This story is of interest for a couple of reasons. The first is the incongruity of Russia being blamed for conditions that Ukraine has created. This is comparable to Ukrainian propaganda that blamed Russia for bombing civilians in Mariupol, when in fact Ukrainian fighters were using civilians as human shields. A second point of interest involves predicting how this narrative setup may be used in the future.
Imagine the NYT and PBS blaming Russia for starving babies next fall, or using the food crisis to justify a NATO boots-on-the-ground invasion of Ukraine to procure granary stores. On the other hand, this narrative setup may be merely preemptive, a shot across the bow to warn Russia it mustn’t sell wheat to the world for rubles. Either way, it is the spurious “Putin price hikes on gasoline” redux.
We’ll have to wait to see how this narrative plays out. Just remember when you hear it again later that no one but Ukraine is currently preventing the shipment of grain from Black Sea ports.