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Russia is stealing farm equipment and destroying grain silos to cause a famine, Ukraine says

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Video purportedly showing a Russian strike on a grain warehouse in Ukraine.
Emine Dzheppar/Twitter
  • Ukraine alleged on Monday that Russian troops are stealing farm equipment.
  • Ukraine's human rights chief also accused Russia of targeting grain storage in a missile strike. 
  • She accused Russian forces of "deliberately taking measures to cause a famine in Ukraine."
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Ukraine's human rights chief accused Russian troops of stealing farm equipment and targeting grain warehouses to cause a famine in the eastern European country. 

Lyudmyla Denisova, the country's ombudswoman for human rights, said in a Monday Facebook post that Russian forces destroyed a grain elevator — which is used to stockpile the crop — in eastern Ukraine.

She accused Russian forces of stealing agricultural equipment and said the first cases of theft were recorded as early as mid-March. 

Denisova also said a Russian strike hit a grain warehouse in Ukraine's Dnipro region.  

"Russian occupation forces are deliberately taking measures to cause a famine in Ukraine," Denisova said. 

Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Emine Dzheppar posted a video of the purported strike to Twitter, accusing Russia of "deliberately" striking the warehouse. 

Iuliia Mendel, a former spokesperson for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, also posted photos appearing to show damage from Russian attacks on Ukrainian agricultural equipment. 

In a Sunday video address posted to Telegram, Zelenskyy said Russian forces struck a warehouse with grain and another with fertilisers.

"The targets they choose prove once again that the war against Ukraine is a war of extermination for the Russian army," Zelenskyy said. "They targeted the warehouses of agricultural enterprises." 

Ukrainian officials have previously accused Russia of stealing grain in areas that Russian President Vladimir Putin's forces now occupy — a claim the Kremlin denies.

Attacks on grain storage and production also have impacts beyond the borders of Ukraine, which is a grain exporter.  

The United Nations previously expressed concern that Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine has created a spiralling humanitarian crisis and threatens global food security. 

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