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Russia stole 200,000 tons of crops, says Ukrainian grower

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Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of stealing grain from occupied regions and exporting it, saying Moscow has shipped half a million tons of seized food. Russia has persistently denied the allegations.

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HarvEast, which was one of Ukraine’s 10 largest landowners before the war, said Russian trucks took 50,000 tons of stored crops and then headed for Russia, including from the towns of Manhush and Nikolske near Mariupol.

The firm estimates that around 150,000 tonnes more have been harvested from its occupied fields that it no longer controls, although it cannot verify the exact figures.

That combined volume would fill about three Panamax bulk carriers.

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The biggest loss is this year’s harvest.” HarvEast CEO Dmitri Skornyakov said in an interview. “In June they began to harvest our cereals and we do not have access to those lands.”.

Abnormally high amounts of food shipments from the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula indicate that seized Ukrainian grain is being exported from there, according to analysts and the kyiv School of Economics. HarvEast’s land is close enough to Russia that its grain is more likely to be shipped from there by truck, Skornyakov said.

Russia’s invasion in February blocked Ukrainian ports, limiting exports and causing world food prices to soar. Shipments have resumed through a recently agreed export corridor, but volumes are only a fraction of normal levels.

HarvEast – part of Ukrainian tycoon Rinat Akhmetov’s SCM holding company – has lost about two-thirds of its land to the Russian occupation, Skornyakov said.

Source: Gestion

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