740 mineral deposits in Ukraine occupied by Russia – minister
Photo via Depositphotos

More than seven hundred mineral deposits in Ukraine are now situated in Russia-occupied territory, Ukraine’s environment minister said.

For in-depth analysis and longer stories, follow us on LinkedIn

"Today, Russia has occupied 740 Ukrainian mineral deposits," Ruslan Strilets announced following a Tuesday government meeting, adding that Russia acted "criminally, by actually stealing what does not belong to it."

The data was revealed as Russians were reportedly considering issuing licences for subsoil development in the occupied Donbas region of Ukraine, according to Russian news media.

"Traditionally, the development of hard coal deposits has been of the greatest economic importance in the region. In addition, significant volumes of iron ore and rock salt were mined," Russia’s subsoil resource management agency was quoted as saying.

Last year, the Washington Post reported that the Kremlin was not only occupying Ukraine's territory in its full-scale war, but also plundering them – including by gaining control over one of Europe’s largest territories with natural resources worth tens of trillions of dollars.

While the lion's share of the deposits in the occupied territory is coal, there are many other resources there, including those used in the aviation industry or smartphone manufacturing.

If the Kremlin manages to hold on to the seized territories, Ukraine will lose access to almost two-thirds of the deposits, including natural gas, oil, and rare earth materials.