Russia regularly exports Ukrainian grain to Turkey, figured out journalists of the investigative project “Schemes” (Radio Liberty), who studied satellite images and accompanying documents on wheat.
Grain from the occupied territories of Ukraine, according to investigators, is loaded in the Avlita port in the Dock Bay of Sevastopol, then it is exported and unloaded in Turkey.
“When entering the Crimean port, bulk carriers turn off their radars, so they cannot be tracked by ship monitoring systems such as Marine Traffic or Equasis. However, they cannot “hide” from the satellite, which records the stay and loading in the Crimean Avlita from space,” it says. in the investigation.
“Russia is stealing our grain.” Ambassador of Ukraine to Turkey Vasily Bodnar about the talks in Istanbul and the unblocking of ports in the Black Sea:
Journalists cite as an example the movement of the Russian bulk carrier “Mikhail Nenashev” and the Syrian ship Finikia. So, “Mikhail Nenashev” allegedly made three flights from the Crimean port to Turkey:
- On April 15, the Planet Labs satellite spotted the Mikhail Nenashev bulk carrier near the Avlita, due to the radar being turned off for three days, the ship remained “invisible” to the Marine Traffic official vessel monitoring system. At the same time, the service recorded that the ship was empty before entering the Crimean port. Already loaded, it arrived at the Turkish port of Derince on April 22. Four days later, the system recorded that the bulk carrier had unloaded the contents.
- On May 25, the Planet Labs satellite showed “Mikhail Nenashev” near “Avlita”. On May 26, the bulk carrier went to sea and turned on the radar. Marine Traffic recorded the cargo on board. On May 30, the ship arrived in the Turkish port of Iskenderun. A week later, the ship left this port empty.
- On June 14, the satellite again recorded it in the port of Avlita with empty holds, but later cargo appeared on the ship. June 18 “Mikhail Nenashev” appeared on the radar in the area of the Kerch Strait and headed for Turkey. On June 25, the ship moored at the berths of a private port near Iskenderun.
In addition to images from space, “Schemes” has documents at its disposal that indicate that “Mikhail Nenashev” and Finikia were loaded with grain precisely in the Crimean terminal “Avlita”. In the documents, the origin of the grain is indicated as “Crimea, Russia,” the investigation says.
Ambassador of Ukraine to Turkey Vasily Bodnar said in a conversation with journalists that they are working with the Turkish side. “But we are told that the Russian documents that are provided for bringing grain into the port are legal and they perceive them as necessary in order to unload the ship in a legal way,” he said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu June 23 declaredthat Turkey is studying information about the country of origin and from which port the cargo departed. “Every time we check and confirm that the products are made in Russia. Turkey will not allow illegal trade in Ukrainian grain or any other products by any country, including Russia. We ourselves will not accept these goods either. The decisive position of Turkey and its state structures on this issue is unchanged,” he said.