A Ukrainian official on Wednesday accused Russia of stealing about 600,000 tons of grain from Ukraine that he claimed was later transported to the Middle East.
In a statement, Denys Marchuk, deputy chairman of the Ukrainian Agrarian Council Public Union claimed the grain was stolen from occupied regions in the south of the country.
He claimed the grain was transported to the port of Sevastopol in the Russian-occupied territory of Crimea before onward shipment to the Middle East.
Criminal cases have been opened “to demand through the international courts of law that Russia compensates those who has been affected by these actions,” Marchuk said.
Marchuk called Russia’s actions “a well-planned operation by the occupiers.”
Russia has not yet responded to Marchuk’s accusation.
Some context: CNN has previously reported that convoys of trucks have been seen carrying grain from farms and silos in southern Ukraine into Crimea. Ukrainian authorities estimated in May that Russian forces in occupied areas had seized more than 400,000 tons of grain.
CNN cannot independently verify how much grain Russia has transported out of Ukraine.