Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Putin’s army has used a range of tactics and military hardware to try to gain an advantage in the war. But Russia’s latest weapon in the war could have global consequences – food.
In the initial stages of the war, Russia moved its troops and tanks with support from attack helicopters and superior air power, but Ukraine largely repelled their advances. Russia is now focussed on a massive artillery and long-range scorched earth assault – flattening everything in its path.
But, throughout the campaign there has been a consistent target to undermine Ukraine’s stability and effectiveness in the war – food supplies and exports.
Stopping Ukraine from exporting food is cutting it off from crucial financial resources but there are growing fears of a much deadlier cost.
The EU’s foreign policy chief has declared that Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian grain is a war crime, preventing millions of tonnes from leaving ports while people around the world are suffering from hunger.
Meanwhile, Moscow has been taking convoys of stolen grain out of occupied areas into Russia itself.
President Zelenskyy said Ukraine was engaged in “complex negotiations” to unblock the grain, but fears are increasing that millions of people will be exposed to food shortages.
So, will Putin use food to gain an advantage of Ukraine and its allies, or can the world solve the problem of food?
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