Yale University professor and expert in the field of history of Eastern Europe Timothy Snyder proposed a thesis regarding Russia’s planning of the next stage of the war, which will include exploiting food scarcity levers to apply pressure not only on Europe, but also on the developing countries. In general, the situation with the import of Ukrainian foods and grains is particularly carefully monitored in the countries of central Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, since according to Concern Worldwide and the Welthungerhilfe Global Hunger Index, they are the ones that suffer the most from a lack of provisions. Yemen, for instance, in 2021 imported 23.7% of the total amount of purchased grain from the territory of Ukraine. Blockade of Ukrainian exports will be a serious threat in the context of food supply stability for many countries around the world.
Snyder drew parallels between the current situation with the criminal actions of the Russian Federation regarding the blockade of the export of consumer goods and the forcible collectivization and confiscation of agricultural products during the times of the Soviet Ukraine: “The idea of establishing control over Ukrainian grain is not new. Stalin and Hitler aimed to do the same.”
As for the implementation mechanism of the “hunger plan”, according to Timothy Snyder, it will include three components of destabilization of the situation not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe: the collapse of one of Ukraine’s main export items; generation of numerous and rapid flows of refugees from famine-stricken countries to the EU; strengthening of anti-Ukrainian propaganda: “This is a new level of colonialism and the last chapter of hunger politics.”