The Russian-appointed "head of administration" of the Zaporozhye region, Evgeny Balitsky, said that a merchant ship had left Berdyansk "after several months of inactivity." Initially, the post indicated that the ship was carrying "seven thousand tons of grain", which would go "to friendly countries." Later Balitsky deleted this information.
The Russian-occupied port in Berdyansk was previously closed. On June 3, Putin suggested using it to export grain.
Grain exports from Ukraine declined sharply after the start of the war. According to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, in total Russia has blocked 22 million tons of food products. In addition, she “gradually steals, exports and tries to sell” Ukrainian products for export. According to the estimates of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, since the beginning of the war, Russia has stolen and exported at least 400,000 tons of Ukrainian grain. Turkey buys the stolen grain from Russia. Also, a significant part of the stolen grain is transported across the Mediterranean on bulk carriers flying Russian flags to Syria. From there, the grain can be smuggled to the countries of the Middle East.
On June 27, Kommersant wrote that Russian producers faced chaos in the grain market: this is due to excessive restrictions from Russia and Kazakhstan, as well as the theft of Ukrainian grain: these factors do not allow selling products on the foreign market.