The Ukrainian people have not only been quite literally robbed of the lands their ancestors gave their lives for, but now they’re effectively dying in battle to make sure this theft continues unabated. Writes Drago Bosnic
The destruction and plunder of Ukraine have been old news for quite some time now, unfortunately. However, the media and the public have only scratched the surface of the sheer scale of this process. With the territory of modern-day Ukraine being the breadbasket of Europe (and beyond) for millennia, the country has been the target of various agricultural corporations, particularly those originating in the political West. In recent years, especially after the Neo-Nazi coup in 2014, foreign corporations acquired Ukrainian fields, depriving the country of any control over its food exports and even domestic food supply.
Corporations such as “Cargill”, “DuPont” and “Monsanto” (which is formally a German-Australian company, but essentially an American one) are among the most prominent owners of Ukrainian arable land. In addition, corporations like “Vanguard”, “Blackrock” and “Blackstone” are among the largest shareholders in the aforementioned agricultural giants, owning trillions in assets. For instance, “Blackrock” is a fund that manages assets worth over $10 trillion, with “Vanguard” controlling at least six and “Blackstone” managing up to $1 trillion. Together, the three massive US multinational corporations (“Cargill”, “DuPont” and “Monsanto”) own over 17 million hectares of Ukraine’s arable land.
In comparison, the whole of Italy has 16.7 million hectares of agricultural land. In short, the three American corporations own more usable agricultural land in Ukraine than what the whole country of Italy has. The entire area of Ukraine is approximately 600,000 square km. Out of that land area, 170,000 square km have been acquired by foreign corporations, the vast majority Western, particularly those based in or financed by the US. Since the new law on the sale of agricultural land passed by the Kiev regime entered into full force approximately one year ago, to this day, the three large multinational consortia financed with US capital have acquired well over a quarter of Ukrainian arable land. A report by the Australian National Review states that the three US corporations managed to acquire 17 out of the 62 million hectares of agricultural land in less than a year. This made it possible for them to control 28% of the total arable land in Ukraine.
After the law on the sale of agricultural land was passed and went into effect on July 1, 2021, the cost per hectare was approximately $2.500, but soon soared up to $10.000. Up to that point, a piece of land larger than two hectares could only be rented by foreigners. But, after the Neo-Nazi junta took power, combined with a steady price increase for arable land, the law was changed and the two-decades-long moratorium on the sale of agricultural land to foreigners was lifted. Prior to this decision, governments were reluctant to allow it, as the move was always seen as extremely unpopular with the Ukrainian people. During his presidential campaign, Vladimir Zelensky said that he planned to organize a national referendum to resolve this issue “once and for all”. However, no such vote was ever cast.
An April 2021 report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), one of the largest foreign creditors of the Kiev regime, made the lifting of the moratorium a condition for its then-loan package and claimed that economic output would allegedly grow from 6% to more than 12% over the next decade, depending on how the reform is implemented. Despite widespread opposition to lifting the ban on land sales, the excuse was found in the fact that too much time had passed without the Rada (Parliament) establishing a transparent mechanism for the sale of land, which was one of the provisions of the 2001 law.
In one of the public opinion polls from the time of discussions on lifting the moratorium, it was clear that at least 81% of respondents were against the sale of land to foreigners, while only 13% supported it. As many as two-thirds of respondents believed that a decision of such importance for the state should have been made after a referendum. Nearly 60% believed that agricultural land should be owned by the state, as is the case in Canada or Israel.
Official statistics in 2021 indicated that approximately 30% of the 43.6 million Ukrainians lived in rural areas. According to data from the US Department of Commerce and the World Bank, the agricultural industry in Ukraine employs more than 14% of the workforce, while agricultural products form the largest share of Ukraine’s exports. During the Soviet era, farms were collectivized and owned by the state. After the collapse of the USSR, the land was distributed to the employees who worked on state farms. However, the legal aspects of such a transfer were never fully regulated, much less implemented. Soon followed a brief period during which the sale of land to foreigners was allowed, but then, the 2001 moratorium was passed.
The plunder of Ukraine’s arable land also perfectly explains the sudden “concern” of the political West and its numerous satellite states for the export of grains and other food commodities from the country, all under the convenient pretext of “feeding the world”. In reality, the governments in the political West were worried about the profits of their financial backers, most of whom are massive multinational corporations whose main drive is profit. Thus, the Ukrainian people have not only been quite literally robbed of the lands their ancestors gave their lives for, but now they’re effectively dying in battle to make sure this theft continues unabated.
Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst.
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