As the Russia-Ukraine war rages on with no end in sight for either side, a historian from Yale theorized on Saturday that Putin may be intent on using the food insecurity from the invasion as a way of solidifying his hold on the country and lifting Western sanctions against Russia.

Timothy Snyder, who is the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale with a specialty in Central and Eastern Europe, published a Twitter thread on Saturday detailing what he believes to be Putin’s “hunger plan” in order to tilt the Russia-Ukraine war into his favor, according to Business Insider.

“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,” he wrote.

After reminding people that Russia and Ukrainian land around the Black Sea accounts for 30% of the world’s wheat production, Snyder claims that “[if] the Russian blockade continues, tens of millions of tons of food will rot in silos, and tens of millions of people in Africa and Asia will starve.”

Beyond potentially increasing refugees from developing countries in Asia and Africa who might be reliant on Russia and Ukraine’s wheat production, Snyder believes that Putin would use the starvation of millions as a way of getting the world to recognize his conquest of Ukraine.

“When the food riots begin, and as starvation spreads, Russian propaganda will blame Ukraine, and call for Russia's territorial gains in Ukraine to be recognized, and for all sanctions to be lifted,” he wrote.

Putin recently compared himself to the former Russian tsar Peter the Great, who defeated Sweden in the Great Northern War in the 1700s and expanded its influence and territory greatly into Europe, NDTV reported.

“It is our responsibility also to take back and strengthen,” Putin said, in a possible reference to Ukraine. “Yes, there have been times in our country's history when we have been forced to retreat, but only to regain our strength and move forward.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin may be using the global food crisis caused by his invasion and war in Ukraine as a way of legitimizing any gains that he has made in the country, according to a Yale historian. Contributor/Getty Images.

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