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Ukrainian farmers rush to harvest grain from fields near frontline

Farmers race to gather crops from nearby fields before they become too much of a fire hazard.

Dmytro, a Ukrainian soldier held out a few burned wheat stalks he had taken from a field that was blackened. “This is the territory that was almost taken by the Russians. They are just 3km away.”

A thick layer of ash has covered the area where once stood a large grain silo. The missile destroyed it last week. In the aftermath of the strike, the silo contained the last year’s crop.

On 24 February, Russia invaded Ukraine, which is the fourth-largest global exporter of grain. Kyiv repeatedly accused Russia, accusing it of attacking infrastructures and agriculture in order to create a global crisis.

Moscow refers to the conflict as a “special military operation”; it blames Western sanctions and seamines, as well as those placed by Ukraine, for the decline in food exports and rise in global prices.

Andriy, a farmer in the Dnipropetrovsk region, is willing to take the risk of his crops going up in flames after his fields were subject to nearly constant shelling for more than a month.


Andriy stated that he had “got used to it,” as he drove his combine harvester through the wheat fields. “When they shoot it it is normal, it is what we have grown accustomed to.”

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