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Russian oligarch Alexander Tkachov's company, Agrocomplex, has seized around 400,000 acres of farmland belonging to three Ukrainian agribusinesses in Ukraine's Russian-occupied territories, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Tkachov, an ally of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, is a former agriculture minister and governor of Russia's Krasnodar Krai.
The Ukrainian authorities are investigating the theft of farmland by Tkachov’s company, according to the newspaper.
“Russia is taking over the economy in occupied territories and using that control to help control the whole area,” Dmytro Skorniakov, CEO of Ukrainian agricultural company HarvEast Holding, said.
HarvEast has lost 100,000 acres in Russian-occupied parts of Donetsk Oblast, while Nibulon, another agribusiness firm, has lost 50,000 acres, and Agroton has accused Agrocomplex of stealing 250,000 acres.
As of Nov. 10, an estimated 2.8 million metric tons of grain and 1.2 million tons of oil seeds with a combined value of $1.87 billion had been destroyed or stolen due to Russia’s war against Ukraine, according to the Kyiv School of Economics.
Research using satellite imagery from NASA’s food security and agriculture program showed that Russia had collected almost 6 million tons of wheat from occupied territories, Bloomberg reported on Dec. 3.
Swiss Prosecutor General Stefan Blaettler said in July that selling looted raw materials could constitute a war crime.