“DNR leader” Zakharchenko orders confiscation of local crops

A flashback from 1933, when confiscation of grain from Ukrainian farmers led to their starvation during the Holodomor. Sign on the truck reads “Socialist bread instead of “kurkul” bread”, Ukraine, 1933 

International, More, Ukraine, War in Donbas

Translated by: Christine Chraibi
Oleksandr Zakharchenko, the self-proclaimed “DNR leader”, has ordered all cereals and grains, as well as all vegetables, fruits, grapes, etc. to be confiscated and transferred to the “republican state”.

The text of this “Order” dated Novemeber 3, 2017 has been published on the “DNR” website.

“Cereals and grains, as well as fruits growing on bushes, trees and vines that have been harvested without permission on state and municipal land plots are the property of the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’.”

According to the “Order”, legal entities and individuals – i.e. entrepreneurs and private citizens – are not allowed to dispose of any crops harvested through “unauthorized use of land plots”.

The “document” of the so-called “DNR Ministry of Fees and Revenues” entitles local authorities to enforce “free access to warehouses and fields”, and allows them to immediately confiscate all the local crops.

It also underlines that if locals try to dispose of these crops “without permission”, they will be obliged to reimburse their full value.

“Such funds shall be considered funds received from the sale of confiscated and other property, shall be transferred to the “Donetsk People’s Republic”, and shall be allocated to the republican or local budget.”

According to Zakharchenko’s “Order”, the so-called “Ministry of Agro-Industry” must provide information on every “illegal use of land plots, development of these land plots, and harvest of cereals and grains, as well as fruits growing on bushes, trees, and vines located on these same land plots”.

Such measures were in effect during the 1932-1933 Holodomor in Ukraine, when, on the pretext that kurkuls (rich or supposedly rich peasants-Ed) were stealing goods from commodity trains, i.e. collective and cooperative property, Stalin imposed a new repressive law on the protection of state property.

People referred to this Law as “закон про п’ять колосків” (the Law of Spikelets or the Five Ears of Corn Law), because in fact, anyone who took as little as a handful of grain or spikelets left behind in the fields after the entire harvest was officially collected and counted, was automatically guilty of stealing state property. Such persons could be immediately deported or executed.

150,000 people were convicted during the first year of Stalin’s new law.


Previously, OSCE observers reported seeing trucks full of cereals and grains on Russian-controlled territories in Ukraine moving towards the Russian-Ukrainian border and into the Russian Federation.

Translated by: Christine Chraibi
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