FALSE: During the war Ukrainians are dispossessed of their land plots by conducting electronic auctions

FALSE: During the war Ukrainians are dispossessed of their land plots by conducting electronic auctions

31 May 2022

Verification within Meta’s Third-Party Fact-Checking Program

Ostap Stakhiv spreads information about the war in Ukraine in this video. He claims that:

  • During the war Ukrainians are dispossessed of their land plots which are being sold at electronic auctions.
  • Noone controls land auctions during the war.
  • Land cannot be a commodity, as it belongs to all generations of Ukrainians, not just to the only one; sale of land is a crime.

However, these are false theses. 

Ostap Stakhiv is an activist, blogger and, as he identifies himself, “a free journalist” and the founder of the Human Rights movement. He actively spreads conspiracy theories about the “harm” of 5G, masks and quarantine, says that the pandemic has been planned, and coronavirus vaccines are dangerous. We have repeatedly refuted Ostap Stakhiv’s false arguments. We mentioned him and other covid-dissidents in an article devoted to the anniversary of the Infodemia. 

Electronic land auctions are not a mechanism of alienation of Ukrainians’ land during the war 

A farmer can sell or lease land at an electronic auction only at his own initiative. Which means that land auctions are not forced, but only willing. 

In addition, the Constitution of Ukraine protects the private property of the citizens (Article 41). Noone shall be unlawfully deprived of the right of property. 

Due to the imposition of martial law in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the rights and freedoms of a citizen may be temporarily restricted, including the right to private property.

Expropriation of property is permitted during martial law or state of emergency. However, the expropriation of property is possible only under conditions of prior and full compensation of its value, in case of public necessity, on the basis and in the manner prescribed by law. Expropriation is carried out by the decision of the military command in coordination with the administration or executive body of the local council, and only by the decision of the military command in places of hostilities. An act of compulsory expropriation must be drawn up during the expropriation of property. The state can alienate a car, but according to a clearly regulated procedure. The state can also alienate the facilities of enterprises for needs of the defence.

The property can be seized without reimbursement only in the Russian Federation and from its residents.

Ukrainians are not deprived of their land. And there is no mention of electronic auctions in the procedure of expropriation of property during the war.

Electronic auctions are being monitored during the war.

Electronic auctions are still being monitored. 599 auctions of the lease and sale of land have happened in the Prozorro.Sales system since the introduction of martial law as of May, 11. The organizers earned over UAH 98 million at the land auctions.

There is also publicly available information about the auctions, that can be viewed by anyone at Prozorro.Sales. 

The use of e-auctions at Prozorro.Sales provides a transparent procedure of lease or sale, increases competitiveness and prevents corruption. Land auctions are one of the income sources for communities.

The land market allows farmers to use their land rights and increases the productivity of farms 

Before the opening of the land market in Ukraine, agricultural land could not be bought, sold, pledged to a bank or included to the authorized capital of the enterprise. Which means that the landowner could not fully realize his/her ownership of the land.

It has created a shadow market and many corrupt schemes to bypass the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land. 

At the same time, the free land market allows farmers to exercise their land rights. It also reduces the shadow sector and promotes more productive use of land. Farmers have the opportunity to take loans at land and are more interested in investing in their own land (buying new equipment, using new technologies). This will contribute to more value-added activities such as gardening, berry growing or animal husbandry. 


The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations