Around 15% of Ukrainian crop storage facilities has been destroyed, damaged or controlled by Russia and its forces since it invaded the country, US non-governmental organisation the Conflict Observatory was quoted as saying in a World Grain report.

The Conflict Observatory, which uses analysis of satellite imagery, was quoted in the 19 September report as saying that 75 out of the 344 Ukrainian grain facilities studied were classified as damaged.

Under international law, the deliberate and indiscriminate destruction of infrastructure where crops are stored could be considered a war crime, as well as a crime against humanity, the organisation was quoted as saying.

Following the release of an independent assessment of the devastating impact of Russia’s war on food storage sites in Ukraine, the US Department of State, which supports the activities of the Conflict Observatory, had called for further investigation through appropriate mechanisms on 15 September, World Grain wrote.

“The United States will continue to firmly stand with Ukraine as it defends its freedom, for the sake of its own people and of people across the globe who rely on the harvests from Ukraine’s farmlands,” the agency was quoted as saying. “Our support for Ukraine remains unwavering.”

It added that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “unjustified war against Ukraine puts millions around the globe at risk of increasing food insecurity. The Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, one of the world’s largest exporters of food, has led to the damage or outright destruction of many of Ukraine’s arterial roads, railways, ports, and food storage facilities that are essential to getting its agricultural goods to international markets. These actions guarantee that the pain of this war will also be felt by the world’s most vulnerable populations.”

In addition to limiting exports from Ukraine and destroying grain storage infrastructure, Russia’s invasion had led to a drop in grain production in Ukraine, World Grain wrote.