Stolen Ukrainian grain delivered from Berdyansk to Turkish port

Russian military in front of the port of temporary occupied Berdyansk, April 2022. Photo by Russian propagandists

The ship under flag of Panama has been loaded with stolen Ukrainian grain in the port of temporary occupied Berdyansk during one week. Now the ship stays near Turkish borders.

It is reported by Sergii Starushko, Zaporizhzhia correspondent of the Center for Journalist Investigations who monitors the Russian pirate fleet in the Sea of Azov. 

Ship “Tayga” (IMO: 8721466) under the flag of Panama has been identified in the water area of Bilosaraiska Spit since June 20, 2023, in accordance with Its automatic identification system has been switched off. 

Turkish port of Samsun has been indicated as the port of departure and arrival at the same time. Then, what this ship did in the Sea of Azov? 

There have been two bulk carriers at piers of Berdyansk from 20.06.2023 till 07.07.2023. One of them, Russian bulk carrier “Kapitan Mironov”, has been identified earlier

Russian bulk carrier “Kapitan Mironov” in the port of Berdyansk, 30.06.2023, photo from telegram channel of Russian occupants 

Another ship has been unknown for a long time. We analyzed photos and videos from temporary occupied Berdyansk, compared them with photos of bulk carrier “Tayga” and assumed that this ship has been loaded with Ukrainian grain stolen by Russian occupants.

Comparison of photos of bulk carrier in the port of Berdyansk (above) and photos of ship “Tayga” from, collage by

The quality of photos is unsatisfactory, and we addressed other online instruments. 

Satellite photos indicate that unknown ship stayed in Berdyansk on June 20, 2023 and then left the water area of Berdyansk on July 7, 2023. 

This time period coincides with the time period ship “Tayga” stayed in the Sea of Azov. 

Photos of piers at the port of Berdyansk by satellite Sentinel-2, collage by

Automatic identification system of “Tayga” was enabled on July 7, when the ship approached the Kerch Straits. The ship has been anchored there for five days and then it moved to the Turkish port of Samsun. It has been in the water area of this port until today. 

Bulk carrier “Tayga” in the water area of Samsun on July 14, 2023, in accordance with

We found new online service of Norwegian company Maritime Optima – ShipAtlas. It has been launched in October 2022. 

ShipAtlas receives information about departure of the ship from the port even if its automatic identification system is deliberately switched off. 

ShipAtlas indicates that bulk carrier “Tayga” moved to the Kerch Straits on July 7, 2023. It also indicates that this ship with cargo moved from temporary occupied Mariupol to Samsun on June 10, 2023. 

Screenshot from interactive online map of website ShipAtlas 

Before summer 2023, “Tayga” moved along route Berdyansk – Taman (Russian port) at least two times in February – on February 1 and 16, 2023. Local Berdyansk telegram channels reported about some activity of Russian occupants in the port of Berdyansk. 

Bulk carrier “Tayga”, photo from website

In accordance with the data of the International Maritime Organization, bulk carrier “Tayga” is owned by the Turkish company INVESTIAR GROUP LTD registered in the Republic of Seychelles. The company owns only one ship. 

Russian sources report that the ship is also owned by another company from Istanbul – MARLIN DENIZCILIK TEKNIK DANISMANLIK HIZMETRELI LIMITED SIRKETI. 

Screenshot from website

It seems that this Turkish company closely cooperates with Russian business. Russian LLC “Maloe more” from Russian city Rostov conducts recruitment of the crew for the company from the Russian Federation. 

Screenshot from website

“Our company currently recruits the crew for the work at bulk carriers of company “MARLIN DENIZCILIK LTD” (Turkey). Company MARLIN DENIZCILIK LTD manages 12 ships under flags of Panama and Palau for carrying general cargo. These are ships of projects “Volga”, “Amur”, “Sormovskii”, “Omskii” and “Volgo-Balt”, as informs web-profile of LLC “Maloe more”. For example, “Tayga” belongs to project “Amur”.

Russian citizen Aleksei Petrovich Kulinichev is the director and owner of limited liability company “Maloe more”. As his place of employment, he indicates MARLIN DENIZCILIK TEKNIK DANISMANLIK HIZMETRELI LIMITED SIRKETI in his social media accounts. 

Screenshot from website Linked.In

In accordance with ShipAtlas, ship “Tayga” has already unloaded its cargo in the Turkish port of Samsun as of 13.07.2023. It is anchored in the water area of the port. Its deadweight is 3 thousand tons. Thus, we can assume with high probability that Turkish bulk carrier under flag of Panama transported from Berdyansk over 3 thousand tons of Ukrainian grain stolen by Russian occupants. 

The Center for Journalist Investigations keeps monitoring the pirate fleet of Russia in the Sea of Azov and registering war crimes of invaders and their collaborators.