The issue of financing reintegration processes remains little covered both in issues of the de-occupation of the Crimea and in relation to the corresponding mainland regions of Ukraine, captured by the aggressor both in 2014 and in 2022.
Experts explored these challenges before the start of large-scale Russian aggression, but first of all, on individual budget programs of Ukraine in 2015-2018.
We may also notice the increased interest not only of the authorities of Ukraine, but also of the scientific and expert environment regarding plans, programs and strategies for the de-occupation and reintegration of the Crimea , at the same time – without appropriate financial calculations.
The relevant expert analysis  has already touched upon such documents as the Action Plan aimed at the implementation of certain principles of state internal policy on the temporarily occupied territory (TOT) of the Crimea, approved by order of the Government of Ukraine dated March 28, 2018 No. 218-r and canceled in 2021 [ 3].
Also, this is the Plan of urgent measures to counter Russian aggression from the TOT of Ukraine in Crimea, protect the interests of the state, citizens of Ukraine and Ukrainian legal entities in Crimea for 2018-2019, dated June 20, 2018 No. 17, which became the subject of litigation , respectively, the Strategy for de-occupation and reintegration of the TOT of Crimea, approved by Decree of the President of Ukraine dated March 24, 2021 No. 117/2021 , the Action Plan for the implementation of this Strategy, approved by prescript of the Government of Ukraine dated September 29, 2021 No. 1171-r , its new version dated April 4, 2023 No. 288-r  and other acts.
What these documents have in common, first of all, is that they very briefly describe the issues of financing their implementation and do not contain any figures or calculations. Obviously, these questions are related to the activities of the main executors of the plans and programs indicated in them. These are the Office of the President of Ukraine and the Mission of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , , established in 2022 and formed on May 18, 2023, the Advisory Council on the issues of de-occupation and reintegration of the TOT of the AR of Crimea and Sevastopol ; , as well as the Ministry of Ukraine for TOT Reintegration (MinReintegration) .
Thus, it is necessary to decide on the forms and ways of financing these documents, for which it is necessary to study at least the published Ukrainian budget estimates. Expert and PhD Anna Prykhodko, tried to understand the situation.
It should be noted that the 2018 governmental Action Plan did not indicate the sources of its financing at all, and regarding the 2021 Action Plan, as well as its 2023 edition, the Ukrainian government orders contain an instruction “to ministries, other central and local executive authorities with the participation of other state bodies, institutions and organizations involved in the implementation of the action plan, to ensure the implementation of the action plan at the expense and within the costs provided for in the state and local budgets, as well as from other sources not prohibited by law”, without further details.
The indicated Mission’s Plan and the Strategy, approved within the framework of presidential powers, also do not indicate the sources of funding, nor does the Strategy for activities of Mission of the President of Ukraine in the AR of Crimea, approved by Decree of the President of Ukraine dated April 13, 2021 No. 160/2021 . Thus, financial support for the activities of the bodies of the presidential branch of power, which can be carried out precisely at the expense of the State Budget of Ukraine (SBU), as follows from the analyzed budgets for 2020-2023 [14-17], can be carried out according to the budget program (BP) 0301010 “Maintenance and organizational, information-analytical, logistical support for the activities of the President of Ukraine and the Office of the President of Ukraine”, but only its general estimate is indicated in the State budgets.
However, in measuring the activities of the executive authorities of Ukraine, the SBU of Ukraine provides a breakdown of the expenses of the MinReintegration for a number of BPs. In particular, for 2020, expenses were provided for BP 3901050 “Measures to protect and ensure the rights and freedoms of persons deprived (previously deprived) of personal freedom by illegal armed groups, the occupation administration and/or authorities of Russia for political reasons, as well as in connection with public, political or professional activities of the said persons, support of the said persons and their family members, activities for the reintegration of the population of the TOT, the payment of state scholarships named after Levko Lukyanenko” in the amount of UAH 66,514.4 thousand, all from the general fund, as well as under BP 3901600 “Pilot measures to respond to development problems caused by the displacement of persons and the return of combatants” in the amount of UAH 7,457 thousand, of which UAH 4,853.7 thousand were from the reserve fund of the SBU of Ukraine, and under BP 3911600 “Subvention from the state budget to local budgets for the implementation of the project «Housing for internally displaced persons»” for UAH 485,000 from the general fund.
