Chronology of actions that threaten humanity with famine due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Denmark has decided to join the “grain agreement” as part of the “Grain From Ukraine” initiative, the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, reported.


According to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, about 2,4 million tons of Ukrainian grain were exported in January. In particular, 540 thousand tons of wheat were exported this month, of which 61 thousand tons went to Africa. As of January 26, Ukraine has already sent 675 ships with a cargo of 18,4 million tons as part of the “grain initiative”. The share of Africa is 2,3 million tons, Asia – 5,1 million tons, Europe – 7,5 million tons, and the Middle East – 3,4 million tons.


As of the end of January, the number of ships leaving Ukrainian ports fell to 2,5 per day. Russian inspectors artificially block the work of the “grain initiative”, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine reported.


Since the beginning of the “grain corridor” initiative, Ukraine has exported about 17,3 million tons of Ukrainian food. In particular, 1 million tons of agricultural products were exported in January, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine reports.


As part of the grain initiative, another ship with Ukrainian grain was sent to African Libya. As reported by the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, the bulk carrier BRAVE M with 27,5 thousand tons of agricultural products for Libya joined the caravan of 5 other ships that exported 244 thousand tons of agricultural products from the ports of Odesa to the countries of Asia and Europe.


Russian servicemen have stolen about 1,100 tons of grain from one of the warehouses in the Kakhovka district in Kherson, press service of the Kherson regional police reports.


As part of the humanitarian food initiative “Grain from Ukraine”, the third ship with 25,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat for Somalia left the port of Odesa on December 9. The first two ships had already delivered 55,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat to Ethiopia, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine reported.


According to the Bloomberg agency, Ukraine had lost at least $1 billion worth of wheat, harvested in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories. About 88% of the winter crops, including almost 6 million tons of wheat, were collected by Russians in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories. Russian ships have been exporting stolen Ukrainian wheat to different countries abroad, including Libya and Iran.


More than $180 million have already been collected to implement the “Grain from Ukraine” project, said Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine.

It is one of the most significant Ukrainian humanitarian initiatives at the moment. About 31 countries, the European Union, the United Nations, and the NATO alliance have officially announced their participation.

In particular, the Italian government has allocated €2 million to this project, Antonio Tajani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy reported.


The Constituent International Summit on Food Security was held. Implementation of the “Grain from Ukraine” project was on the agenda. Its main idea is that every state or international organization participating in the “Grain from Ukraine” project will be able to buy Ukrainian grain for other states and help them avoid hunger. It will also help the Ukrainian economy. The program is already starting to work. As part of the project, the Nord Vind ship left Ukraine on November 15. 27,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat for the residents of Ethiopia are on board. – Andrii Yermak, Head of the Presidential Office


Despite the war, Ukraine sowed winter crops in 94% of its area from the forecast, the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Agrarian and Land Policy informed.

In particular, 4,4 million hectares of winter crops were sown: wheat (3,8 million hectares), barley (613,000 hectares), and rye (79,2 thousand hectares).


The US government has allocated about $20 million to implement the “Grain from Ukraine” initiative, the US Embassy in Ukraine reported. This initiative has been announced this week by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to send Ukrainian food to the countries that need it most.


The “grain initiative” was extended for another 120 days, the Ministry of Infrastructure reported. Since the beginning of the “grain initiative” in August, Ukraine has exported more than 11 million tons of its agricultural products to 38 countries worldwide.


Since the start of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, 430 ships have exported 10 million tons of Ukrainian food to the countries of Africa, Asia, and Europe, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine reports.

In October, the export volumes could have been 30-40% higher if Russia had not artificially blocked inspections of ships in the Bosphorus.


The Black Sea Grain Initiative will continue, reported Oleksandr Kubrakov, the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine. On November 3, 8 vessels with agricultural products are expected to pass through the “grain corridor”.

Later, it became known that Russia agreed to resume an agreement on the safe export of Ukrainian crops through the Black Sea.


Russia used a false pretext to announce the cancellation of the grain export initiative.

