Illegal expropriation of property of Ukraine and its citizens in Crimea

After the illegal annexation of the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the Government of the Russian Federation introduced large-scale expropriation and nationalization of state property, which was administered by state authorities and local governments. In most cases, the illegal nationalization of state property of Ukraine in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was carried out by adopting resolutions of the so-called «State Council of the Republic of Crimea» and orders of the «Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea». In particular, in the period from March 17 to September 3, 2014, «State Council of the Republic of Crimea» adopted 15 resolutions according to which the property of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, property of many state enterprises such as «Administration of Seaports of Ukraine», PJSC «National Joint Stock Company «Nadra Ukraine», the property of state services and inspections of Ukraine, property of enterprises, institutions and organizations of the agro-industrial complex, etc.

In addition, during 2014, the property of the largest enterprises and financial institutions operating on the peninsula was also nationalized. Thus, as a result of the adoption of 28 resolutions of the «Parliament of the Republic of Crimea» were nationalized, in particular, PJSC «Joint Stock Company« Krymavtotrans «, Crimean branches of PJSC« Ukrtelecom», PJSC« Kyivstar», PJSC «East Crimean Energy Company», PJSC «Krymenergo» , PJSC «Kerchgaz», private enterprise «Ukrgazprom», PJSC «CB Privatbank», etc. The nationalization was carried out without providing the owners with any guarantees, including compensation, and was in fact an expropriation of private property. None of the decisions on nationalization were justified by military necessity.

For example, in December 2020, the National Production and Agrarian Association «Massandra», which is state owned in Ukraine, was illegally acquired by a subsidiary of the bank «Russia« «Southern Project« for 5.327 billion rubles ($73 million). One of the bank’s founders and the largest shareholder is a friend and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Yuri Kovalchuk.

The expropriation also affected the private property of individuals and legal entities. During 2014-2017, at least 3,800 land plots were confiscated in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol due to the fact that the occupation authorities reconsidered the decisions of the state authorities of Ukraine to grant them ownership, including under the pretext of building infrastructure facilities on them by the occupying power. An example of such policy was the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation dated 20.03.2020 № 201, which included almost the entire territory of the occupied peninsula in the «list of border areas where foreign citizens, stateless persons and foreign legal entities cannot own the land, approved by Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of January 9, 2011 № 26».