Russia uses Rostov grain carriers to export appropriated Ukrainian grain through the ports of occupied Crimea. Share Print Russian firms shipped tens of thousands of tons of wheat and peas out of occupied parts of Ukraine in 2023 to EU member Spain, NATO member Turkey, and Azerbaijan, the investigative unit of RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, Schemes, and its partners have found. Similar amounts of barley and corn reached Moscow allies Iran and Syria, which have an established track record of buying Ukrainian grain appropriated by Russia, Schemes, the Ukrainian hacker group KibOrg, the Belarusian Investigative Center, and Vyortska, an independent Russian-language media outlet, determined in an investigation based on official Russian documents and other sources. At least 6.4 million tons of wheat alone were harvested from Russian-occupied Crimea and Russian-held parts of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhya regions in 2023, according to satellite estimates by NASA’s Harvest program, which tracks food-security threats. SeaKrime, a nongovernmental Ukrainian project that tracks Russia’s illegal grain shipments from Ukraine, has reported that 2 million tons of that harvest were shipped abroad from Crimea’s ports. (…) Hacked documents from Kherson’s occupation administrators, leaked Russian customs data, and information from the online trade database Import Genius confirmed the role of at least four Russian companies – Agro-Fregat, Pallada, Sim-Trans Group, and TD Fregat – in these transactions. One of these companies, Pallada, has a remote connection to the general contractor for construction of a massive residential complex on Russia’s Black Sea coast known as “Putin’s palace.”

via rferl: How Russia Exports Ukrainian Grain As Its Own: An Investigation