Historian Timothy Snyder said Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to "starve" some countries as part of his efforts in Ukraine.
According to Business Insider, the Telegraph reports, Snyder posted a lengthy post on Twitter on Saturday explaining how he believes Putin is using food insecurity to his advantage, calling it "the latest chapter in hunger policy."
"Russia has a hunger plan.
"Vladimir Putin is preparing to starve to death a large part of the developing world as the next stage in his war in Europe," said Snyder, a professor at Yale University and an expert on authoritarianism. of Ukraine for global food supply.
The area around the Black Sea, including Ukraine and Russia, has been referred to as the "bread basket of the world" because of its fertile soil and high grain production.
Together, the two countries account for 30% of global grain exports while Ukraine produces about 12%.
In this regard, experts have told Business Insider that the cessation of these exports could have massive implications for countries like Yemen, which previously received nearly a quarter of wheat imports from Ukraine.
And Ukraine has accused Russia of blocking millions of tons of grain exports from leaving its ports, a charge the Kremlin has denied.
"If the Russian blockade continues, tens of millions of tons of food will rot in landfills and tens of millions of people in Africa and Asia will starve to death," Snyder said.
The historian said he believed Putin's "hunger plan" had three main objectives.
First, to cut off Ukraine's exports in an attempt to destroy its citizenship.
Russia has a hunger plan.
Vladimir Putin is preparing to starve much of the developing world as the next stage in his war in Europe.
- Timothy Snyder (@TimothyDSnyder) June 11, 2022
Second, the creation of instability in Europe by producing refugees from areas that rely on Ukraine's food, such as North Africa and the Middle East.
Finally, he said Putin wanted to use mass hunger as a "backdrop for a propaganda contest."
"When the food riots start and famine spreads, Russian propaganda will blame Ukraine and call for the recognition of Russia's territorial gains in Ukraine and the lifting of all sanctions," Snyder predicted.
The historian also said that Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, and Adolf Hitler had sought to control Ukraine's food supply, but that Putin's plan was "a new level of colonialism."
"Russia is planning to kill Asians and Africans in order to win its war in Europe," he was quoted as saying.
For his part, Putin has blamed the West for global food supplies and pushed for sanctions on Russia to be lifted, while Britain has accused him of "trying to keep the world from paying" for food.
The war in Ukraine has continued since Russia launched its aggression on February 24.
Russian forces refocused on the eastern Donbas region after failing to occupy the capital, Kiev, but Ukrainian officials said this week that the country needed more weapons.