Former Kherson region residents in dire financial straits are taking advantage of a Russian scheme offering free housing in Crimea, Kyiv Post has learned.

A program set up by the Kremlin in October 2022 provides housing vouchers to Ukrainians in the occupied territories willing to accept Russian passports. The voucher can then be exchanged for a house anywhere in Russia or the occupied areas of Ukraine.

The housing offered is based on the average nationwide housing price. One person is eligible to receive 33 square meters (355 square feet), two – 42 square meters (450 square feet), and for a family of three or more – 18 square meters (194 square feet) for each extra person.

According to a number of people Kyiv Post has spoken to under condition of anonymity, one of the most popular options by far is to live in Crimea.

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“We heard about the first cases of buying a home in this way after New Year’s,” a Ukrainian source from Crimea said. “And now my realtor friends say that today these are their main sales.”

Why would Ukrainians agree to such an offer?

Those aware of the phenomenon are keen to stress that the motivation for taking advantage of the scheme is desperation rather than pro-Russian sentiments, and it is the Kremlin itself that is driving people to take such measures through deliberate social engineering.

“The reason is that the Russians simply escalated the humanitarian crisis to the limit,” Ostap, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Center for National Resistance (CNR), told Kyiv Post.

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“And today, without a Russian passport, it’s very difficult for people to survive [in the occupied territories] and they just force you to accept it. 

“They simply squeeze people – do not give pensioners a pension, do not give people money, and increase food prices.”

Those living in the Kherson region have been particularly affected by Russia’s full-scale invasion – much of last year was spent under Russian occupation before Kherson itself and parts of the wider region were liberated by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in November, though much of it remains under enemy control today.

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Then, according to Ukrainian authorities and many investigators, on June 6, 2023, Russian forces detonated explosives from within the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, causing massive flooding for miles.

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have either fled or now live under Russian occupation. As the war drags on into its 19th month, many of those who fled abroad or elsewhere in Ukraine simply haven’t found it to be a viable long-term option.

Ukrainian refugees who spoke to Kyiv Post said that they were unable to find jobs, cover monthly expenses, or continue to afford rent in the West. 

And even in Ukraine, adjusting to a life of renting rather than owning homes takes a huge financial toll, so returning home – even to Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine – became the only option left.

“Our family evacuated to Poland from occupied Kakhovka,” one refugee who signed up to the housing scheme told Kyiv Post. “But after six months of living there, we had big problems with finances and finding housing. 

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“Since we knew that our house had survived, we decided to return. The road was long because we were driving through the Russian Federation, but we had no other way.” 

And faced with living in a region devastated by war and flooding, a free house on the still relatively safer Crimean Peninsula is an attractive proposition for those simply trying to survive.

Another source from Kakhovka said that they know of two families who, despite their pro-Ukrainian position, took Russia’s offer and are now living in Crimea. The families couldn’t afford to live in the European Union, the source said.

How it’s done

To obtain housing, former Kherson region residents must first go to Russia or a Russian-controlled territory and apply for the scheme at one of its government centers with documents, including a Russian passport. The review takes a few months. 

After receiving a housing certificate, they can then look for housing on the real estate market. 

Crimean lawyers and realtors contacted by Kyiv Post said that the procedure for purchasing housing in this way is quite easy.

The seller is fully protected and transfers the housing documents to the new owners after receiving funds from the state. 

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The cost of housing is determined by the Russian Ministry of Construction and Housing and the local government service. Usually, the procedure takes from seven to nine days.

“Among my friends, everyone received payment from the state. In fact, this is an unprecedented case of system transparency,” a Crimean source said.

A key question raised by Russia’s housing scheme is: What’s in it for Russia? According to the Ukrainian government, the issuing of Russian passports in the occupied territories is part of the Kremlin’s tactic of illegal annexation of Ukraine’s territories.

The more Russian passport holders there are, the more Russian citizens the Kremlin can falsely claim live in those regions.

Similarly, by attracting desperate Ukrainians to live in Russia and Russian-occupied areas, rather than living in Ukraine or abroad, the Kremlin can bolster its narrative that Ukrainians prefer living under Russian rule. Moscow thereby justifies its repeatedly debunked claims that it has invaded to “liberate oppressed Russian-speakers.”

