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    Russians bomb grain crops in Ukraine. “The world's food security is on fire”

    CNN reports that fires are consuming grain crops in Ukraine, which would be difficult to harvest and export even without the Russian invasion. According to the Ukrainian authorities, the Russians are deliberately bombarding the fields with incendiary shells to create a global food crisis.

    In various parts of Ukraine, including areas with the most fertile soils, a similar sight has been common recently: summer skies are concealed by clouds of smoke, and in the fields, combines are trying to harvest grain before it is consumed by raging fires, writes the US station.


    A farmer from the Zaporizhzhya region, Pavlo Serhienko, told CNN that he has 3,000 hectares of fields, but it is now too dangerous to cultivate almost half of that area because of the Russian military’s actions. – We can’t even get there. It’s either mined or it’s close to occupied land, literally on the front line. We had occupiers in parts of the fields,” he said.


    “For the last four days our knees are bloody, and we are putting out (fires) in the fields. They (the Russians) especially hit the fields, the wheat and barley fields, every day,” the farmer added.


    Serhienko has lost 30 hectares of wheat and 55 hectares of barley in recent days. – Those 1,200 hectares I can’t get to are also on fire. But what can I do? I won’t even go there,” he lamented.


    Ukrainian officials do not doubt that the actions of the Russians are deliberate. Last week, police in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine, in one of the country’s most important agricultural areas, opened investigations into the ‘deliberate destruction of crops by the Russian military.


    According to the police, Russian forces have been shelling farmland with incendiary projectiles. “Every day large fires break out, hundreds of hectares of wheat, barley and other crops have already burned (…) To save at least part of the crop, villagers are working with machinery next to the wall of fire”, and the Russians are deliberately not allowing the fires to be put out, the communiqué said.


    In the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, “the enemy has started to use tactics to destroy fields where the harvest is underway”, the head of the regional administration Pavlo Kyrylenko reported. The Ukrainian defence ministry, meanwhile, provided a photo of one of the fires with the caption: “It is not Ukrainian wheat that is burning, it is the food security of the world that is burning”.


    The bombing of agricultural fields and infrastructure, along with the blockade of exports, could have consequences on the world market. Ukrainian Deputy Agriculture Minister Taras Vysotsky estimated that the grain harvest could be at least 50 million tonnes this year, up from 86 million tonnes in 2021. According to the traders’ association, at least half is destined for export, CNN reported.


    Ukrainian Foreign Ministry chief Dmytro Kuleba assessed last week that Russia is using a “deliberate, cynical strategy” to destroy Ukrainian agriculture. “Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports has already torn global food supply chains to shreds (…) Adding fuel to the fire, Russia is stealing Ukrainian grain and bombing Ukrainian granaries,” he declared.


    According to CNN, it is not only this year’s harvest that is at risk. Independent farmers are responsible for a large part of Ukraine’s crops, and these farmers could go bankrupt as a result of the losses. “When that happens, we will have problems with the next wheat or maize harvest. So, I’m more worried about production in 2023 than in 2022,” said AgResource’s Chicago-based consultancy, Dan Basse, in June.



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