Russia has stolen at least 400,000 tons of grain from occupied Ukrainian territories since the beginning of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Taras Vysotsky said in an interview with RFE/RL's Krym-Realii media project on June 26.
"At the time of the actual occupation, there were about one-and-a-half million tons of grain in these areas, according to elevator registers," he said.
"And we received information from those territories from Ukrainians about cases of the export (of grain). If you add all these cases together, it comes to about 400,000 tons. We will be able to establish the fate of the remaining one million tons only after the end of occupation."
Vysotsky added that according to the Center for Food and Land Use Research of the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE Institute), the losses of Ukrainian agriculture from the full-scale invasion already amount to $4.3 billion.
"Russia is deliberately destroying (Ukraine’s) agricultural infrastructure," the official said.
According to the United Nations, 25 million tons of grain are stuck in Ukraine due to the war in Russia, posing the threat of food shortages in Africa, Asia and some European countries.
In turn, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that at least 500,000 tons in the Russian-occupied territories had been stolen by the Kremin’s forces.
In addition, the invaders regularly shell Ukrainian grain storages.