For 2021, the SBU provided for the MinReintegration for BP 3901050 the same expenses of 66,514.4 thousand hryvnias of the general fund, for BP 3901600 and BP 3911600 no expenses were provided, instead, funds were provided for BP 3901080 “Ensuring the information sovereignty of Ukraine, the development of languages indigenous peoples living in the TOT of the AR of Crimea and Sevastopol, and financial support for the state foreign broadcasting system of Ukraine” in the amount of UAH 977,137.1 thousand of the general fund, according to BP 3901090 “Ensuring proper conditions for the entry and exit of persons to the TOT of Ukraine” – in UAH 267,114 of the general fund, according to BP 3901100 “Measures to create systems and databases on reintegration issues” – to UAH 5,000 thousand of the general fund and according to BP 3901120 “Ensuring the reintegration of young people from the TOT of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the TOT of the AR of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol” – for UAH 130,000 thousand of the general fund.
For 2022, in November 2021, the SBU provided for the MinReintegration for BP 3901050 the same expenses of UAH 66,514.4 thousand, for BP 3901080 – UAH 362,660.3 thousand, for BP 3901120 – UAH 93,779.4 thousand. At the same time, no expenses were envisaged for the previously funded programs BP 3901090, BP 3901100, BP 3901600 and BP 3911600, instead, expenses were established for BP 3911020 “Subvention from the state budget to local budgets for the implementation of measures to support territories negatively affected by the armed conflict in the east of Ukraine” in UAH 125,000 thousand of the general fund.
Such changes in funding may have a certain explanation for BP 3901090, since funds were allocated for 2021 on a one-time basis, for the reconstruction of entry-exit points, but in general, we should point out the incomplete sequence of the corresponding tasks of budget expenditures. At the same time, it should be added that after the start of a large-scale Russian invasion, the SBU for 2022 underwent repeated changes, but this did not apply to the above-mentioned BPs, their estimates have not undergone a transformation since February 2022.
The SBU for 2023 systematically displayed the changes in the situation and the corresponding new tasks and challenges, but the corresponding transformations were not reflected in the estimates of the MinReintegration in a completely systematic way. So, for 2023, financing for BP 3901050 continues, increased to UAH 133,876.7 thousand of the general fund, for BP 3901080, on the contrary, the estimate was reduced to UAH 40,775.4 thousand of the general fund, the expenses for BP 3901120 were also reduced to UAH 21,200.7 thousand of the general fund, and financing of BP 3901100 was renewed in the amount of UAH 39,240 thousand of the general fund.
However, for the said ministry, a new BP 3901090 was introduced for 2023 “Ensuring the protection of the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens living in the TOT of Ukraine, assistance to citizens of Ukraine on humanitarian and crisis issues and the implementation of measures for the transfer and repatriation of the bodies (remains) of persons who died (deceased) in connection with the armed aggression against Ukraine” in the amount of UAH 107,968 thousand of the general fund.
At the same time, to a large extent, significant costs for the needs of the reintegration of the de-occupied territories as a whole were directed to the SBU in 2023 through other ministries. In particular, the Ministry for the Development of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine received UAH 35,500 million from a special fund for BP 3121430 “Fund for the Elimination of the Consequences of Armed Aggression”, which accounted for most of the expenses of this department, planned for the year at UAH 50,674.4 million. In addition, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine should distribute a little more than UAH 23,934 million from the general fund of the SBU under BP 3511280 “Additional subsidies from the state budget to local budgets for the exercise of the powers of local governments in the de-occupied, temporarily occupied and other territories of Ukraine that have experienced a negative impact in connection with a full-scale armed aggression of Russia”.
However, these costs obviously relate not only and not so much to the costs of the reintegration of the Crimea, but to the challenges that Ukraine plans to solve in the already de-occupied territories of mainland Ukraine, while it is obvious that such costs are an order of magnitude higher, than those described above and planned for the MinReintegration.
At the same time, the above-described expenses of the SBU can be linked to the plans and strategies for the de-occupation and reintegration of the Crimea, precisely within the framework of the above BPs of the MinReintegration, since there are no others in the budget, in the areas of assistance to the Kremlin hostages, support for TOT youth, and information policy. At the same time, a significant part of other activities, in particular, according to the government plan for 2023, are not reflected in such BPs. Without touching on the defense and security sectors, one can only put forward the hypothesis that part of these funds can be used within the budget programs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, in particular, regarding the activities of the International Crimean Platform, but the SBU does not indicate the corresponding separate BP or estimates there.
