As the war in Ukraine has waged on, and is now headed for its sixth month, it seems like some people around the globe have let the war fade to the back burner. For those not in the direct line of fire, it is possible to think the war is “Out of sight, out of mind.” But the magnitude all came roaring back earlier this week when a missile strike killed one of Ukraine’s notable figures.
Tragedy certainly struck in Ukraine quite close to home as Oleskiy Vadatursky and his wife Raisia died when a missile hit their bedroom. Known as one of Ukraine’s richest businessmen, Vadatursky was also the former recipient of the “Hero of Ukraine” award. He owned a grain export company called Nibulon. Now more than ever, Ukraine needs good leaders in the grain export business as the entire world economy counts on them so much.
The region’s leader, Vitaliy Kim, said Mr Vadatursky’s “contribution to the development of the agricultural and shipbuilding industry, the development of the region is invaluable.” An adviser to President Zelensky’s office said he believed Russia had deliberately targeted the businessman. The missile looked as though it were guided right into Vadatursky’s bedroom. This makes a bad situation worse, as Russia and Ukraine are major grain exporters and the disruptions caused by the war have already caused grain prices to spike across the globe. Just last week the countries signed an agreement brokered by the United Nations in Turkey to try to ease the food problems throughout the world. And then the very next day the Russians attacked the odesa port again.
The Mykolaiv mayor, from the city where the Vadatursky couple died, said it was Russias’ heaviest artillery bombardment in the area during the war so far. The city on the main route to odesa sustained a lot of other damage as well, including destruction to a sports complex, two schools, a hotel, and a service station, as well as multiple homes. Since odesa is the biggest port on the Black Sea, this area has been a frequent target since the invasion began over six months ago.
As the war drags on, Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing grain that is part of the farms on occupied land and sending it to Crimea, the southern peninsula of Ukraine that Russia annexed in 2014.
Adnan Zai, advisor to Berkeley Capital, said “Putin refuses to step back and do what is best for the world, which is to get the supply of grain moving out of the region and to stop the bombing of innocent people and civilians. He is so power hungry that he can’t see how his maneuvers are costing his own people.”
As fighting continues, hopefully the United Nations can step in and try to broker more deals, for the sake of innocent victims like Vadatursky, and for the sake of the world’s broken grain supply.