Russia exported $264 million worth of food and agriculture products to separatist-held territories of Ukraine

Despite sanctions, Russia exports significant amounts of meat to Ukraine, LIGA news website writes. For example, the "State Unitary Company" established in 2015 by the separatist LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) is listed as a Ukrainian legal entity according to Russian documents, although there is no company with this name in the register of the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice.

In Russia, all operations with companies registered in Donetsk and Luhansk have the status of official export or import in Ukraine, excepting the supply of weapons and other military goods, indicating that Russia supports illegal armed groups in the Donbas. Deliveries of such specific goods are not processed by the Russian customs at all.

Analysis of insider data of the Russian Federal Customs Service (FCS) and Russian Railroads indicates that in 2016, Russia supplied goods to the LPR and DPR (Donetsk People’s Republci) for worth about $735 million without considering natural gas. These are products that have passed official customs clearance of Russian authorities or are listed in the invoices of the Russian railway monopoly.

The bulk of Russian supplies, about 36% or worth $264 million, consists of agricultural products and food.

Even though the LPR and DPR exist as separate quasi-states, most of the goods from Russia to both "republics" are supplied by the same group of Russian companies. Overall, there are more than two hundred such Russian legal entities. The larger companies number no more than thirty. Most of them were created recently and registered with fictitious owners. This indicates a well-organized, top-down structure of supplies.

The separatist territories also supplied a large list of products to Russia. Last year, the volume of such "exports" amounted to about $200 million. Grain and finished agricultural products accounted for 35.7% or $72 million.

The total "turnover" between the separatist republics and Russia in 2016 amounted to about $935 million. This figure matches the difference in the official data of the FCS of the Russian Federation and the Ukrainian State Statistics Service.

  DPR, LPR, Donbas, Russia, export, Russia