[ARTICLE] Ukrainian farmers turn to Donbas veterans for protection from raiders

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By Fabrice Deprez in Berezhinka – July 26, 2017

The flag of the Donbas battalion, one of the most notorious Ukrainian volunteer units to have fought against Russia-backed separatists, flies over the main building of Mikola Trybinienko’s farm.

Members of the former military unit came at the end of June to Berezhinka, a village in central Ukraine, to protect Trybinienko against “raiders”, the term used in the region to describe criminal groups who specialise in the illegal and often violent appropriation of land.

Trybinienko says raiders seized his 500 ha farm in May, after he discovered the state corporate registry had been modified using a forged signature, making the company officially no longer his. When he tried to get it back with the help of locals, a violent clash occurred, injuring at least three people. Local media reported that pistols and hunting rifles were seized by the police at the site.

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