“This is an absolutely deliberate blockade by Russia. This is an absolutely transparent intention of Russia to return the threat of large-scale famine to Africa and Asia. More than 2 million tonnes of food are in the sea. This means that access to food has actually worsened for more than 7 million consumers,” stated Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine.


Russia is delaying inspections of ships entering and leaving Ukrainian seaports, which resulted in a queue that has already exceeded 170 ships. Currently, Ukrainian ports can only work at 25-30% of their capacity, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine reports.


Starting from 14 October 2022, Russia’s inspectors assigned to the Istanbul Joint Coordination Centre have been significantly prolonging the inspection of vessels, which are heading to Ukraine’s ports for grain loads, or have already been loaded and are on their way to the final destination. As a result, more than 165 vessels have been stuck in a queue near the Bosporus Strait, and this number continues to grow daily.


Russia has committed another attack with kamikaze drones on Mykolaiv. This attack caused the critical damage and fire of vegetable oil transshipment facility, which resulted in the loss of about 7 thousand tons of vegetable oil. 17% of the global export of these products passed through this particular terminal in the city of Mykolaiv.


According to the investigation by the Associated Press and the PBS series “Frontline” the grain worth at least $530 million has been stolen from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine. They describe a sophisticated Russian-run smuggling operation that has used falsified manifests and seaborne subterfuge. AP used satellite imagery and marine radio transponder data to track three dozen ships making more than 50 voyages carrying grain from Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine to ports in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and other countries.


Since the Grain Initiative became operational, the UN World Food Programme has loaded 4 ships with 121 thousand tons of wheat that were sent to Ethiopia, Yemen, and Afghanistan. The 5th ship was charted by WFP to deliver 50 thousand tons of wheat to Somalia.


In the first two months of the grain initiative, 5,5 million tons of agricultural products were exported. 241 vessels have left the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdennyi. 60% of vessels were sent to Asian, African and the Middle East markets. Among them 33 vessels with 880 thousand tons of grain were directed to the most vulnerable countries that mostly rely on Ukrainian agricultural exports.


As a result of Russian targeted missile strikes the dairy farm and 4 buildings of the “Stepnoy” pig farm in the Zaporizhzhya region were destroyed. More than 6,000 pigs and 1,000 heifers were killed. PJSC ”Plemzavod Stepnoy ” is one of the best and most modernised agricultural enterprises in Ukraine.


The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the agreement on the establishment of a project office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Ukraine. As of mid-August, FAO provided emergency agricultural services (seeds, multi-purpose cash assistance) to 80 thousand small farmers in 13 regions of Ukraine funded by countries and NGOs.


In response to the food security challenges faced by the population of African countries, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy issued a decree to contribute 50,000 tons of wheat as humanitarian aid to support the actions of the governments of Ethiopia and Somalia to improve the humanitarian situation in their countries.


According to the Conflict Observatory, one in six (15.73%) crop storage facilities have been impacted by the war since 24 February 2022. According to satellite evaluation, 75 out of the 344 facilities were found to show visible damages. Intentional and indiscriminate targeting of crop storage infrastructure can constitute a war crime and a crime against humanity under international law. 


In the morning of September 4, Russian invaders attacked the town of Ochakiv in the Mykolaiv Region, destroying a grain elevator with about 2 thousand tons of grain.


According to the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, in August 1.72 mln. tons of agricultural products were shipped from the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdenny in the framework of the Grain Initiative. In total 68 ships departed the unblocked seaports during the first month of operation of the humanitarian grain corridor, with destination ports located in 18 countries.


The first UN WFP-chartered ship carrying Ukrainian grain to Ethiopia, where millions are at risk of starvation, has reached the port of Djibouti. On the same day, another WFP-chartered vessel MV Karteria, carrying 37,000 metric tons of wheat grain left Ukraine for humanitarian response in Yemen, where over 17 million people are struggling with acute hunger.


According to the Luhansk Regional Military-Civil Administration, all 200,000 tons of grain collected in the fields of Agroton (one of the region’s leading agricultural companies) have been stolen and transported from the Luhansk region to Russia. Meanwhile, farmers in the occupied territories claim that the situation in the region’s agriculture is close to catastrophic.


