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In Bychkivka people failed to exercise their right to land ownership
Bychkivka is the unique village in Ternopil region through its beauty and history Photo by Trip web portal.
Bychkivka is the unique village in Ternopil region through its beauty and history

Volodymyr Drabyniasty, Chairman of village council, Bychkivtsi (presides here starting in 2004), says: the village of Chortkiv district, Ternopil region is unique not only in the region but also within the country. Its uniqueness is also provided by the fact that people here can’t still exercise their right to ownership of former collective farm land.

Since 2008 farmers are mired in a grueling judicial war. They won in these battles, but de facto still can't enjoy the fruits of the victory. The village head notes that such confusion, legal uncertainty can occur only in this country. Nothing changes for the better, but on the contrary is becoming increasingly difficult. By the way, Bychkivka did not participate in the unification of the communities – that was the decision of the locals.

Although now the village is experiencing financial difficulties – funds are not enough even for the salaries of the employees of the Board of Agriculture, however, 780 residents of the village want to live independently. In recent years they are much united by a common problem.

The situation in the village was covered by the Freedom newspaper in 2011. Then the local people sought public support through the newspaper and public reception office of the Ukrainian Helsinki Union in Ternopil.

Conflict lasts about 10 years

The protracted conflict originated at the General Meeting of owners of land shares of the former collective farm in May 2007. It was assumed that the collectively owned land – a total of 1035 hectares will be distributed to more than 700 shares. The locals will receive land within their village Council, correspondingly Skorodyntsy villagers get land on their territory. It appears, however, that such a perfect separation will not work, because there will be lack of land for Skorodyntsy villagers, therefore, they will be given shares in Bychkivka. It is common practice when an agricultural enterprise that employed the inhabitants of not one, but two or more villages divides the land into shares. According to Volodymyr Korol, a local veterinarian, who was delegated to represent community interests in court, these meetings were calm, because the peasants did not know what was happening. When they got the details, they were much confused. Residents of Bychkivka were outraged: it was assumed that their shares will be in the amount of 95 acres-hectares, and residents of S Skorodyntsy will have two hectares and more. But such difference is impossible, even if the land in Skorodyntsi is a little worse.

How could this happen, officials can’t explain. But people still believe that they lost due to the fact that Skorodyntsy is the patrimony the high official of regional level.

Farmers convened another meeting, at which they cancelled decisions of the previous Assembly, as reported to the management of land resources in Chertkiv district, Institute of land management.

They stopped any action with dividing the land into shares. After a while it became known that Skorodyntsy villagers brought and disseminated the certificates on the ground. Although, there was no legal basis for the transfer to the private ownership of land and production of the state acts on the ownership right, as the General meeting of land share owners did not approve the draft land use (as already mentioned, the decision meeting was canceled). What are the grounds to issue state certificates? It soon turned out the district administration issued the relevant order.

Read full text here.

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