Not a new tactic

After its invasion of Crimea in 2014, Russia had also implemented a housing program for the people on the occupied peninsula. Families with children were given a flat rate of 450,000 rubles (about $11,665 in 2014) toward buying a home. 

A key difference between the Crimean housing program and the Kherson region one is that under the former the homeowners couldn’t sell their homes until all their children reached the age of 18. Such a stipulation is absent from the Kherson program.

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The program is apparently popular enough to have angered Russian-supporting residents of the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, who haven’t been offered the same housing deal, the realtor said.

Some Crimean home sellers are suspicious of the new Kherson refugees. 

One Crimean realtor said that she knew of two cases where those who sold their homes to Kherson refugees said that they later found out the new homeowners had sold the houses and sent the money to the Ukrainian army.

 

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Comments (3)

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bob
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

BETRAYING ONE’S COUNTRY! Let me quote George Washington:

“Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate you’re affections. The name of America which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations”.

Now let me explain...

In other words, if you have Ukrainian citizenship regardless if you got it from birth of by chose, you are obligated to be loyal to Ukraine !!! Citizenship is a contract between you and the state of mutual loyalty to a common union between you and the state !!!


If your personal action directly or indirectly in anyway is a danger to, the territorial integrity of the nation-state, that is an act of disloyalty and therefore a traitorous act of treason!

Any actions that threaten the state or violates the contract of mutual loyalty and union between you and your country, is an act of betrayal to that obligation of one's unity with ones country, nothing less than treason!

And therefore you must accept that the state treats you like any other enemy, that wishes harm to the nation-state, as you have betrayed the contract of union and loyalty between your country, your nation and yourself !!

Freedom is worth fighting for!!!

Thomas Davie
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@bob, Respectfully I disagree with one point. That one is obligated to be loyal if threatened with death. I am on dialysis 3x a week. If the Russians forced me to accept a Russia passport, thereby not defending Ukraine *in order to continue receiving dialysis*, I would accept a Russian passport, and while staying alive do my best to undermine the Russian administration. I understand what a social contract is (have a degree in political philosophy) and I do not accept that it implies loyalty unto death,

Regards

Tom

BOB
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@Thomas Davie, So like everything in this life their can in some exstrem cases maybe be an exeaption to the rule, BUT you can not pull out of your assssshole a 0.00000001 % exeaption to a rule and say this disproves the statement becouse it does not disprove the statement ..

And regardless if you have !!!! Don't care if they are hiding behind the excuses of desperation or not its treason regardless taking a passport of the enemy and by the way not even the russians or even nazis back in the day will demand you take a passport to receive medical treatment, so its a BS argument regardless !!

SO I REPEAT ! Citizenship is a contract between you and the state of mutual loyalty to a common union between you and the state !!!


If your personal action directly or indirectly in anyway is a danger to, the territorial integrity of the nation-state, that is an act of disloyalty and therefore a traitorous act of treason!

Any actions that threaten the state or violates the contract of mutual loyalty and union between you and your country, is an act of betrayal to that obligation of one's unity with ones country, nothing less than treason!

And therefore you must accept that the state treats you like any other enemy, that wishes harm to the nation-state, as you have betrayed the contract of union and loyalty between your country, your nation and yourself !!

Freedom is worth fighting for!!!

Thomas Davie
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@BOB, I actually deny all of your arguments. A contract that requires the extraction of life is not a contract, but rather extortion, If the state treats one like ‘any other enemy’ because an individual chooses to stay alive and not sacrifice his/her life - then that state has no validity of existence.

Go back further than George Washington to John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Jeremy Bentham or John Stuart Mills.

Citizenship a contract? An interesting concept but flawed from the moment of birth considering that a new born is incapable of entering into enforceable contracts. When does the contract start? Birth? Conception? A twinkle in the eye?

We will have to agree to disagree on those points but agree that weare both on Ukraine’s side, no?

Tom
(interesting discussion by the way and I just wish that the war will end w/a complete Ukrainian victory)

bob
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@Thomas Davie, This is in 2 parts this is part 1 of 2

YOU SAYS contract that requires the extraction of life is not a contract!!

So in your mind when a solder signs a contract with the army to go fight and serve that is not a contract but extortion ??? Becouse at some point when he is told to honer that contract / agreement and storm the hill charging against enemy fire he may end up dead for doing so !!

