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Ukraine: turning economic basket case into breadbasket

A combine harvester gathers grain from a field in the village of Mala Divytsa, Ukraine in July 2015Oleksandr Verzhykhovskiy slips a crisp stalk of wheat through his fingers and surveys the sun-drenched fields that once made war-torn Ukraine the “breadbasket of Europe” — and now embody its economic hopes. Verzhykhovskiy’s booming crop holds the promise of Ukraine regaining its title as one of the world’s main suppliers of various grains. The 16-month-long separatist insurgency has shuttered much of east Ukraine’s heavy industry and claimed more than 6,800 lives.

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