The Ukrainian authorities inform that the Russians are increasingly deliberately bombarding Ukrainian fields with incendiary missiles in order to trigger a global food crisis, the US television CNN reported. Earlier, police in the Kherson Oblast, one of the country’s most important agricultural areas, reported that the fields were burning daily, hundreds of hectares of wheat, barley and other cereals had already burned down.
In different parts UkraineThere is often a similar sight recently, including in areas with the most fertile soils: the summer skies are hidden in clouds of smoke, and in the fields, harvesters are trying to collect grain before raging fires engulf it, the American station reported in the report.
Farmer from Zaporizhia Oblast, Pavlo Serhenko told CNN that he has 3,000 hectares of fields, but that almost half of the area is now too dangerous to cultivate due to the actions of the Russian military. – We can’t even get there. Either it is mined or it is located close to the occupied territories, literally on the front line. We had occupiers in part of the fields – he said. – We put out (fires) in the fields. They (the Russians) especially hit the fields, wheat and barley fields every day – added the farmer.
Serhienko has lost 30 hectares of wheat and 55 hectares of barley in the last days. “The 1,200 hectares I can’t get to are also on fire.” But what can I do? I won’t even go there, he complained.
Ukrainian officials have no doubts that the actions of the Russians are deliberate. Last week, the police in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine, in one of the country’s most important agricultural areas, launched investigations into what it reported was deliberate destruction of crops by the Russian military.
“Big fires break out every day”
According to police in the Kherson region, Russian forces are firing incendiary missiles on farmland. “Every day large fires break out, hundreds of hectares of wheat, barley and other grains have already burned. To save at least some of the crops, villagers work with machines next to the fire wall, and the Russians deliberately do not allow fires to be extinguished” – it was written in the press release.
In the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine “the enemy has started to use the tactic of destroying the fields where the harvest is taking place,” informed Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the regional administration. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense provided a photo of one of the fires with the note: “It is not Ukrainian wheat that is burning, it is burning food security in the world”.
The Ukrainian section of the BBC previously reported that not only fields were on fire, but also areas around the fields and nearby forests.
The tsn.ua portal reported in early July that as a result of the shelling, wheat fields in the Zaporizhia Oblast, and later in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, where over 20 hectares of cereals were burned, were seized.
According to the Ukrainian media, citing the data of officials collecting evidence of environmental crimes, since the beginning of the armed attack Russia in Ukraine, 3,000 fires were recorded in the area of over 1.5 million hectares of land, most of them on agricultural land.
Consequences for the world market
The bombing of fields and agricultural infrastructure along with an export blockade may have consequences for the global market. Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Taras Vysotsky estimated that the grain harvest could reach at least 50 million tonnes this year, compared with 86 million tonnes in 2021. According to the trade union, at least half is intended for export, CNN reported.
Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said last week that Russia was using “a deliberate, cynical strategy” to destroy Ukrainian agriculture. – The Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports has already torn global food supply chains to shreds (…) By pouring fuel into the fire, Russia is stealing Ukrainian grain and bombing Ukrainian granaries – he said.
According to CNN, not only this year’s harvest is at risk. Independent farmers are responsible for a large part of the crops in Ukraine, and they may go bankrupt as a result of losses. “When that happens, we will really have problems with the next wheat or maize harvest.” So I’m more worried about production in 2023 than in 2022, said Dan Basse, an employee of AgResource consulting company in Chicago, in June.
Main photo source: facebook.com/DSNSMYKOL