Ukrainian law enforcement has seized over 260 properties in Ukraine directly and indirectly linked to Russians since the start of the full-scale invasion, Prosecutor General Andrii Kostin said at a press conference on Jan. 22.
Among the seized properties are enterprises, factories, ports, offices, and residential buildings, according to Kostin. They were transferred to Ukraine's Agency for Investigation and Management of Assets, known by its Ukrainian acronym ARMA.
ARMA is responsible for managing assets seized from indicted individuals, usually those accused of corruption, pending a court decision of their guilt or innocence. ARMA is a controversial agency involved in numerous scandals that led to a member of parliament calling for its dissolution in February 2023.
Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have been investigating a total of 180 criminal cases involving assets directly or indirectly owned by Russian citizens since February last year, as reported by Kostin.
As part of the investigations, corporate rights of 91 Ukrainian business entities beneficially owned by Russian nationals or Russian state companies have been seized and handed over to ARMA, the prosecutor general said. They are worth over Hr 22 billion (around $587 million).
Ukraine's National Police has reportedly seized Russian and Belarusian assets worth almost Hr 6 billion (around $160 million).
According to an investigation by Ukrainian media outlet Bihus.Info published on Dec. 11 last year, a businessman and former advisor to the head of ARMA appears to still have a top role in the agency unofficially, possibly serving as a behind-the-scenes "puppetmaster" overseeing the agency for senior Ukrainian politicians.
In December 2022, Andrii Dovbenko, a Ukrainian lawyer and owner of several law firms, was accused of organizing a fraudulent scheme to sell the property previously seized by the state and transferred to ARMA.