August 13, 2022

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A never-before-seen detailed report on what the Russians are doing with grain stolen from Ukraine has been produced.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office has asked Turkey’s Justice Ministry to investigate and provide evidence on three named ships suspected of being involved in the export of stolen grain from recently occupied Ukrainian territories such as Kherson. As per our recent analysis We pointed outIt seems that the Ukrainian side will soon try to export grain from its available ports.

From the Crimea to the Middle East

In that letter ReutersThe ships reportedly left Sevastopol, Crimea’s main grain terminal, in April and May and are urging Ankara to get their cargo and documents of arrival at Turkish ports.

According to shipping databases, all three ships belong to a subsidiary of the Russian state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation, which has been hit by Western sanctions. If the company is proven to have shipped grain from recently occupied Ukrainian territory, it would provide further evidence of Russian state-owned companies’ involvement in exports of what Kiev says are stolen goods. After the invasion in February, Ukraine publicly accused Moscow of stealing the grain, while Russia continues to deny this.

Kirill Stremusov, deputy head of the Russian-founded administration in Kherson, said grain from the region goes to Crimea and local farmers are responsible for transportation. He said he was not aware of exports to Turkey or the Middle East.

According to Kyiv’s estimates, the Russians have so far exported 400,000 tons of stolen grain.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey, Vasyl Botner, told Reuters: Ukraine believes most of it went to Turkey, and Kyiv sent Turkish authorities evidence of the involvement of 13 vessels in the scheme. Kiev doubts that Grain is taken from the recently occupied territories, especially KhersonThere are many grain storages that owners cannot access due to encroachment.

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Ukraine’s embassy in Beirut told Reuters that at least seven companies with warehouses in the newly occupied territory say Russia has stolen their wheat. Two companies, Ukrlandfarming and the Ukrainian State Food and Grain Company, confirmed this to Reuters but declined to provide further details.

Ukraine also reported

Since the February invasion, Russia has also sent wheat stolen from Ukraine to its ally Syria.

The embassy of Ukraine in Beirut told Reuters Since February, at least 150,000 tonnes of – according to him “stolen” – wheat has reached Syria.Often on Russian ships, without clarifying the origin of the information.

Export to Turkey

Named by Kiev One of the ships was at a grain terminal in Sevastopol in June, and eight days later it arrived in Iskenderun, Turkey., and based on photographs taken at the nearby port of Dörtyol, cargo such as gold grain was loaded onto trucks from a ship. Since March, the ship has called the Sevastopol grain terminal at least three times before arriving in Turkey 5 to 15 days later, according to satellite images and ship tracking data. In one case It unloaded 27,000 tons of wheat at the Turkish port of Terinsus, while the cargo may have been loaded at Sevastopol, Crimea.. The Port of Terence confirmed it had received “Russian ships carrying grain”, but did not comment on the inspection procedures.

Another ship made at least three stops in Syria within a couple of weeks of visiting a grain terminal in Sevastopol, according to satellite images and ship tracking data. According to satellite images and ship tracking data, the third ship departed the Sevastopol grain terminal at least three times before turning off the ship’s beacons. On one such occasion, he ended up in Syria after 10 days.

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The location of the Turkish ports mentioned above supports Ukrainian suspicions. The previously captured Russian ship ended up in the port of Karasu in Sakarya province, which is very close to Istanbul, and Derins, located on the Black Sea coast, is also located in Kokeli province on the Sea of ​​Marmara near Istanbul. On the other hand, Iskenderun is located in Antakya, which was part of Syria until 1938, as well as near Tardiol. Grain arriving at ports near Istanbul may have reached the Turkish domestic market, where grain shortages are also a serious problem, while grain arriving at Tordeol, near the Syrian border, may have gone to Syria. Later on.

Due to the lack of good relations between Turkey and the Syrian government and the open nature of Syrian ports, if the grain does arrive in Syria, Turkish support is thought to go to rebel-held Idlib and its environs. , and not to a government controlled area. It came in parts.

It cannot be a coincidence that the ambassador of Ukraine to Lebanon issued a statement on this matter, because this country is a neighbor of Syria and culturally very close, so relevant information can be better collected and processed here.

Will the Turks sell captured grain on behalf of the Ukrainians?

Advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, İlnur Sevik He saidThat

If it is proven that Ukrainian grain was carried on the seized Russian ship, Turkey will sell the seized grain on behalf of Ukraine on the international market.

He added that the Kremlin “knows the rules of the game; they know very well that if they try to smuggle something that doesn’t belong to them, they will seize it. The Kremlin knows that we have closed the Turkish Straits.”

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Meanwhile, according to the Russian news agency TASSSZ, the Zsibek Zsoli ship is anchored in a Turkish port “due to bad weather” and there is no question of seizing the ship. “A Turkish officer boarded the ship and inspected the cargo. It happens all the time. ” Yevan Politsky, the Russian-appointed governor of the Zaporizhia region, announced in a telegram.

Port of Iskenderun, Turkey. Front page description: Burak Milli/Anatolu Agency via Getty Images