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General Staff: Russian occupation forces in Zaporizhzhia Oblast move looted property to Crimea
Russian occupation forces are moving looted property from Zaporizhzhia Oblast's settlements located near the front line to Crimea, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported on May 9.
"Russian occupiers continue robbing Ukrainian citizens, enterprises, and state institutions in the temporarily occupied territories of the Zaporizhzhia region," the General Staff wrote.
According to the Ukrainian military, Russian occupation authorities involve drivers and truck owners from among local collaborators to transport the looted property.
Later the same day, Ivan Fedorov, exiled mayor of Zaporizhzhia Oblast's city of Melitopol, said that Moscow-installed proxies in the occupied parts of the region continued seizing homes of residents who had fled the occupation.
Russian occupation authorities have recently seized 674 homes in the villages near Melitopol, calling the process "nationalization," according to Fedorov. In some settlements, these houses comprise more than 10% of the housing stock.
Russian proxies in Zaporizhzhia Oblast plan to move 70,000 residents deeper into the occupied territories, a top Moscow-installed proxy Andrey Kozenko told Russian state-owned news agency TASS on May 5.
Last fall, amid Ukraine's counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast, Russian occupation authorities also conducted a forced relocation campaign in the region, calling it "evacuation."
Ukraine is expected to launch a major counteroffensive in the coming weeks. The long-awaited counteroffensive is seen as a critical juncture to take back Ukrainian territory under Russian control.