Ukraine Uses Wartime Powers to Seize ‘Strategic’ Companies

The companies were seized under martial law that was declared after Russia invaded on February 24

Ukraine on Monday announced that it used wartime authorities to seize ownership of “strategic companies” as the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continues to consolidate power under martial law.

The Ukrainian government seized control of five companies, including the country’s top oil producer Ukrnafta, and MotorSich, an aircraft engine maker.

The companies were controlled by some of Ukraine’s wealthiest and most powerful businessmen. According to Reuters, Zelensky’s government has long sought to curb their political power.

“As of today, the specified assets are managed on behalf of the state and in the interests of the entire security sector — to meet the needs of the Armed Forces and the entire defense sector,” said Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the companies were seized using the power the government was granted in response to Russia’s February 24 invasion. After declaring martial law at the beginning of the war, Zelensky prohibited men between the ages of 18 and 60 from leaving the country, banned opposition parties, and nationalized the media.

The seizure of the companies amounted to the most dramatic government intervention into Ukrainian businesses since the war started. Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defense council, insisted that the assets would be returned after the war.

“After martial law is lifted, these assets may be returned to their owners or their value may be reimbursed,” Danilov said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.