Stolen products of Swedish-Ukrainian «Chumak» being sold in Crimea

Pasta, tomato juice and sauce «Chumak» in Simferopol hypermarket «7M beztsen», August 2023. Photo:

Production facilities of Swedish-Ukrainian JSC «Chumak» have been looted by Russian occupants in Kherson region after the Russian invasion. Recently, large quantities of tomato juice, sauce and pasta have been found on the shelves of Simferopol hypermarket «7M beztsen». As Russian occupants failed to resume the production of «Chumak» in Kakhovka, there is a high probability that these products were stolen from warehouses of «Chumak».

Simferopol hypermarket sells products of looted Swedish-Ukrainian company based in Kakhovka. All labels on packages are in Ukrainian. The barcode starts with 482, i.e. the code of Ukraine in the international system EAN.

Spaghetti «Chumak» in Simferopol hypermarket «7m beztsen», August 2023. Photo:

These products have been manufactured in 2021 and 2022.

For example, tomato juice, being sold in Simferopol hypermarket, has been manufactured in August 2021. It means Russian occupants stole it from company’s warehouses.

Tomato juice «Chumak» in Simferopol hypermarket «7M beztsen», August 2023. Photo:

Sauce «Krasnodarsky» is also sold in Simferopol. It has been manufactured on February 18, 2022, six days before the full scale war. It means the sauce has been also stolen.

Tomato sauce «Chumak» in Simferopol hypermarket «7M beztsen», August 2023. Photo:

Pasta produced by «Chumak» has been also stolen by Russian occupants. It has been manufactured in September 2021. It will expire in less than a month. In Simferopol, it is sold cheaper than pasta of Russian factories. Large 700 gram package costs 67 Russian Rubles in Simferopol hypermarket.

Spaghetti of «Chumak» in Simferopol hypermarket «7M beztsen», August 2023. Photo:

Turkish company «Mutlu Makarnasilik San ve Tik A.C.» is indicated as manufacturer of spaghetti. «Chumak» has started producing pasta at the Turkish factory before the Russian full scale invasion. The company explained its choice by the absence of necessary sorts of hard wheat in Ukraine. Company «Delta Vilmar», final beneficiary of Ukrainian «Chumak», announced in 2020 that it has been ready to invest into cultivation of the hard wheat in Ukraine, in order to localize the production of pasta in Ukraine.

Spaghetti «Chumak» in hypermarket «7M beztsen» in Simferopol, August 2023. Photo:

After the Russian full scale invasion on February 24, 2022, «Chumak» stopped production in Kakhovka in Kherson region. «As an outcome of invasion of Russia into Ukraine, temporary occupation of Kherson region and Kakhovka, JSC «Chumak» lost control over its production facilities. JSC «Chumak» is not accountable for any processes on its factory, located in temporary occupied Kakhovka», as said official statement of the company.

General Director of «Chumak» Andrii Levchuk reported in an interview to that half a year reserve of tomato sauces, ketchups and other products has been stored at company’s warehouses by the beginning of May 2022.

As sources of the CJI in Kakhovka reported, warehouses of ready products of «Chumak» have been full at the beginning of the Russian invasion into Ukraine.

«The company tried to sell its products on the already occupied territory of Kherson region. Russian troops, Yevhenii Orlov from so-called «Donetsk People’s Republic» and Volodymyr Leontjev, the Russian «governor» of Nova Kakhovka and Kakhovka raion, seized the company on June 1, 2022. Occupants looted company’s warehouses and started selling its products for cash, as told residents of Kakhovka.

They think that products under trademark «Chumak», manufactured before the full scale war, are now sold in Crimea. Pasta and juices have longer shelf life than mayonnaise and ketchup. In accordance with the company’s data, Russian occupants stole products of «Chumak» for the total value not less than 36 million UAH.

Russian occupants tried to resume the manufacturing process. Pasta being sold in Simferopol has been produced after the Russian occupation of Kherson region. For example, the date of manufacturing of a package «Pavutynka» is June 26, 1011. Package of «Spiralki’ has been produced on July 3, 2022.

Pasta of «Chumak» produced after the Russian occupation of Kherson region and sold in hypermarket «7M beztsen» in Simferopol, August 2023.

Collaborators who seized the factory of «Chumak» might have packaged ready products and put «recent» dates of production. They could also have repackaged pasta with close expiry dates.

Russian occupation administration of Kherson region transferred officially «expropriated» factory of JSC «Chumak» under «temporary management» of LLC «Olyva group» (Russian taxpayer’s code 1229100009115) at the beginning of October 2022. This company has been registered in occupied Simferopol at the address Glinka street, 61A, office 65, in July 2022. Its main business profile is processing and conservation of meat, additional – processing fruits, vegetables and trade.

Puchkov Valerii Valeriyovych is the founder and director of «Olyva group». It seems that he is the Ukrainian citizen as he received his Russian taxpayer’s code after Russian occupation of Crimea from tax inspectorate in Yalta. He is also founder and director of LLC «Tytan group» registered on the same date and at the same address as «Olyva group». The main business profile of «Tytan group» is extraction and processing of iron ore. There is no data about relevant license in the Russian State Register.

Both companies did not submit official reports about taxes paid and their financial reports. It means that these legal entities might be fake companies or that their real owners do not care about compliance with the Russian legislation.

In February 2023, the CJI reported that «Olyva group» failed to resume the activity of the factory of «Chumak» in Kakhovka.

«Russian occupants wanted to resume the production at the factory of «Chumak» but they failed. They do not have necessary software, in particular, SAP system managing the manufacturing process and supervising its quality. They failed to recruit personnel for the production of ketchups. Besides that, in order to resume the work of production lines, stalled for more than half a year, the special code from manufacturer of production lines is needed. It is understandable that nobody will give the code to unknown people who pretend to be «new owners» of «Chumak» company», as told employees of «Chumak» under conditions of anonymity.

Thus, the only option new managers of the factory have is to sell stolen products of «Chumak». However, it is not usual crime. Under international war conflict, expropriation of the property of civilian persons and companies by representatives of the occupying country on the occupied territory is the war crime. It does not have period of limitation.