Sevastopol Prosecutor’s Office seizes people’s land under various pretexts

Sevastopol Prosecutor’s Office seizes people’s land under various pretexts
Photo: Ivan Zhilin / Otkrytaya Rossiya

The Prosecutor's Office has filed 224 lawsuits seizing land plots since 2014. To date, 190 claims have been considered and satisfied.

The Government and the Prosecutor's Office of Sevastopol have been seizing land plots of ​​290 hectares worth about 5 billion rubles ($88m) from a few thousand townspeople. The key argument is that the people got the land under the Ukrainian authorities illegally. At least 32 dacha and housing associations of Sevastopol have got the seizure claims, mainly on the Black Sea coast.

According to Otkrytaya Rossiya (Open Russia), the Prosecutor's Office has filed 224 lawsuits seizing land plots since 2014. To date, 190 claims have been considered and satisfied.

For example, Kanion housing association was given 20 hectares in 2010 under Art. 118 of the Land Code of Ukraine, which guarantees the right of every citizen to privatize 1000 square meters free of charge. Mayor Sergey Kunitsyn personally signed the allocation decree. The plot was distributed between 200 members of the association. Then on August 9, 2016, the members were given claims from the Prosecutor's Office demanding to return the land to the city. The prosecutors explained that they failed to find an order to give the land to Kanion in the administration archives. The owners then showed the order to the courts, but both the court of original jurisdiction and the appeal refused to attach it to the case file, ruling to take the land in favor of the city.

Sevastopol action group has been holding meetings and writing petitions defending their interests. They propose to amend the law on Crimea and Sevastopol becoming part of the Russian Federation that will consolidate the rights that were given by the Ukrainian authorities and were not contested before March 18, 2014.

Following the meeting, Sevastopol residents decided to write appeals to the Russian President, the State Duma and the European Commission.

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