The Return of the Illegal Mines in Ukraine
6 March, 2019

There’s a growing problem with illegal coal mining in northern Luhansk and law enforcement don’t appear to be doing anything about it.

What started with rathole mining in the region has now developed into huge quarries. Over the course of one and a half years, the authorities have stopped these illegal mines from operating, and, each time, the equipment reappears and mining continues.

On January 12, the Joint Forces announced the closure of yet another illegal mine, stating that the 20,000 tonnes of seized coal was to be returned to the state. However, when Hromadske went to see what happened to the coal, it seemed to be being transported to several different locations. And the police officers tasked with guarding the stolen coal are turning a blind eye.

Hromadske traveled to northern Luhansk to follow the trail of the illegal coal and find out how this operation works, who is behind it and why law enforcement have been reluctant to deal with it.