The Guardian reported in February that Mariupol was the next target for pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine and the rebel leader threatened to take Maripol in more recent reports should Ukraine fail to honor a ceasefire.
A ceasefire was agreed in September 2014, but at least one Ukrainian troop was killed last month by pro-Russian rebels near Mariupol.
War & chocolate
Roshen stopped producing at its Mariupol facility last year after what it described as “politically motivated complications” in Ukrainian trade relations with other countries.
Shortly before unrest began in Crimea in 2013, Russian authorities banned imports of Roshen chocolate after it allegedly found unacceptable levels of the carcinogen Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), claims Roshen denied.
Roshen is owned by the pro-EU Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. Poroshenko said he would sell the company if elected president, but a sale has not yet materialized.
Russia signed a memorandum of understanding for the phased reintroduction of Roshen chocolate to Russia in November 2013, but Russia imposed an import ban on all Ukrainian produced confectionery in September 2014 after finding “inconsistent product labeling” in products by two other Ukrainian firms - Konti and ABK.
Roshen is headquartered in Kiev, Ukraine. It operates three other Ukrainian factories –one each in Kiev, Vinnitsa, and Kremenchug. The company also has production in Lithuania and Hungary and Russian factories Lipetsk.
Roshen has been locked in a lengthy trademark spat with part-Russian-state-owned United Confectioners. In May last year, a Moscow court suspended Roshen’s Russian bank accounts and the company was forced to suspend production in Liptesk.
In April 2014, Ukraine banned imports from United Confectioners after alleged violations of domestic laws on food safety and labelling.