Russian proxy republics ‘officially’ seize Ukrainians’ homes in Donbas
The so-called ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ [‘DPR’] are stealing apartments in Donbas and claiming this to be legal because the property owners did not respond to their ‘summons’. In many of the cases, the apartments are owned by Ukrainians who left occupied territory and who would be in danger of imprisonment (or worse) if they returned.
Over one and a half million Ukrainians are known to have left their homes because of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the Russian armed and controlled war in Donbas. For most of these ‘internally displaced persons’ [IDP], life is very difficult and many would sell their homes in occupied territory if they could. The prices, however, are pitifully low, the chances of getting cheated and losing everything – high. For some there is also concern as to how this would be viewed by the Ukrainian authorities when the occupation is over
Online Debaltsevo has posted
If they don’t turn up, their property is ‘confiscated’. While it is not known why the particular people named left Snizhne in the Donetsk oblast, we do know of several Ukrainians who have been seized, tortured and imprisoned on their return. Volodymyr Fomichov, for example, was just 23 when he tried to visit his family in Makiyivka for the New Year – Christmas holidays in January 2016. He was tortured, and then ‘sentenced’ to two years’ imprisonment, with it claimed that he had been bringing two grenades into ‘DPR’. These may have been the same two grenades that the ‘DPR ministry of state security’ are supposed to have ‘found’ on a bookshelf when they carried out a raid of internationally renowned religious specialist, Ihor Kozlovskyy. He was also seized and imprisoned. Both Kozlovskyy and Fomichov were released as part of the last exchange in December 2017. Others either remain incarcerated, or have been seized and taken prisoner since, including Andriy Yarovoi, who was awarded an international prize in April 2019, one that needed to be collected for him by colleagues.
The so-called Luhansk and Donets ‘republics’ are known to be holding over 100 hostages, however the real figure could be much higher since many relatives are afraid of reporting a person’s seizure for fear of making things worse. There also needs to be a high level of secrecy as to how information was obtained in order to protect sources who would certainly be in danger if exposed.
Dzerkalo Tyzhnya clearly believes that there have already been a number of such ‘court rulings’ which take people’s property from them. The newspaper
Radio Svoboda’s Donbas.Realii
In fact, however, militants from the so-called DPR and ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ [LPR] began seizing the thousands of flats and homes which their owners were forced to abandon from 2014.