Satellite tv for pc photos seem to point out Russian ships loading up with Ukrainian grain in Crimea | CNN Politics

2022-05-24 04:12:01


Russia’s theft of Ukrainian grain seems to be ramping up because it continues its battle on the nation, in keeping with new satellite tv for pc pictures of the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

Two Russia-flagged bulk provider ships are proven docking and loading up with what’s believed to be stolen Ukrainian grain within the photos. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of “steadily stealing” Ukrainian meals merchandise and attempting to promote them.

The brand new photos from Maxar Applied sciences, dated Might 19 and 21, present the ships – the Matros Pozynich and the Matros Koshka – docked subsequent to what look like grain silos with grain pouring off of a belt into an open maintain. Each ships have now left the port, in keeping with the ship monitoring website, with the Matros Pozynich crusing by means of the Aegean Sea claiming to be on its solution to Beirut and the Matros Koshka nonetheless within the Black Sea.

A satellite image from Maxar technologies shows grain being loaded into the hull of the  Russia-flagged ship Matros Pozynich in Crimea

It’s tough to know for sure whether or not the ship is being loaded with stolen Ukrainian grain, however Russia-annexed Crimea produces little grain itself, in contrast to the agriculturally wealthy Ukrainian areas of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia instantly to the north. Ukrainian officers and business sources have instructed CNN that Russian forces in occupied areas have emptied a number of silos and trucked the grain south.

Earlier this month, the Matros Pozynich carried out an analogous mission: loading up with grain and setting sail out of the Black Sea and into the Mediterranean. It was initially sure for Egypt with its cargo, but it surely was turned away from Alexandria after a warning from Ukrainian officers, in keeping with the nation’s authorities. It was additionally barred entry to Beirut, finally docking in Latakia, in Syria, the place Russia has for years been propping up the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

A satellite image from Maxar Technologies shows the Russia-flagged Matros Pozynich docked in Sevastopol on May 19.

On the similar time, Russia has been blocking Ukraine from exporting items from its ports, fueling fears of a worldwide meals disaster.

“The world group should assist Ukraine unblock seaports, in any other case the vitality disaster shall be adopted by a meals disaster and lots of extra nations will face it,” Zelensky mentioned Saturday. “Russia has blocked virtually all ports and all, so to talk, maritime alternatives to export meals – our grain, barley, sunflower and extra. Lots of issues.”

Final week CNN reported that the US and allies are holding discussions on the way to safely develop routes to move grain from Ukraine amid considerations about international meals provides. Proof that Russia is stealing grain solely complicates these efforts.

Earlier than the battle, wheat provides from Russia and Ukraine accounted for nearly 30% of worldwide commerce, and Ukraine is the world’s fourth-largest exporter of corn and the fifth-largest exporter of wheat, in keeping with the US State Division. The United Nations World Meals Program – which helps fight international meals insecurity – buys about half of its wheat from Ukraine annually and has warned of dire penalties if Ukrainian ports aren’t opened up.

On May 21 the Russian ship Matros Koshka was seen in the Sevasopol port in this satellite image from Maxar Technologies.

The ships have capacities of 30,000 metric tons and earlier this month Ukraine’s Protection Ministry estimated that some 400,000 tons had been stolen and brought out of Ukraine since Russia’s invasion.

Mykola Solsky, Ukraine’s minister of Agrarian Coverage and Meals, mentioned it’s “despatched in an organized method within the path of Crimea. It is a massive enterprise that’s supervised by folks of the best stage.”

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, taking with it the important thing Black Sea port of Sevastopol. Since launching a renewed invasion in February, Russia has disadvantaged Ukraine entry to 2 key ports: capturing Mariupol, on the Sea of Azov, and focusing on and blocking Odesa, additionally on the Black Sea. Ukraine’s incapability to export from these ports will not be solely impacting meals ranges worldwide however having a devastating affect on the nation’s financial system.

There are an estimated 22 million tons of grain sitting in Ukrainian silos, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned final week.

The Russian bulk carrier ships have capacities of 30,000 metric tons of grain

“The Russian Federation claims falsely that the worldwide group’s sanctions are responsible for worsening the worldwide meals disaster. Sanctions aren’t blocking Black Sea ports, trapping ships crammed with meals, and destroying Ukrainian roads and railways,” Blinken mentioned. “Russia is.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov beforehand known as allegations Russia was stealing grain from its neighbor “faux information,” in keeping with Russian state information company TASS and different information companies.

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