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Ukraine’s economy suffers as Russia destroys 280,000 tons of Ukrainian grain

Russia has destroyed 280,000 tons of Ukrainian grain within just two months.
Destroyed grain terminal in Odesa. Credit: Operational Command “South”
Ukraine’s economy suffers as Russia destroys 280,000 tons of Ukrainian grain

Russian missiles and kamikaze drones have destroyed 280,000 tons of Ukrainian grain since July 2023, when Russia suspended the Black Sea grain deal and started to attack Ukrainian ports and grain terminals, according to the Financial Times.

Over the past two months, Russia has launched a campaign of drone and missile attacks on Danube ports and Black Sea ports in the Odesa Oblast (southern Ukraine) to disrupt Ukraine’s infrastructure and export routes that keep the Ukrainian economy going despite Russian aggression.

Over the past 12 months, Ukraine, which produces half of the world’s sunflower oil exports and 10% of the world’s wheat, has exported around 35 million tons of grain across the Danube River.

Before Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative and started to attack Ukrainian ports, Ukraine exported 33 million tons of grain through its ports in the Black Sea.

Viktor Berestenko, president of the Association of International Freight Forwarders, says it costs about $116 to export a ton of grain to Egypt via the Danube River. Before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, it cost about $69 to export a ton of grain via the Black Sea.

Ukrainian farmers and shippers noted that the Danube’s capacity can be expanded further.

“The advantage of the Danube is that there are many places to load and the infrastructure is distributed. This also means that Ukraine does not dance to Russia’s tune,” Andrii Vadaturskyi, CEO of Nibulon, a Ukrainian agrarian company.

However, the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports and kamikaze drone attacks make it increasingly risky to transport grain via the Danube ports in the Odesa Oblast. Russia has been carrying out drone and missile attacks on Ukrainian cities and civilian infrastructure far behind the frontlines, especially Black Sea and Danube ports, almost daily.

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