Ukrainian farmers in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine have been forced to throw away tonnes of fresh produce as President Putin’s forces prohibit
Ukrainian farmers in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine have been forced to throw away tonnes of fresh produce as President Putin’s forces prohibit the transport of vital food across the country. In a video clip that has emerged from the messaging app Telegram, boxes of ripe tomatoes are shown to be tossed on the roadside as the Ukrainian farmers transporting the fruit and vegetables were apparently made to discard the produce. A caption accompanying the footage dreads: “The invaders prohibit the export of fruit and vegetables from the temporarily occupied territories.”
The produce was reportedly being transported from the now Russian-controlled city of Melitopol to Zaporizhzhia in the southeast of Ukraine when Putin’s military forces intervened at a checkpoint in Vasylivka.
Russia has previously denied accusations that the invasion of Ukraine had created a global shortage of food supplies, further inflating costs of produce across the world.
The Russian ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, recently stormed out of a Security Council meeting after fellow representatives denounced Moscow’s restriction of the international food supply.
European Council President Charles Michel claimed President Putin was using food as a “stealth missile” against Europe by blocking transport networks across Ukraine.
During an address directed towards the Russian ambassador, Mr Michel said: “The Kremlin is using food supplies as a stealth missile against developing countries.”
He continued: “The dramatic consequences of Russia’s war are spilling over across the globe.
“This is driving up food prices, pushing people into poverty, and destabilising entire regions.
“Russia is solely responsible for this looming food crisis, Russia alone.”
After his dramatic exit from the UN Security Council meeting, Mr Nebenzya described the accusations of the European Council President as “lies.”
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A recent report published by the International Rescue Committee said: “The ripple effects of the war in Ukraine are compounding a pre-existing hunger crisis.”
The report continued: “Ukraine and Russia are major global suppliers of energy, food, and fertilisers to some of the world’s most food insecure regions.
“Disruption to Ukrainian supply chains, coupled with export restrictions, have caused prices of essential commodities to rise sharply.
“With limited fiscal capacity and reserves, these crisis-affected regions are unable to mitigate the inflationary impact on their populations.”
The IRC predicted the food crisis would impact people living in “food import-dependent countries” as the global supply chain suffers huge disruption and the price of essential rockets.
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A report produced by the World Food Programme suggests that much of the food produced in Ukraine will go to waste as many Ukrainian farmers have been forced to flee and not enough workers remain to harvest the produce.
The WFP said: “If the fighting does not stop, the yield from Ukraine’s 2022-23 agricultural season could be down by as much as half on the year before.”
Prior to the war, the food within Ukraine was transported across the globe through the country’s Black Sea ports, however, a Russian naval blockade has prevented the movement of food supplies.
Moscow has continued to deny blame for the global food crisis as Russia claims Ukrainian military forces have used mines to disrupt ships in the areas around the ports making the waters unsafe.