Russian forces have bombed grain silos and farms and plundered Ukrainian wheat, which U.S. diplomats say Moscow is now trying to sell on.
Ukraine’s Black Sea ports are blocked by mines to protect the shoreline from attack by the Russian Navy, which is also bottling up shipments. And yet, if President Vladimir Putin is to be believed, Western selfishness and sanctions are to blame for the current food crisis that is driving up prices — not Russia’s invasion of one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, maize and sunflower oil.
Putin is attempting to blackmail the West into lifting punitive measures, and that’s to be expected. But more worrying is the Kremlin’s amplification of the lie that rich nations are meddling and punishing with no concern for the poorest.