Russia is accused of stealing several hundred thousand tons of grain from the parts of Ukraine it currently controls.
Ukraine’s deputy agriculture minister made the accusation over the weekend according to Reuters. Another 1.5 million tons of grain are in territory Russia controls and are available to be stolen too.
The Ukraine Foreign Ministry made the claim last week on Twitter, saying, “We demand that Russia stop illicit grain stealing, unblock Ukrainian ports, and allow ships to pass.”
We demand that Russia stop illicit grain stealing, unblock Ukrainian ports, restore freedom of navigation, and allow trade ships to pass. We urge the int’l community to strengthen economic sanctions against 🇷🇺, to avert a humanitarian disaster & the world’s food security crisis.
— MFA of Ukraine 🇺🇦 (@MFA_Ukraine) April 29, 2022
The humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian invasion is only growing worse. The United Nations says over 1.7 billion people are at risk of poverty and famine due to disruption in Ukraine’s food production system. Ukraine’s ag minister says they’ve personally heard from many silo owners in the occupied territory about Russian forces stealing grain.
The Kremlin has denied the accusations.