment and public health. Accordingly, this stimulated the re-equipment of enterprises and the introduction of innovations.
Filling in the methodological gaps in the insurance sector has become the subject of cooperation between a number of public organizations and scientific institutions, in particular, the Institute for Road Safety, together with the Risk Reduction Foundation, the Institute of Demography and Social Research. M.V. Ptuhi of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the Institute of Disaster Medicine of the Ministry of Health - conduct research on the development of a methodology for assessing the economic losses from death and injuries received from road accidents, which will allow calculating the equivalent of the cost of living of an average person in Ukraine and the cost of treating injuries, which will be of universal application, both in the environmental sphere and in the context of the consequences of the war. Thus, at the initiative of the listed organizations, in 2021 a meeting was held at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine on the topic “Actual problems of road safety as one of the priority components of national security”, at which it was decided that in order to assess the economic losses of the state and households due to death or injury (injury) of people as a result of an accident, it is necessary to use the available foreign methods and those developed by the Institute of Demography and Social Research named after M.V. Birds of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine scientific and methodological developments.
It is significant that in Ukraine the limit of liability of a Ukrainian insurer in connection with the death of a victim in an accident due to the fault of the car owner is only UAH 320,000, before the changes this summer it was UAH 260,000. At the same time, according to the calculations of Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences E.K. Shchetinina, the cost of an average life based on the theory of human capital and the demographic approach, on average for 2016–2017. in Ukraine amounted to UAH 3 million. For comparison, according to the Institute for Road Safety, for the insurance sector, the life of a citizen of Luxembourg is worth $ 5 million, the United States - 2.6 million, Sweden - 2.4 million, Great Britain - 2.3 million, Portugal - $ 1 million. Even these data show that there was a significant gap in the foundation of the Ukrainian state, which they preferred not to notice, which allowed politicians and officials to avoid reporting on quantitative and qualitative indicators. However, the war should change the "rules of the game."
The legislative basis has already been prepared for the implementation of the methodology, so in 2019 the Law of Ukraine “On Road Traffic” was amended regarding additional competencies of the CMU, namely “Approval of the methodology for determining economic costs in connection with the death or injury (injury ) of people as a result of traffic accidents" . Thus, the Government has every opportunity to introduce modern management practices, restart the insurance sector, and most importantly, in the current conditions, to have an adequate assessment of losses, determine the amount of compensation for all those who suffered in Ukraine due to Russian aggression.
The life of each person is priceless, but everything can be counted. Therefore, all the efforts of the administrative apparatus and the highest authorities should be directed to the implementation of such a state policy that the life of a Ukrainian is worth no less than the life of an American, German or Frenchman.