The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces claimed on Friday that Russian troops were “robbing” wheat stocks, as heavy fighting continues in the country’s eastern and southern regions.
“The Russian occupiers are robbing the villagers,” said the General Staff. “Thus, for example, over 60 tons of wheat together with the cargo trucks were stolen from the agricultural cooperative in the town of Kamianka-Dniprovska.”
CNN is unable to verify this allegation independently.
Ivan Fedorov, mayor of the southern city of Melitopol, which has been held by Russian troops for weeks, also spoke about the removal of grain stocks.
“Today it has moved to an industrial scale,” he said. “Yesterday we published a video of a convoy of 50+ cars with trailers taking grain out of our occupied territories … And today we do not know where they sent it.”
The area around Melitopol produces substantial cereal crops.
The wheat crisis: Ukraine is known as the “breadbasket of Europe,” and is a key source of wheat and corn — especially for countries in the Middle East and North Africa that depend on imports. The likely wholesale disruption of its harvest this year could be a disaster, leaving these countries in short supply — and driving up prices for important agricultural goods.