US government images seen by Reuters showed what a US officials aid was damage to grain storage facilities in eastern Ukraine and was indicative of the severity of Russian attacks that are impacting the global food supply.
The US official, commenting on the unclassified images, said the United States has information that Russian forces are repeatedly damaging grain storage facilities in eastern Ukraine.
“As of late March, at least six grain storage facilities had been damaged as a result of these attacks,” the official said.
“Russia’s reckless damaging of these grain silos is a clear-cut example of how Putin’s conflict directly affects civilians in Ukraine and threatens food security around the world,” the official said.
“With countries across Africa and the Middle East reliant on Ukrainian wheat exports, the destruction of these food stocks and storage facilities could result in shortages and drive up prices in already vulnerable economies,” the official said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin describes his country’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation “that aims to destroy Ukraine’s military infrastructure.
The Biden administration has repeatedly shared its intelligence publicly to put pressure on Putin over his invasion of Ukraine.
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, at a UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine on Tuesday, said Russia has bombed at least three civilian ships carrying goods from Black Sea ports to the rest of the world, including one chartered by an agribusiness company.
Sherman said Ukraine had told counterparts that Russia is actively targeting grain silos and food storage facilities.
The Black Sea is a major shipping route for grain, oil and oil products.
Its waters are shared by Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia and Turkey, as well as Ukraine and Russia.
Sherman said the Russian navy is blocking access to Ukraine’s sports, essentially cutting off exports of grain and reportedly preventing approximately 94 ships carrying food for the world market from reaching the Mediterranean.