CONSPIRACY: Ukraine burns its own and russian wheat fields
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CONSPIRACY: Ukraine burns its own and russian wheat fields

22 September 2022
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Verification within Meta’s Third-Party Fact-Checking Program

russian media outlets are propagating a conspiracy theory about Ukraine’s wheat fields being burned not by the russian military but by “globalists-neocons,” carrying out their plans to cause global hunger. The famine is reportedly planned for the next year, “immediately after another pandemic in the fall.” “Global hunger” is part of the globalists’ satanic agenda of correcting man as the work of the Creator,” russian mass media wrote. A UN article titled “The benefits of world hunger” is cited as evidence.

In addition, the article says Ukraine “pays” for Western weapons supplies with fires on its own and russian territory.

These are conspiracy theories promoting the narratives of russian disinformation campaigns about the invasion of Ukraine.

First, fires on Ukrainian fields result from the russian military’s deliberate shelling and arson that specifically uses incendiary projectiles to cause fires.

According to Forbes estimates, about 350,000 hectares of fields have already been burned in the war zone. In particular, 31 field fires from russian shells were reported in the Donetsk region during the period, destroying 597 hectares of wheat. Last year, losses from field fires amounted to only 6 hectares, with no fires reported as of July 9, 2021.

In addition to the Donetsk region, the occupation troops have been bombarding fields in the Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, and Luhansk regions. According to police data, large-scale fires occur in the Kherson region daily, with hundreds of hectares of wheat, barley, and other grain crops burned down and field protection strips and forests burning. On July 7, the russian troops’ strikes in the Zaporizhzhia region led to fires on local fields and the fields in the neighboring Dnipropetrovsk region. As a result, about 20 hectares of wheat burned down.

It is challenging to put out such fires due to constant shelling, and the russians deliberately do not allow Ukrainians to put out fires in the occupied territories.

In addition, russian troops have been destroying warehouses storing harvested grain. For instance, the russians dropped powerful aerial bombs on Golden AGRO LLC in Rubizhne, annihilating all agricultural products stored there: 17 thousand tons of wheat and 8.5 thousand tons of sunflowers.

Farmers also said they could not fully sow the fields and harvest because of the mines planted in them. As a result of the russian shelling, agricultural machinery and warehouses storing grain were also destroyed.

The EU and the US State Department confirmed russia’s deliberate shelling of grain warehouses in Ukraine, destroying crops and stealing Ukrainian grain.

Secondly, the article titled “The benefits of world hunger” and published in a UN magazine back in 2008 was intended as satire. The author reflected on factors causing and maintaining hunger around the globe. However, the UN is fighting world hunger, not calling for it. We disproved this manipulation in detail here.

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The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations