Russia is forcing farmers in Ukraine to pay taxes to the Kremlin.

The farmers, in areas temporarily occupied by Russian forces, are facing violence and the destruction of their farms if they do not abide by Russia’s demands.

The move, which essentially seeks to nationalise the Ukrainian farms under Russian order, has left them lacking machinery, seeds and fertilisers, according to the Ukrainian Agri Council (UAC).

Russian authorities are forcing farmers to re-register their farm properties under Russian law and report their farm output.

"Farmers in the occupied territories cannot work properly, they lack spare parts, seeds and fertilisers,” said head of the UAC Andriy Dykun.

“[Supply] chains are broken and it is almost impossible [for farmers] to sell the harvest. There are checkpoints on the roads, constant searches and threats.

Russian forces continue to occupy farms in Ukraine. \ Alexander Ermochenko

“The occupiers are constantly putting pressure on farmers to register their farms under Russian law and recently, they have been demanding that they obtain Russian citizenship.

“The conditions in which Ukrainian farmers are now living are terrible."


The UAC claimed that before Russia's “full-scale invasion of Ukraine”, the farms that are currently occupied had a total harvest of about 20m tonnes of grain and oilseeds.

“During the year of war, farmers in the occupied territories lost millions of tonnes of crops. [Russia] looted grain, robbed farms, exported grain, destroyed equipment and killed livestock,” Dykun said.

Farmers with the most active political support for the Ukrainian state, as well as those who refuse to re-register their farm and co-operate with the Russian authorities, are the first to be targeted by the occupier, he warned.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is forcing Ukrainian farmers to pay taxes to the Kremlin, says the Ukrainian Agri Council (UAC).

"If you do not register your farm in the occupied territory under Russian law, the farm will be taken away, and the owner and employees will be sent by the Russians for interrogation, and probably to the 'basement'.”

Farmer testimonies

The UAC has documented a number of testimonials from farmers affected by Russia’s invasion. Now faced with paying taxes to their occupier, the farmers have detailed food and fuel shortages.

The farmers’ locations and names have been changed to protect their identity.

Oleksandr Tkach, Chernihiv region

"No one could come to us and food in local stores quickly ran out. People were saved by my farm.

“We had milk and later we started making cheese and some kefir from it. We were able to make cereals and flour from the grain. All this was distributed for free.

“The occupiers' tanks were in the village and my workers baked bread for the residents. We could not get any fuel or fertilisers from the government-controlled areas. The sowing season was conducted as in the 19th century.”

Farmers in Ukraine continue to have their livestock killed by Russian forces, says the Ukrainian Agri Council (UAC).

Oleksandr Hladchuk, Zaporizhzhia region

"All the cows were given to slaughter because the dairy plant closed. Then the machinery started to break down because there was a shortage of spare parts.

“The harvest was sold [for] very little and at a low price. The Russians were constantly threatening me because I did not register the farm according to their legislation.

“They took everything from my neighbour because he refused to co-operate. Because of the constant threats, I had to leave.”

Oleksandr Gladchuk, Zaporizhzhia region

"We held out until the end and avoided co-operation with the Russians, waiting for de-occupation, but those who cannot leave find themselves on the brink.

“They often cannot resist the invaders. Most farmers remain in the occupied territories because they have winter crops left and they are trying to mow the harvest as much as possible. But no one understands how it will be sold.

“Firstly, we are all waiting for victory and liberation of the territories, but if these processes are delayed, farmers do not plan to plant any kind of produce for the next year.

“They plan to harvest the crops, sell them at any price if the Russians don't take them for free, pay off their shareholders and leave.”

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