Zelensky Says Millions People Will Starve Due to Russian Blockade of Ukrainian Ports

Zelensky Says Millions People Will Starve Due to Russian Blockade of Ukrainian Ports
People cross a destroyed bridge as they evacuate the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, during heavy shelling and bombing

International Military - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that millions could starve because of Russia's blockade of Ukraine's Black Sea ports which he said had left the world "on the verge of a dire food crisis".

Russia has seized most of Ukraine's coast, blocking agricultural exports and driving up wheat prices. Zelensky also said Ukraine was currently unable to export large quantities of wheat, corn, vegetable oil and other products that have played a "stabilizing role in global markets".

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"Millions of people may starve if Russia's blockade of the Black Sea continues," he said in a video statement to the TIME100 Gala 2022 in New York, released by Ukrainian authorities on Thursday (9/6/2022).

Previously, Ukraine and the West had accused Moscow of arming food supplies. Russia says Ukrainian mines are laid at sea and international sanctions on Moscow are to blame for the threat of food shortages.

Kiev used to export most of its goods via ports, but since the Russian invasion on February 24, Ukraine has been forced to transport grain by rail across Ukraine's western border or via the small river port of the Danube.

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As is well known, President Zelensky, who was included in Time magazine's 2022 list of 100 most influential people, said he thanked United States President Joe Biden for "uniting the free world when the Russian threat emerged".

He also appealed to his Ukrainian allies to supply him with more weapons, drawing comparisons between what he described as hatred of Russia and COVID-19.

"Weapons and sanctions are also a vaccine: A vaccine against COVID-22 brought by Russia. Hate is a virus, and even deadlier than COVID-19," he said. Russia did not immediately respond to Zelensky's comments.

Read Also: Fierce Battle, Russia Reportedly Controls Most City of Severodonetsk

Moscow itself says "special military operations" in Ukraine are meant to disarm and "denazify" its neighbors. Ukraine and its allies say Moscow has waged a war of unwarranted aggression.

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