Since the beginning of the war, the former Minister of Agriculture of Russia, Alexander Tkachev, has seized the territories of the three largest agricultural enterprises in Ukraine. The Wall Street Journal writes about this, citing data from Ukrainian intelligence and Ukrainian farmers.
According to them, Tkachev's company Agrocomplex seized 400 thousand acres of land (1618 km²), thereby becoming one of the largest farm operators in Ukraine. The director of the Ukrainian agricultural company HarvEast Holding Dmitry Skornyakov, in a conversation with the WSJ, said that in May, as a result of an armed battle, the land of HarvEast was divided into three tranches. As a result, 405 km² of territory passed into the hands of Tkachev.
Another 201 km² "Agrocomplex" "confiscated" from the Ukrainian agricultural company "Nibulon". According to its executive director Andrei Vadatursky, now Agrocomplex is engaged in farming activities there. A third Ukrainian company, Agroton Public Ltd., accused Agrocomplex of seizing another 1,012 km².
Interlocutors of the WSJ said that the process of seizing Ukrainian agricultural territories began after Russia opened its occupation administrations in eastern Ukraine. After that, “LDNR” officials began visiting local farmers, sometimes with armed groups, and threatening them to sign property documents in accordance with Russian law. Some farmers were allowed to keep their lands, but only if in the future 70% of their crops would go to Russia and the LDNR.
According to the head of the Ukrainian company Agroton, Yuri Zhuravlev, in May he received a call from a man who introduced himself as the “Minister of Agriculture of the LPR.” He said that 1,000 km² of Agroton's land now belong to Agrocomplex. Also, 350,000 tons of wheat and sunflower seeds were stolen from his company.