Russia stole almost 6 million tons of Ukrainian wheat harvested in the occupied territories in Ukraine in 2022.
This is stated in the report to the US Congress called “Assessment of Impact of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine on Food Security“. The document refers to the data from an unclassified US intelligence report based on satellite imagery and open-source reports.
It is noted that the cargo ships that Russia uses to export this stolen Ukrainian grain will run along the coast of Turkey, delivering cargo to the ports of Syria, Israel, Iran, Georgia and Lebanon.
“We cannot confirm whether the buyers of the Russian cargoes were aware of the Ukrainian origin of the grain,” the report says.
Russia stole almost 6 million tons of Ukrainian wheat harvested in the occupied territories – US Congress report
The US Congress’ report also says that Russia’s large-scale military aggression against Ukraine has caused deep disruptions in global food supplies, raised prices and increased the risk of food insecurity in poor countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
The US Congress noted that this war’s direct and indirect effects were “the main drivers of one of the most devastating periods in recent decades for global food security.” The fact is that before the full-scale invasion, Ukraine and Russia were among the world’s largest exporters of grain and other agricultural products.
At the same time, the report says that food security problems have decreased since the beginning of 2023. Still, global food prices are likely to be affected by the situation with the Black Sea Grain Initiative, from which Russia withdrew in July 2023.
The report also notes that last year’s drought in Canada, the Middle East, South America, and the United States increased the war-related strain on global food supplies.
Ukrainian Intelligence officials have previously accused Russia of using food supplies as a weapon by blocking Ukrainian exports, destroying infrastructure, and capturing agricultural land in Ukraine.
How much Ukrainian grain did Russia steal: two researches issued
In mid-2022, the KSE Institute’s Center for Food and Land Use Research reported that Russia had stolen more than $600 million worth of Ukrainian grain and oil.
The total amount of war damages and losses in agriculture of Ukraine is $27.6 billion, which KSE Agrocenter estimated. The report said damages totalling $4.3 billion – the largest category is damages caused by the inability to harvest winter crops ($1.4 billion) and destroyed equipment ($926 million).
At the end of the year, Bloomberg, citing a study by NASA Harvest, noted that Russia had taken at least $1 billion worth of wheat from the territories not controlled by Ukraine during the full-scale war.
According to research using satellite imagery from NASA’s food security and agriculture program, Bloomberg wrote that Ukraine lost at least $1 billion of wheat harvested in areas captured by Russia in the war in 2022.
The analysis shows what’s happening in occupied territories, where information is tightly controlled. It uses a machine-learning model detecting texture and colour changes based on a time series of satellite images to map where crops have been harvested or left unharvested.