According to the pro-Russian administration of a region in south-eastern Ukraine, large quantities of grain are exported. “More than 100 wagons have already been dispatched, and another contract for 150,000 tons has been signed with a grain dealer,” said the head of the Russian military administration in Zaporizhia, Yevgeny Belitzky, on his Telegram channel on Saturday.
Ukraine has been accusing Russia of stealing grain for months.
Belitzki did not provide any information on where the grain should be taken. However, the grain can only be transported by rail to Russia or to the Crimea peninsula, which Russia has annexed since 2014. According to Ukrainian sources, around 70 tons of grain can be transported in a typical local railway wagon.
According to Belitzki, in addition to rail transport, shipping by sea is also planned. “About 100,000 tons will be exported through the seaport of Berdyansk,” he announced.
After invading Ukraine in February, Russia quickly seized the southern part of the Zaporizhia region, including the port of Berdyansk on the Sea of Azov. However, the advance to the north was halted, so that the regional capital of Zaporizhia itself remains under Kyiv’s control.
Before the war, Ukraine was one of the largest grain exporters in the world. According to information from Kyiv, more than 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain are stuck in the Black Sea as a result of the Russian attack and the naval blockade.
Ukraine is only gradually succeeding in establishing alternative export routes. The uncertainties caused by the war have made many foods more expensive worldwide.