A Russian bulker that is allegedly carrying stolen Ukrainian wheat that appears to have docked in Syria.
According to the Associated Press, satellite imaging company Planet Labs and TankerTrackers.com, the 28,351-dwt bulker Matros Pozynich (built 2010) is now off Latakia, Syria.
They reported that images of a ship at the port match the physical description and dimensions of the Russia-flagged vessel.
Ukrainian authorities have accused Russian forces of stealing tonnes of grain and farm equipment in the eastern and southeastern areas they have taken since invading on 24 February.
The Matros Pozynich is owned and commercially managed by Crane Marine Contractor, based in Astrakhan, a Russian city on the Volga River near the Caspian Sea.
The company has been approached for comment.
The ship was in Brazilian territorial waters when Russian forces began pouring into Ukraine en masse in late February, automatic identification data (AIS) tracking shows.
Data for the ship remains largely intact, with the ship sailing through the Black and Mediterranean seas in March and April, though the ship never appears to go further than the Kerch Strait.
On 5 May, the ship sent its last AIS broadcast while in the waters between Cyprus and Syria. The ship’s destination was listed as Beirut. It was approximately 47 km from Latakia.
It has been laden since at least 27 April, according to data from VesselsValue.
According to the AP, Ukraine has alleged the ship had 27,000 tonnes of grain.
Russia was said to have tried to ship the cargo to Egpyt, but the country refused. Ukrainian diplomats are lobbying countries to turn away the cargo, the newswire reported.