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The story of spoiled grain allegedly to be supplied to Poland: we find out where the truth lies

Many photographs showing spoiled grain have appeared on the Polish Internet segment. Some users claim that this grain is being shipped from Ukraine to other Polish and European countries. We are looking into this story and trying to find out the truth.

If you have Polish friends, this information post is just for you. There are dozens of photos circulating on the Polish internet depicting spoiled grain crops: sprouted sunflower seeds, ice in containers, and mouldy corn. Many posts allege that this is precisely the type of grain being shipped from Ukraine to Poland and other European Union countries.



Along with outrageous claims such as “This is how Ukraine thanks Poland!” and “Enjoy your meal from Ukrainians!”, the comments also propagate conspiracy theories about future diseases among Europeans and the deliberate destruction of Polish agriculture by Ukraine.

The photos were uploaded to the internet in February 2024 by farmer Oydan Hubert, one of the organizers of the protests on the border between Ukraine and Poland. He did so without any context or explanation, except for the statement that “the photos were sent by terminal workers and drivers.” The rest of the assumptions were made by the users who shared his post, which, in one moment, garnered more than 35,000 shares and another 7,000 indignant comments. 

It’s worth noting that Hubert has recently been listed in the database of the Myrotvorets website.

We attempted to find at least some information about these emotional photos. We can say with certainty that the exported grain isn’t in such a terrible state as the protesters are trying to portray. At the very least, appropriate structures are in place to control the quality of grain - no one would buy a pig in a poke. Likewise, no one in their right mind would transport thousands of tonnes of spoiled grain to the ends of the earth only to return with it or discard it.

The satisfactory condition of the exported grain is also evidenced by photos showing unfortunate incidents when Polish protesters deliberately spilled it on the ground. If everything was so terrible and Ukraine was really exporting substandard grain, we would have seen similar photos not just once in February 2024 but constantly over the past two years, and not just from Poland.

“It’s currently impossible to import low-quality grain. Polish inspection institutions do their job very well and check Ukrainian grain very carefully. Moreover, there has been no incident of them reporting that high-quality grain was bad. However, as soon as they find even a small discrepancy, they immediately turn it away,” said Serhiy Orlovsky, founder of Agrooiltrade, in an interview with Latifundist, an agribusiness website. 

Interestingly, the publication of the photos depicting spoiled Ukrainian grain was preceded by articles in the Polish media about protesters finding wagons with mouldy corn allegedly at a transshipment terminal in Dorohusk. The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Michał Kołodziejczak, reacted to the incident:

“This is a scandal. Photos are circulating all over Poland, and we see that the goods that have been here for almost a year are mouldy, and someone may inadvertently consume them. These 60 wagons of corn have been standing here since April last year, when the embargo was introduced. In fact, this train has no owner. No one wants to take it back to Ukraine,” Kołodziejczak  stated

Presumably, this is where farmer Oidan Hubert took the photos in question. The farmer stressed

“These wagons stink terribly. No one knows what to do with it (the grain). Ukraine says they won’t take it, and in Poland, the owner has disappeared. The wagons are standing in front of the customs office in Dorohusk.”  

Of course, the grain obviously looks terrible if it’s been lying in the wagons for almost a year. No one has deleted variable weather conditions, and the presence of ice, rust, and “young greenery” that sprouts through the seeds proves once again that the goods were left to the mercy of fate long ago.

Who left so much grain unattended and why is another question. According to Orlovsky, the owner was unable to clear it through customs, and it has remained in those wagons until the present day. Moreover, cases of grain spoilage due to the blockade at the border may have involved not only the freight trains. We’re making these assumptions based on the photographs that have been circulating. Unfortunately, their author, Oidan Hubert, doesn’t provide any explanations.

As a reminder, we previously reported that a video allegedly showing “Poles opposing NATO” was being shared on social media and trash sites. In fact, this is a video from a rally that took place more than a year ago and has nothing to do with the farmers’ protests small logo

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Halyna Dolynna
Halyna Dolynna
editor of the English texts
01 / 01