Engineered Global Food Crisis? More Claims of Russia Deliberately Bombing Grain Silos

Grain Elevator

After weeks of claims about Russia deliberately sabotaging Ukraine’s food production and export infrastructure, the Ukrainian state has published images claiming to be just such an attack on food and energy equipment in the embattled east of the nation.

Images showing a burnt-out grain elevator and a shell-pocked steel warehouse were published by Kyiv state media Ukrinform on Wednesday, along with claims Russian forces had shelled both “a large grain elevator” and a power plant in the eastern Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, which borders Russian-occupied zones. A grain elevator is a key component of a silo, which carries the produce from ground level upwards for dry storage.

The report cited the head of the region’s council, Mykola Lukashuk, who sardonically noted — in satire of Russia’s stated war objectives — that the attack had successfully “denazified” the silo. More seriously, the politician continued: “They are shelling production facilities, on which not only Ukraine’s food security but the global food security depends”, adding that the attacks on civilian infrastructure were intended to cause terror.

According to oft-repeated claims about the progress of Russia’s war against Ukraine, strikes against food production facilities like grain silos are neither unusual, nor accidental. Indeed, it is asserted the strikes are part of a deliberate programme of engineering a food crisis by systematically attacking agricultural infrastructure in one of the world’s largest grain-producing nations.

Ireland’s Prime Minister is one who has asserted the deliberate nature of the attacks, saying last week: “The largest grain silos in the Ukraine have all been levelled so there is a very clear strategic objective there to create a food crisis… They are very clear there is a deliberate strategy on behalf of Putin to literally bomb people out of Ukraine, to create so much terror that people will flee.”

European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell has made similar claims, stating in early April: “They are bombing Ukrainian cities and provoking hunger in the world… They are provoking hunger in the world by blocking the exports of wheat and by destroying the storage of wheat in Ukraine.”

According to a UK Ministry of Defence report, grain production is expected to be down a fifth in Ukraine this year, but even if farmers are able to sow and reap their crop in war conditions, once stored in silos they are liable to be bombed by Russia. Exporting the crop is then challenged by Russia blockading Ukraine’s Black Sea ports: grain is a bulk cargo and potentially hundreds of long-distance truck journeys could be required to replace a single ship.

Underlining the importance of keeping Ukraine’s food flowing, the report stated: “Ukraine is the fourth largest producer and exporter of agricultural goods in the world… Reduced grain supply from Ukraine will generate inflationary pressures, elevating the global price of grain.

“High grain prices could have significant implications for global food markets and threaten global food security, particularly in some of the least economically developed countries.”

The United Nations has claimed a global shortage of food that could be triggered by the collapse of agriculture or exports from Ukraine — long known as the ‘breadbasket of Europe’ for its prodigious agricultural output — would see starvation in third-world countries trigger a “hell on earth” migrant crisis.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.