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2 Nov, 2022 21:34

Russia strips Ukrainian ‘oligarchs’ of Crimean property – official

Major cement and shipbuilding plants will now be owned by the state
Russia strips Ukrainian ‘oligarchs’ of Crimean property – official

Russian officials have nationalized more than 130 properties in Crimea that previously belonged to Ukrainian ‘oligarchs’ who have been supporting Kiev in its conflict with Moscow, Vladimir Konstantinov, the head of the republic’s State Council, revealed on Wednesday.

The official wrote on Telegram that Crimean authorities had considered nationalizing “enterprises located on the territory of the peninsula and owned by Ukrainian oligarchs” for some time.

According to Konstantinov, the registry of enterprises subject to nationalization features properties of “foreign citizens and states that have been committing unfriendly actions against Russia” and includes some major plants, such as the cement plant Stroyindustriya in Bakhchisaray and the Zaliv shipyard in Kerch.

“For us, this measure is an act of justice. We cannot allow accomplices of the Ukrainian Nazi regime to earn money on our territory,” Konstantinov stressed.

He added that it would be even “fairer” to transfer the property to the “defenders, who risk their lives on the frontline of the special military operation.”

Later, in an interview on the Rossiya 24 TV channel, Konstantinov revealed that provisional administrations have been appointed at all the nationalized enterprises.

“People who used to work there, keep working, there are no problems,” he reassured.

Wednesday’s announcement came two days after the head of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, ordered the nationalization of the property of “organizations and individuals associated with the Kiev authorities,” including Stroyindustriya and Zaliv.

He revealed the initial plans to nationalize the property of Ukrainian oligarchs and politicians who supported Kiev back in March, soon after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine. He said at the time that many Ukrainian officials, including President Vladimir Zelensky, owned property on the peninsula.

In October, the republic’s State Council amended the 2014 legislation on property management in Crimea to allow foreign states and citizens' assets to be nationalized.

Meanwhile, Kiev took similar steps in early April: The country’s parliament voted to expand a law which allowed Russian government property to be nationalized by the Ukrainian state. The rule was extended to Russian citizens in Ukraine, those with a “close relation” to Russia, and Ukrainians who publicly supported or ignored Moscow’s ongoing military operation.