In the first 5.5 months of Russia’s war against Ukraine, it has managed to export almost 10 mln. tons of agricultural products (last year – it was almost twice bigger 19.6 mln. tons). With all available logistics routes Ukraine exported almost 2 mln. tons of grains in the first two weeks of August, while in July the figure was about 3 mln. tons


Since the first vessel left Ukraine on August, 1 more than 720,000 metric tons of grain and foodstuff have been exported from Ukraine by 33 vessels under the Black Sea Grain Initiative.


Ukrainian agrarian holding “HarvEast” (is among top-10 by landbank areas) informed that Russia looted as much as 200,000 tons of crops from its farms in temporarily occupied eastern region of Ukraine – 50,000 tons of crops has been taken from storage by Russian lorries, including from the villages of near Mariupol; about another 150,000 tons have been harvested from its occupied fields that now are out of their control.


BRAVE COMMANDER bulk carrier arrived at Ukrainian seaport Pivdennyi for loading 23,000 tons of grain. It will carry food aid for Ethiopia as part of UN-led efforts to help countries at risk of famine under the UN World Food Programme initiative.


Spain has launched a pilot project testing the viability of using railways to import grain from Ukraine. Spanish railway company “Renfe” arranged a special freight train consisting of 25 40-feet containers fitted with special liners for transporting grain. It left Madrid on August, 9 for the Polish city of Chelm (near the Ukrainian border). It will collect 600 tons of corn and return to Barcelona in early September.


Three more cargo ships, loaded with about 58,000 tons of Ukrainian corn, formed a caravan of vessels and left Ukrainian Black Sea ports. According to Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, two bulk carriers ROJEN and POLARNET departed the port of Chornomorsk for the United Kingdom and Ireland, and bulk carrier NAVI STAR left the port of Odesa to the Karasu port in Turkiye, its final destination. However, their first stop is in Turkish waters, for a joint-team inspection.


The Sierra Leone-flagged bulk carrier Razoni left the port of Odesa carrying over 26000 tons of corn and is bound for Tripoli in Lebanon following an inspection in Istambul. It is the first commercial vessel leaving Ukraine’s port by agreed humanitarian corridor in Black Sea since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 


As a result of enemy’s targeted shelling of the house in the city of Mykolaiv the owner and CEO of “Nibulon” (one of the largest agricultural companies of Ukraine) and the Hero of Ukraine Oleksii Vadatursky together with his wife Raisa were killed.


Russian missiles hit and damaged the critical port infrastructure in the Mykolaiv region


Two Russian missiles hit and damaged the infrastructure of Odesa Port a day after the Initiative on the Safe Transportation of Grain and Foodstuffs from Ukrainian ports (Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi) had been signed.


Russian occupying authorities confiscated about 70 thousand tons of newly harvested grain from Ukrainian farmers (Nibulon LLC and Agroton PJSC enterprises) in the Luhansk region and took the grain to Russia.


After a week of deliberate shelling by Russian troops of wheat fields in Zaporizhzhia region Ukrainian, a private agrarian company “Myr” reported about 1.000 hectares burned out. With expected yields per hectare in this region about 6 tons it means they have lost about 6.000 tons of wheat.


 In the temporarily occupied territory of Zaporizhzhia region, the invaders established the so-called “State Grain Company” and seized 20 elevators that belonged to local entrepreneurs. In fact, these elevators are considered stolen along with the stored grain that is currently being illegally exported by the occupying authorities.


Russian missiles hit and destroyed the silo with more than 5.000 tons of grain in the Synelnykove district, the Dnipropetrovsk region.


PJSC “Bakhmut Agrarian Union” located near the Svitlodar arc and the front line informed about the destruction of the huge pig complex as a result of missiles and bomb strikes during the hostilities. The complex had a capacity of 100,000 pigs. Although the management managed to deliver most of the livestock to the nearest meat processing plants, about 17,000 pigs considered died in the premises of the destroyed pig complex.


The grain elevator of “Agroton” company located in Siversk city, Donetsk region, was destroyed as a result of hostilities. 5.300 tons of sunflower were lost.


