News from Ukraine: How Russia Steals Ukrainian Grain
Russia has had a hold on Ukraine since the beginning of the year and has continuously targeted its agriculture industry from stealing John Deere equipment to stealing grain.
Latifundist Media has partnered with us to provide this boots-on-the-ground coverage:
Hard greetings from Ukraine. At the moment, it is not only hard because of fires and explosions spreading throughout our land, but also because of the scorching pain in our hearts.
According to data, Ukraine ranks among the top five agricultural producers in the world. Annually, the country produces about 470 million bushels of grain. For four months now, Russia has been stealing Ukrainian grain from the territories it occupied.
According to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, this already amounts to more than 18 million bushels.
A journalist recorded the unloading of possible Ukrainian grain from Russian ships at the Turkish port. The act of unloading can easily be recorded. Special machines are used to unload the grain and load something else. This has been observed in a Russian ship.
The Russian occupiers confiscated 920,000 bushels of grain from a Ukrainian company called Politehnica. The occupiers even issued a confiscation document, after which the grain was transported by truck to the occupied region of Crimea. We conducted an experiment to find out how grain is exported from the occupied territories to the annexed Crimea and beyond. We introduced ourselves as a logistics company and talked to a Russian carrier looking for grain trucks.
“I will pose this question to the military. We will see if they will provide them with safe passage. From there, we will get a permission pass for the goods. And we will facilitate passage through this area. The military will not take it away. The military itself is pulling the strings. If we make passes for them, the Russian military will not take it away.”
It also became known that the Russian occupiers are exporting grain, oil, and mineral fertilizers from the grain elevators, particularly in the Zaporizhzhia region and the elevator in the Mykolaiv region. In this case, the Russian occupiers called it the expropriation of surplus crops, but in general, in some places, they steal with impunity. Somewhere, they even buy these goods for nothing. Today, in the Kherson region, for 37 bushels of wheat, they give $40. Some people sell because they need money to live and some need to empty their granaries for a new harvest. In other regions, entire enterprises are forcibly taken away from Ukrainian farmers.
Head of the enterprise Yaseny, Vasyl Tsvigun says, “Yes, they took two harvesters. Two more remained, but they were dismantled. We started repairing them so maybe they weren’t taken away. They took two large John Deere 300 tractors, one New Holland, and three John Deere 195 tractors. They broke into the house and forced us on the floor. They put guns to our heads while others walked around the house and took everything they wanted. I didn’t want to meet them for the third time.”
In addition to grain, Russia also steals vegetables and fruits. Cherries from the occupied regions are exported and sold in Crimea at so-called “social prices.” The situation is not easy. The authorities and the people of Ukraine are doing everything they can to resolve these issues.
According to the agriculture ministry, Ukrainian grain exports are down 43 percent on the year to 1.41 million metric tons in June.