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KIEV, August 20. /TASS/. Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has assessed losses from nationalization of more than 20 facilities in the territory of Crimea at more than 50 billion hryvnias (around $2.27 billion), Kiev-appointed Crimean prosecutor Nazar Kholodnitsky told a briefing on Thursday.
"We opened more than 20 such criminal cases. We are waiting for responses from appropriate ministries and departments, establishing approximate losses. We can already say that sum will exceed 50 billion hryvnias. That includes Masandra [winery] and the Artek children camp. Prejudicial inquiry into these cases is underway," he said.
In mid-March last year, Crimea reunited with Russia following a referendum. More than 82% of the electorate took part in the vote. Over 96% backed splitting from Ukraine and spoke in favor of reuniting with Russia. Results of the referendum were celebrated by many Crimeans but the vote was widely criticized by Western leaders and at the United Nations.
In the Soviet Union, Crimea was part of Russia until 1954, when Communist Party head Nikita Khrushchev transferred the Crimean region, along with Sevastopol, to Ukraine's jurisdiction.
Nationalization in Crimea had been completed by 1 March 2015. The Crimean authorities nationalized about 260 properties on the peninsula. Since Crimea’s re-integration into Russia, the Crimean authorities nationalized the property of Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, including gas stations, health resorts and the assets of PrivatBank owned by him.
The Crimean authorities have also nationalized the Aivazovskoye sanatorium owned by Ukrainian oligarch Sergey Taruta, and also the local strategic companies, such as KrymKhleb bread and bakery producer, the power utility Krymenergo and the telecoms operator Ukrtelekom.