The New York TimesThe New York Times

As Russia strikes ports, Ukraine's farmers scramble to keep exporting

By Valerie Hopkins

02 Aug 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. Russia's withdrawal from a grain deal and subsequent bombing of Ukrainian ports has disrupted the country's grain export routes, forcing farmers to seek alternate shipping routes. This has led to a surge in traffic towards the smaller ports on the Danube river, causing congestion and delays.

MOLOHA, Ukraine — Last week, Valentin Pavlenko loaded two trucks with grain from his farm in southern Ukraine. Normally, he sends them two hours east to the deep-water port of Odesa, but this time they headed in the other direction, to the small port of Reni on the Danube river.

He’s not the only grower looking for alternate shipping routes. The highway west from Odesa is clogged with eighteen-wheelers — hundreds, if not thousands in a week; they are delivering grain to alternate distribution points, now that Russia has not only pulled out of a deal allowing unfettered passage for Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, but also bombed Odesa and other ports that ring the city.

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