Before Russia’s full-scale invasion, the Demurinsky mining and processing plant, or Demurinsky GOK, had been supplying raw materials through a number of non-residents for the production of titanium, in particular to the Russian military-industrial complex.

This titanium could then be used to produce the missiles that Russia is now firing at Ukraine. The plant was owned by Russian oligarch Mikhail Shelkov.

In early February 2023, Ukraine’s anti-corruption court upheld the claim of the justice ministry to recover the oligarch's assets, including Demurinsky GOK, into the state ownership of Ukraine.

Realising that Demurinsky GOK’s managers might withdraw all liquid assets from the company, the state property fund, together with the security services, SBU, and the prosecutor general's office, came up with and implemented a plan to quickly seize them.

A few days after the court’s decision, law enforcement officers seized all the assets at the mine, the processing plant and the plant’s headquarters in the city of Dnipro. They were then transferred for safekeeping to the Zaporizhzhya titanium and magnesium plant, managed by the state property fund.

Later, on 24 February, the government transferred Demurinsky GOK, along with other assets of Mr Shelkov, to the state property fund.

This is just one of the stories where the state property fund, together with law enforcement agencies, is directly involved in the confiscation of property of Russian oligarchs.

Due to the secrecy of the investigation, I am not allowed to disclose any more details. However, I can tell you what the fund does with the assets after they are transferred.

Case one: Mikhail Shelkov

Demurinsky GOK is the most valuable asset that was confiscated from Russian oligarchs who support Russia’s war against Ukraine.

This plant extracts raw materials for titanium production from the Vovchanske titanium and zircon ore deposit in the Dnipro region.

In late February, the government transferred the plant to the state property fund, and the fund's team immediately began the bureaucratic process of actually taking it back into state ownership.

The first step was to lift the court seizure of the property, which had been previously imposed by the courts at the request of law enforcement agencies. They feared that from the moment the sanctioned property was discovered until the anti-corruption court ruled on its confiscation – which could take months – the Russian oligarch's managers might try to withdraw assets with forged papers.

It is expected that in early June, at the state property fund’s request, the court will lift the last seizure of fixed assets at the field.

In fact, this will be the last step to restore the operation of the deposit and the mining and processing plant, which enriches ore for sale to titanium producers.

At the same time, the property fund is forming a new management team for the plant.

The new manager’s primary task is to register the plant’s charter, which will no longer list the Russian sanctioned owner.

After that, I expect the company’s accounts to be unblocked. This will allow the state property fund to sell the remaining goods in the warehouse to pay off wage arrears to the plant’s employees.

The fund is expected to put Demurinsky GOK up for privatisation in Q3 2023.

Another of the oligarch’s assets that has been recovered for the state’s benefit is Investagro, an agricultural enterprise.

The state property fund has already re-registered the asset into state ownership, changed the company’s management, and managed to unfreeze its bank accounts.

The company has sown 1,500 hectares of leased land.

The fund is now preparing Investagro up for privatisation in Q3 2023.

The third asset of the oligarch that was recovered for the state is the Nikopol plant of seamless titanium alloy pipes, or VSMPO Titan Ukraine.

It can annually produce over 500 metric tonnes of seamless titanium pipes for aviation and general use.

Recently, the fund succeeded in lifting the company’s arrest, imposed by the court several months ago to prevent the former owner from withdrawing its assets.

It is now working to re-register the company into state ownership, paving the way for its privatisation.

Case two: Vladimir Yevtushenkov

Last December, the government transferred the property of oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov, close to the Russian president, to the state property fund. It includes 17 real estate properties in the Zaporizhzhia region, as well as stakes in five companies in Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia.

The most valuable assets are the VIT group of companies in Zaporizhzhia, of which the fund received 34 to 42-percent stakes. The companies work in the fields of design, manufacture, installation, and maintenance of specialised transformers of any complexity – for instance, for metallurgical enterprises.

Those exclusive products are in demand on international markets, with Hyundai, Siemens and many other foreign companies among the customers.

The fund has already submitted the relevant calculations and proposals to the justice ministry, which will allow it to obtain a controlling stake in those enterprises and use the scientific potential to ensure national energy security.

The state property fund also received under its managementthe Kyiv-based companies ITM-Ukraine and Smart Digital Solutions, which provide digital solutions services, such as SMS-mailing, smartphone app development, and chatbots.

In fact, they were a subcontractor of MTS Russia.

The fund is now working with the justice ministry to take over those companies.

The state property fund has also completed the re-registration into state ownership of Mr Yevtushenkov’s confiscated real estate, including a transport shop of one of Zaporizhzhia's industrial enterprises, an engineering corps, etc. They will soon be up for privatisation as well.

Case three: Viktor Yanukovych

In addition to Russian oligarchs, the state property fund received confiscated assets of Viktor Yanukovych, including an apartment and two car parking spaces in Kyiv, three buildings, a residential house, two land plots in Donetsk, non-residential buildings in Yalta, as well as a Brig ship, two Toyota Siennas, and a Toyota Land Cruiser 100.

The fund has already re-registered the car parks into state ownership and continues to work on re-registering the rest of the property. Together with the ministry of justice, it is also looking for where the cars and ships are.

After they are found and re-registered, and the Donbas and Crimea are liberated, they will be put up for privatisation.

The state property fund has also taken over several assets of the Mezhyhirya residence and the Tantalite and Dom Lesnyka companies to which they were registered. In May, the fund successfully registered those companies as state property. In the future, it will transfer the assets to a national park monument of landscape art.

Case four: Russian ‘instigators’

In addition to well-known Russian oligarchs and Mr Yanukovych, the state property fund receives assets from Russians who publicly supported Russia’s war against Ukraine – mostly members of the Russian parliament or university rectors.

Their confiscated real estate, including apartments, is mostly in occupied Crimea.

The fund is now working to officially re-register those assets into state ownership and put them up for privatisation after the peninsula is de-occupied.

To be continued.