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The Amber Rush in Ukraine. OSW COMMENTARY NUMBER 241 | 08.05.2017

Piechal, Tomasz (2017) The Amber Rush in Ukraine. OSW COMMENTARY NUMBER 241 | 08.05.2017. [Policy Paper]

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    Illegal amber mining in Ukraine has intensified since the Revolution of dignity. The practice has progressed at an unprecedented rate and has contributed to the degradation of vast swathes of forests in areas where there are deposits of amber, mainly in the north-western part of the country (Polesia). Ukraine has the world’s second largest deposits of amber in terms of amount, following the Kaliningrad area. As little as approximately 4 tonnes are legally mined each year, whereas 150-200 tonnes are extracted illegally and over several thousand people are involved in this practice. According to the Ukrainian government’s calculations, the state may be losing up to US$ 200-300 million a year. Conflicts over control of the deposits have led to regular clashes between particular groups involved in illegal amber mining; the state is unable (or does not want) to take control of the part of the country which is rich in amber. Illegal amber mining has been accompanied by wide-scale corruption, close links between criminal groups and local governments and the lack of will to remedy the situation in the region on the part of the Ukrainian government. Illegal amber mining, even though it is a niche practice, may serve as a case for wider reflection on many serious ailments in the functioning of the Ukrainian state.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Ukraine
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 11 May 2017 13:36
    Number of Pages: 6
    Last Modified: 11 May 2017 13:36

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