Russian invaders organized the first shipment with 7.000 tons of looted Ukrainian grain from the temporarily occupied port of Berdyansk. This was officially reported by the Russian Interfax.


Russian shelling of the “Azot” chemical plant in Ukraine’s Severodonetsk city caused its partial destruction. Throughout June, there were continued bombardment of this plant, one of the largest chemical plants in Europe that produce nitrogen fertilizers for agriculture needs (more than 1 mln tons annually). Now it is under Russian occupation.


Russian troops launched a missile strike on one of Ukraine’s largest specialized seaports, “Nika-Tera”, in Mykolaiv. A fire broke out in the port after the shelling. The fire destroyed two warehouses with grain meal. In total, the fire broke out in 10 thousand square meters.


Two Russia-flagged bulk carrier ships are shown docking and loading up in Crimea with stolen Ukrainian grain. The images from Maxar Technologies, dated May 19 and 21, show the vessels — the Matros Pozynich and the Matros Koshka — docked next to what appear to be grain silos with grain pouring off of a belt into an open hold.


In Kharkiv, the Russian forces deliberately completely destroyed the only National Center for Plant Genetic Resources in Ukraine. Tens of thousands of samples were destroyed, including grain samples that are hundreds of years old, and cannot be restored.


A Russian merchant ship Matros Pozynich loaded with grain stolen in Ukraine, has been identified in the Syrian port of Latakia. 


Powerful Russian bombs were dropped on the territory of the Golden Agro enterprise in Rubizhne (Luhansk region). The recently opened elevator complex with 30,000 tons of grain storage capacity was destroyed.


Russian troops in the occupied city of Melitopol have stolen all the equipment from an Agrotek farm equipment dealership for $5M and shipped it to Chechnya.


By shelling, Russian invaders severely damaged the elevator in the Kryvyi Rih district of the Dnipropetrovsk region.


The UkrTransAgro grain terminal, which operated in the Mariupol seaport, was completely destroyed by Russian troops.


Agricom Group does not have access to the cultivation of 15-20% of fields in the Chernihiv region (2,000 hectares) due to their mining.


Russian troops damaged the warehouses of the Qatari subsidiary QTerminals by a missile strike in the Mykolaiv region.


Around 400 Russian-made mines are left in the Black Sea, according to Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar (Source: Hürriyet Daily News). Some of them have already reached the shores of Turkey and other Black Sea countries.


The Kremenchuk refinery was damaged by Russian missiles.


Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev threatened the world community with restrictions on the Russian export of agricultural products to “unfriendly” countries. He openly referred to food exports as a weapon reaffirming the status of the Russian Federation as an aggressor not only in the military and energy sectors, but also in the food dimension.


Mining of access roads to agricultural lands in Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kyiv, and other regions of Ukraine. In many cases, fieldwork will be impossible in 2022 and 2023, even in the liberated regions.


Russia has mined the recommended routes from the Bosporus to Odesa, blaming it on Ukraine. 


Russian mortars took out the local power station, cutting all electricity and crashing the automated system that feeds and water Europe’s largest poultry farm. The Chornobaivka chicken farm in the Kherson region has lost almost 4 million chickens to thirst and starvation.


The oil depot in Vasylkiv was destroyed. The beginning of the deliberate destruction of infrastructure: oil depots, machine-transport stations, elevators, and roads in Ukraine in order to destroy any opportunity for economic activity, including agricultural production. Mass executions of civilians, including agricultural workers.


The beginning of the Russian armed aggression against

  • Grain exports from Ukraine have been suspended through the blockade of the ports by the Russian military. Russia has blocked around 90 commercial ships loaded with agricultural commodities in the Black Sea. In the first days, five ships were under missile strikes, one ship sank, and casualties and injuries were reported.
  • Occupation of the territories of Ukraine results in the impossibility of the field works. According to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine, 30% of the area under spring crops will not be sown in 2022.

Military exercises in the Azov and Black Seas caused delays in
logistics and the need to coordinate the shipping route along the coast, as well as
the reluctance of shipowners to work at high risk.

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