Russian ship with Ukraine grain reaches Syria
Satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press show that a Russian ship believed to be carrying stolen Ukrainian grain has docked in Syria.
The photo taken Tuesday by Planet Labs PBC showed the Russian-flagged Matros Pozynich at dockside in Latakia, Syria.
The ship seen in the photo matched known characteristics of the bulk carrier, as well as its dimensions.
The ship turned off its transponders nearly a week ago off the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea.
🌾Russia has stolen Ukrainian grain and is taking it to Syria. This is reported by Ukrainian intelligence.— Роксолана Цірук (@CirukR) May 10, 2022
Russia has collected Ukrainian grain from the occupied territories, loaded it on ships, and is now transporting it to Syria. pic.twitter.com/Ck5u9c4EIJ
Samir Madani, the co-founder of the online research firm TankerTrackers.com, also told the AP that he believed the ship docked in Latakia was the Matros Pozynich, based on its dimensions and last-known position.
Ukraine has alleged that the ship had 27,000 tons of grains Russia stole from the country. It alleged Russia initially tried to ship the grains to Egypt, which refused to take the cargo. Ukrainian diplomats had been asking nations not to accept the grain.
The ship’s registered owners, Crane Marine Contractor LLC of Astrakhan, Russia, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A Russian bombing campaign and support from Iran beat back insurgents who nearly toppled Syrian President Bashar Assad after the 2011 Arab Spring. Russia still maintains a navy and air base in Syria, though it has reportedly rotated forces out of the country to aid its war on Ukraine.