Ukraine: Civilian details being held captive by Russian soldiers
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The Russian President has been accused of stealing grain and destroying agricultural equipment as part of his ongoing war in Ukraine. It is believed that Russia is dismantling infrastructure needed for food production while at the same time blocking ports that are important in transporting cereals out of Ukraine.
Officials are concerned that the Kremlin now has a “deliberate policy” of disrupting food supplies which could lead to a global crisis and starvation in developing countries.
Russian forces have destroyed silos along with other food production infrastructure in a number of Ukrainian cities such as Kherson, Luhansk and Donetsk, according to Western sources.
The UN has estimated that over 1.7 billion people in 100 countries are being affected by the current massive surge in food, energy and commodity prices.
Known as the “breadbasket of the world”, Ukraine is renowned for its agricultural land and agricultural production.
A Western official told The Telegraph that Russia had created a “major threat” to world food supply.
They said: “[Russia] has exacerbated a pre-existing bad situation and has created a major threat to global food security through a deliberate policy of weaponization of global food supply.”
The source added that the rising food prices were the “last straw” for many countries already on the brink of a crisis.
Intelligence officials are carefully monitoring the situation due to fears of mass unrest in Africa and the Middle East, the source said.
On Wednesday night, Sri Lanka defaulted on its debts for the first time since independence in 1972.
It follows weeks of violent protests over the cost of living.
Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, warned on Monday of “apocalyptic” food prices rises.
Mr Bailey also raised concerns about the impact on the developing world.
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Ukraine and Russia produce a quarter of global wheat exports and a fifth of corn output between them.
In 2020 Lebanon imported 80 percent of its wheat from Ukraine with Moldova not far behind.
Qatar, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Malaysia, Jordan and Thailand are also very reliant on Ukrainian wheat.
However, the conflict is also pushing up other costs for farmers worldwide including fuel, fertiliser and feed.
Prewar Ukraine produced half of global sunflower oil.
Earlier this week the UN warned that almost 25 million tonnes of wheat in Ukrainian warehouses is being left to rot because the supplies cannot leave the country.
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