Russia loots $5 million worth of John Deere farm equipment from Ukraine

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Ukraine’s Deputy Agriculture Minister says 1.5 million tonnes of grain stored in occupied territory could also be stolen by Russian forces

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Russian troops occupying the Ukrainian town of Melitopol stole all the equipment from a John Deere dealership and shipped it to Chechnya, CNN reporting.

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However, after a 1,100 kilometer journey, it was discovered that the looted equipment had been locked remotely by the Ukrainians, rendering it inoperative.

“When the invaders drove the stolen harvesters into Chechnya, they realized they couldn’t even turn them on, because the harvesters were locked remotely,” the source told CNN.

Two combine harvesters, worth $300,000 each, as well as a tractor and a seed drill were first seized, according to a source on site.

Over the next few weeks in Melitopol, the remaining 27 agricultural machines were stolen, totaling nearly $5 million in looted property.

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Ukraine’s Deputy Agriculture Minister announced on Saturday that Russian forces had stolen “several hundred thousand tons” of grain from the areas they occupy.

Speaking to Ukrainian national television, Taras Vysotskiy expressed concern that most of what he said was 1.5 million tonnes of grain stored in occupied territory could also be stolen by Russian forces.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday accused Russia of stealing grain from occupied territory during the invasion, an act it said increased the threat to global food security.

In a video released by the mayor of Melitopol, a convoy of trucks allegedly loaded with grain was seen leaving the city.

“We have clear evidence that they unloaded grain from the elevator in the city of Melitopol,” the mayor told CNN. “They stole the elevator with private farms.”

With additional reports from Reuters


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