NO NO NO thats not how it works my friend !!

And on a side note : You are not forced to hold onto your passport or citizenship YOU are free you renounce that privilege any time !!

But doing so you are NO longer required to uphold the resoonsabilty of such privilege and and NO longer will receive the protection privilege granted to you when you have citizenship either !!!!


Their is a contract of union between you and your country as a citizen and that document (passport) is the physical proof and embodiment of that contract..


for part 2 of 2 see under

bob
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@Thomas Davie, FOR PART 2 OF 2 LOOK HERE This is 2 parts this is part 2 of 2

ALSO ON ANOTHER SIDE NOTE as an exs of the mutual protection of the "contract of union" between you and your country that is granted to you when you are a citizen, by the country /state and you as a citizen.. I have here The UK passport text of protection you have as a citizen :

"Her Britannic Majesty’s Secretary of State,” it solemnly proclaims, “Requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.”

SO I REPEAT ! Citizenship is a contract between you and the state of mutual loyalty to a common union between you and the state !!!

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BOB
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@Thomas Davie, If you violate the contract by showing loyalty to another country / state, say f.exs. like in this case Russia , because you are ethnic Russian, or for any another reason like historical background, or for reason of linguistic heritage, or any reason whatsoever including needing dialysis 3x a week. or even if the Russians was threatening to kill your loved ones that may or may not be the case , But that is a traitorous act of treason and disloyalty and yes it maybe the need for dialysis 3x a week, is understandable and even somewhat excusable factor and even a mitigating factor as well and a good argument to justify why you will choose to do so, but that still dose not change the fact its still is treason!!!! AND IN WAR MAYBE PPL. HAVE MANY GOOD REASONS WHY THEY DO WHAT THEY DO BUT THEY ALL MUST BE ACCOUNTABLE AND RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CHOSES THEY MAKE EVEN IN TIME OF WAR !!

If your personal action directly or indirectly in anyway results in, or is a danger to, the territorial integrity and security of the nation-state, that is an act of disloyalty and therefore a traitorous act of treason!

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bob
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Don't care if they are hiding behind the excuses of desperate or not its treason regardless taking a passport and money house anything and this way by taking russian citizenship so the invader can use it as a calm that the land is Russian territory is the very definition of treason !! if they want to get away from Russia control they can do what millions of others have done travel to Ukriane controlled territory .... Russian speaking Ukrainian citizens have by using Russian indirectly, helping Kremlin indirectly promoting the idea and Kremlin RUSSKI MIR and Russian control over Ukraine-

And therefor also share the guilt of the crimes like all Russians do !!

Becouse they (Russian speaking Ukrainians) in-fact was promoting indirectly and in some cases directly, the idea that Ukriane is some sort of type of "little Russia", this way giving credence and acceptance to the (kremlin view ) concept and idea that Ukraine really is not its own country, that Ukraine does not have its own culture; And this way the Russian speaking Ukrainians, more or less unwilling was/are promoting the Russian/ Putinist view and myth of one ppl. of brotherly nation with a shared cultural heritage (meaning of-course Ukrainians are Russians with a weird accent and that Ukrainian culture is a myth and Ukrainian language is a low level quasi version of Russian)

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bob
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Don't care if they are hiding behind the excuses of depression or not its treason regardless if they want to get away from Russia control they can do what millions of others have done travel to Ukriane controlled territory .... Russian speaking Ukrainian citizens have by using Russian indirectly, helping Kremlin indirectly promoting the idea and Kremlin RUSSKI MIR and Russian control over Ukraine-

And therefor also share the guilt of the crimes like all Russians do !!

Becouse they (Russian speaking Ukrainians) in-fact was promoting indirectly and in some cases directly, the idea that Ukriane is some sort of type of "little Russia", this way giving credence and acceptance to the (kremlin view ) concept and idea that Ukraine really is not its own country, that Ukraine does not have its own culture; And this way the Russian speaking Ukrainians, more or less unwilling was/are promoting the Russian/ Putinist view and myth of one ppl. of brotherly nation with a shared cultural heritage (meaning of-course Ukrainians are Russians with a weird accent and that Ukrainian culture is a myth and Ukrainian language is a low level quasi version of Russian)

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