The Russian military is purposefully destroying agricultural machinery, according to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. Thus, the invaders undermine the food security in Ukraine and the world.
The systematic cases of equipment destruction were recorded in the Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Chernihiv, Kherson, and Kharkiv regions. The last case occurred on the night of March 13 in the settlements of Chupakhovka and Oleninskoye, Sumy region. There, Russians bombed the warehouses with agricultural machinery. As a result, more than 30 units were destroyed. In addition, the Russians use agricultural machinery for engineering work, building fortifications and as tractors for armored vehicles.
Ukrainian government works to protect farmers
The Ukrainian government says it will pay interest on loans to cover any costs associated with the agricultural activities. Also, government provides guarantees to payments of up to 80% of the amount of loans the farmers have obtained. The maximum loan, which is subject to interest rate compensation, is up to UAH 50 million (about $1.5 million USD).
According to the prime minister, this will allow farmers to obtain funds for sowing and provide them guarantees that in the event of a crop loss, they will not go bankrupt. The financial support will be provided only to small and medium-size agricultural producers with a turnover of no more than 20 million euros per year, which is equivalent to an enterprise that cultivates up to 10,000 hectares of arable land.
Russia blocks Ukrainian ships
Since the beginning of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, 94 ships with foreign crews have been blocked in the Black Sea-Azov basin, according to the State Maritime and River Transport Service of Ukraine. The Russian Navy strikes merchant ships with missiles. As a result, one sailor died and another ship sank near the port of Odessa.
Editor’s Note: Iurii Mykhailov is a Ukrainian economist and agricultural journalist who’s been reporting from Kyiv on the war between Russia and his country for Successful Farming.