Espreso. Global

How much Ukrainian grain was stolen by Russia after full-scale invasion?

22 November, 2023 Wednesday
19:05

Journalists of Texty.org.ua have studied satellite images and economic data to calculate the volume of Ukrainian grain illegally exported by Russia after 24 February 2022

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You can read the summary of the research below, and the full version here.

How much grain was stolen and its price

According to Ukrainian journalists, occupying Russian forces stole more than 15 million tonnes of grain, of which two-thirds was wheat and one-third was corn and sunflower. The revenue from the sale of this amount of grain over the past two years could exceed $7 billion.

Who grew the grain and how it was exported

In the spring of 2022, the invading Russian forces confiscated or bought grain leftovers from Ukrainian farmers in the occupied territories for next to nothing and stole the grain that remained in elevators and storage facilities. In the spring of 2023, the Russians were already sowing and harvesting the occupied land on their own.

Grain from the temporarily occupied territories of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions is exported by Russians mainly to Crimea or Russian cities. In particular, satellite imagery regularly shows huge accumulations of grain trucks near the grain terminal in Sevastopol and Kerch.

The occupying Russian forces had almost no problems exporting Ukrainian grain due to an established network of buyers and well-established logistics chains. In addition, the ports of the peninsula temporarily occupied by Russia have more capacity and were not affected by the hostilities.

Maps showing the accumulation of grain trucks near the grain terminal in Sevastopol

Maps showing the accumulation of grain trucks near the grain terminal in Sevastopol. Photo: Texty.org.ua

How the stolen grain and its cost were calculated

The data on wheat, sunflower and corn acreage in the occupied territories was provided by OneSoil, a company that uses satellite imagery and machine learning to remotely identify the boundaries of fields and the crops grown on them. 

The journalists also took into account the yields in the occupied territories and the cost of grain on world markets to calculate the damage caused by Russian thieves.


 
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