Therefore, it is possible to put forward a reasonable hypothesis that the SBU for 2023 contains funds for reintegration tasks in the Crimea in the rather limited amount described above, and primarily at the expense of the general fund. It is clear that Ukraine has other huge items of expenditure in the conditions of martial law and large-scale Russian aggression, but we should not forget that the reintegration of the de-occupied Crimea, especially at its initial stage, will also require funding in a special situation, most likely a martial one. At the same time, the plans also provide for extrabudgetary funding, so it remains to determine its availability and effectiveness.
In total, the SBU for 2021 provided for almost UAH 204,499 million of external borrowings, of which 88 % went to the main fund, for 2022, in the final version of the SBU, UAH 694,548 million loans were supposed, of which more than 86 % were for the general fund, and UAH 1797,261.7 million loans were planned for 2023, of which 90% were for the general fund.
So, although these amounts are significant, most of them go to the general fund of the SBU, where the costs, as indicated above, have already been distributed among budget managers. However, Ukrainian practice knows an example of the distribution of credit funds for needs, to a certain extent related to the TOT, this concerns the mechanism for lending housing to internally displaced persons (IDPs).
As indicated above, in 2020, the SBU provided the MinReintegration with UAH 485 million for BP 3911600 for the implementation of the “Housing for IDPs” project, which undoubtedly covers the Crimea-origin IDPs. The specificity of these funds lies in the fact that although they are budgetary, they are subject to return by the persons who took part in the project. To regulate these issues, the SBU contains instructions according to which the return of loans provided from the state budget to IDPs is carried out to a special fund of the SBU and should be used in the future to allocate new loans for the same purpose; this was specifically indicated by paragraphs 4 and 5 of Article 13 and paragraph 11 of Article 14 of the law on the SBU for 2021.
Further, in paragraph 8 of Article 11 of the Law on SBU for 2022 and in paragraph 7 of Article 11 of the Law on SBU for 2023, it was indicated that these funds are in the nature of interest for the use of preferential mortgage loans provided to IDPs at the expense of a grant provided by a Credit Institute for Reconstruction (KfW) and penalties for violation of the term of payments on repayment of loans.
Credit Institute for Reconstruction (KfW) is a state-owned bank of the German Government, which has become a leader among German banks in promoting the economic development of Germany, Europe and the world, the federal government owns 80% of the bank, and the rest belongs to the German states [18, 19]. According to official Ukrainian sources, the Development Project of the MinReintegration and the State Specialized Financial Institution “State Fund for Assistance to Youth Housing Construction”, described in the SBU, is financed jointly with Germany through KfW, while as of May 28, 2023, 32889 Ukrainian IDPs applied for participation in the project .
This project is being implemented as part of the implementation of the Agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of Germany on financial cooperation (2016 appropriations) signed in June 2020 and ratified by the law of Ukraine dated December 2, 2020 No. 1037-IX, as well as the Grant and Project Agreement between the Goverment of Ukraine represented by the MinReintegration, the State Fund for Assistance to Youth Housing Construction, and KfW to provide 25.5 million euros for the specified project BMZ No. 2016 685 16 and 2016 703 63, adopted on December 28, 2020 .
The procedure for preferential mortgage lending to IDPs at the expense of the grant provided by KfW, and the procedure for using funds provided in the state budget under the program “Providing preferential mortgage loans to IDPs” were approved by the resolution of the Government of Ukraine dated April 28, 2020 No. 451  .
This example can be considered a rather successful form of attracting external funds for the needs of the reintegration of IDPs, in particular, from the occupied Crimea. At the same time, it is important to point out that the project began to be developed in 2016 and received its own implementation in 2020.
Therefore, firstly, it should be stated that the preparation of appropriate forms of international technical support for specific projects for financing activities for the reintegration of the occupied Crimea should begin now, before the inevitable moment of the de-occupation of the peninsula.
Forms of cooperation between Ukraine, its authorities, the public and expert sector with partner states in the preparation of such projects, as well as the degree of effectiveness of the above-described budget programs of the MinReintegration, of course, should become the basis for new expert research.