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Moments after Russian tanks entered eastern Ukraine, three of the largest agricultural entities lost their land.

The land was not seized by the army, but fell to Agrokomplex, the family company of former Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev. According to Ukrainian companies, his company is said to have seized rights to some 400,000 hectares, making it one of Ukraine’s largest agricultural operators.

Dmitry Skorniakov, the head of the agricultural company HarvEast Holding in Ukraine, said, “Russia is taking over the economy in the occupied territories and is using control to dominate the entire region. According to CEO Andriy Vodatursky, Agrocomplex is now farming on the land and Nibulon has lost 50,000 acres due to land grabs.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, told a news conference that property in places where Russia has taken control could be transferred to Russian jurisdiction. The Kremlin press service responded by email to questions that the eastern Ukrainian regions are currently part of Russia. The seizure of farmland began shortly after Moscow established local civilian administrations in occupied parts of eastern Ukraine, which was done in a consistent and systematic manner. The first to lose their land were owners who had served in the Ukrainian army or civil service, as well as owners who lived outside the region.

People representing the occupying governments sometimes forced Ukrainian landowners to rewrite contracts and title deeds to conform to Russian law under threat of gunpoint. In exceptional cases, some landowners were allowed to keep their farms, but the new contracts ensured that 70% of the crops were given to Russia or the authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republic or Luhansk People’s Republic.

Ukraine’s security does not only mean its own security, but also the security of third countries in Africa that depend on Ukrainian wheat.