“Since the annexation, Russia has carried out extensive confiscation of public and private property, which it has referred to as ‘nationalization’ under Russian Federation legislation,” writes Dr. Anders Åslund, in Kremlin Aggression in Ukraine: The Price Tag, a new report by the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. If Kyiv loses the occupied Crimea and Donbas forever, the total asset value lost would be an estimated $98.4 billion for Ukraine. These two cases of military aggression were quite different, and their differences have persisted in relation to both the damage caused and how the territories have been governed. While conditions are bad in both territories, they are far worse in the Donbas.
As Russia persistently refuses its presence in the Donbas, it has not taken any formal responsibility for governance or the economy there, impeding legal cases to recover lost assets. Crimea is peaceful and well-organized by comparison. The Kremlin has established Russian law and heavily subsidized the region, but this also means Ukrainian corporate claims in Crimea are on firmer legal ground in international courts. The report outlines the economic losses of Ukraine in both territories due to Kremlin aggression and specific steps the Ukrainian government and West should take to seek restitution.