Satellite image of a Russian ship transporting stolen Ukrainian grain from Crimea to Syria


A Russian merchant ship loaded with grain stolen from Ukraine is now in Syrian port of Lattakia, according to shipping sources and Ukrainian officials.

Publishing a relevant satellite image of the American company Maxar Technologies CNN reports that it is the bulk carrier Matros Pozynich. The Matros Pozynich appears to be one of three ships involved in the stolen grain trade.

On April 27, the ship anchored off the coast of Crimea and turned off its transponder. The next day, it was seen in the port of Sevastopol, the main port of Crimea, according to photos and satellite images.

Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, produces small quantities of wheat due to a lack of irrigation. But the Ukrainian areas to the north, which have been occupied by Russian forces since early March, produce millions of tonnes of grain each year. Ukrainian officials say thousands of tonnes are now being transported by truck to Crimea.

From Sevastopol, according to satellite images and surveillance data examined by CNN, Matros Pozynich crossed the Bosphorus Strait and headed for the port of Alexandria. It was loaded with almost 30,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat, according to Ukrainian officials.

But Ukrainians say Egypt has been warned that the wheat has been stolen, the cargo has not been accepted, and Matros Pozynich has headed to the Lebanese capital, Beirut, where authorities have again banned mooring. The ship closed its transponder again on May 5, but images from and Maxar Technologies show that it headed for the Syrian port of Lattakia.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense estimates that at least 400,000 tonnes of cereals have been stolen from Ukraine after the Russian invasion.


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