Underrated high-tech equipment
Russians apparently steal tractors and combines
According to media reports, Russian troops stole agricultural equipment from American manufacturer John Deere in Ukraine. Thanks to modern software, it is not only possible to find out where the stolen goods have been taken, but also to block them remotely.
Reports of thefts of agricultural equipment, crops and even building materials have multiplied in Ukraine in recent weeks. According to a Ukrainian businessman from the occupied city of Melitopol, Russian troops stole all the equipment from an agricultural machinery dealer and transported it to Chechnya, reports the American news channel CNN.
The stolen machines belong to the American manufacturer John Deere. Referring to a contact, it is said that two combines, a tractor and a seeder were initially confiscated from the dealer. Shortly after, the 27 machines were allegedly stolen from him. One of the low-loaders used had a white “Z” painted on it and appeared to be a military vehicle, according to camera footage. According to information from the broadcaster, the total value of the stolen machines is almost five million dollars. The combines alone are worth $300,000 each.
Machines locked remotely
As the machines are equipped with GPS, their route could be followed. According to CNN, this feature showed that some agricultural machinery is apparently in the Chechen capital Grozny. At the end point, however, they seem to break down due to electronic anti-theft. The machines can no longer be used because they have been locked from Ukraine by remote control.
Apparently, however, the kidnappers have now found consultants who are trying to circumvent this protection, the CNN contact man explains. If that doesn’t help either, thieves would always have the option of turning people’s spoils of war into money. “Even if they sell the harvesters as parts, they will make money,” he said.
Russia steals tons of grain
Other sources in the Melitopol region told CNN that the theft by Russian military units also extended to grain stored in the silos. Accordingly, the occupiers should offer the farmers to share their profits. However, a number of local farmers have problems transporting their goods. “Not a single elevator is working. None of the ports are operational. They won’t be able to bring grain from the occupied territories anywhere,” the source quoted CNN as saying. Therefore, the Russian armed forces would simply take the grain with them. “They steal it, take it to Crimea and that’s it.”
More recently, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced the Russian blockade of his country’s Black Sea ports. This puts millions of tonnes of grain at risk and could trigger a food crisis in Europe, Asia and Africa, Zelenskyj told Australian television. Russia does not allow Ukrainian ships to enter or leave. “Russia wants to completely block the economy of our country.” Ukraine is a major exporter of grain and other foodstuffs.