AP: The occupiers stole $530 million worth of grain from Ukraine

Oleg Panfilovych

Since the beginning of the war, Russia has exported at least $530 million worth of grain from Ukraine.

This is stated in an investigation by the Associated Press.

The structures of Russian billionaire Viktor Rashnikov and the state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation are engaged in the transportation of stolen grain. The latter fell under US sanctions.

The investigators processed satellite images, documents on grain transportation, messages on social networks, conversations with farmers and ship transponder data. They helped track more than 50 flights of food that arrived at ports in Turkey, Syria and Lebanon.

The aforementioned United Shipbuilding Corporation, through its "daughter" Crane Marine Contractor, bought three cargo ships a few weeks before the war. They made at least 18 flights between occupied Crimea and ports in Turkey and Syria. The main ships transporting stolen grain are "Mikhail Nenashev", "Laodikia", "Suria" and "Phoenikia".

Journalists draw attention to the fact that images and transponder data show that in order to hide the origin of grain, it can be mixed with Russian grain in ports and transhipped from ship to ship directly into the sea. One of the recipients of Ukrainian grain may be the Turkish government. The mentioned vessels delivered grain from Crimea to elevators managed by the state-run Turkish Grain Council.

The agency drew attention to the fact that, for comparison, Ukraine exported $12.5 billion worth of grain for the whole of last year.

  • On July 22, Russia signed an agreement on unblocking the export of Ukrainian grain from the ports of Odessa, Pivdenny, and Chornomorsk. The agreement was signed by Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Turkey and the UN as a mediator. A day later, Russian troops bombarded the port of Odesa with missiles. On August 5, the first caravan of ships left the ports of Odessa.