Viral Videos Reveal Nearly-Empty Shelves in Ukrainian Grocery Store

A man walked around a Ukrainian grocery store in Zaporizhzhia and showed what was left on the nearly-bare shelves in two viral videos.

Andrey Liscovich shared the videos to the TikTok account @ukrdefensefund where he explained he was shopping for items that would be donated to members of the Ukrainian military on behalf of the Ukraine Defense Fund, an organization that provides supplies to those fighting on the frontlines.

However, it was difficult for Liscovich to find much in the store, as evidenced in his videos.

"It looks like the situation is getting worse with supplies, especially vegetables," he said in the first video, which was viewed 130,000 times at the time of publication.

Liscovich panned the camera over to reveal that while there were many oranges, many of the display cases and shelves were empty.

"You can get some carrots, but pretty much everything else is out," he said.

In a second video, which was viewed more than 160,000 times, Liscovich said the dairy aisle was also cleared out.

A few stray containers of yogurt and butter are seen left on otherwise bare shelves.

"The food situation is getting worse, that's pretty noticeable," he said.

It has been nearly three weeks since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the military to invade Ukraine, and it has had a global economic impact.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations warned that international food and feed prices may rise by up to 22 percent because of the crisis.

The Ukrainian government banned the export of certain staple goods, including buckwheat, sugar and salt. Roman Leshchenko, the country's minister of agricultural and food policy, shared in a Facebook post that this decision was partly made "to prevent the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine."

Per the FAO, Russia is the top exporter of wheat, while Ukraine was the fifth largest wheat exporter in 2021.

Liscovich was not the only person who came across empty shelves in a grocery store.

Empty Grocery Store Shelves
A man revealed that a Ukrainian grocery store he was shopping in to collect supplies for military members had nearly-bare shelves. Here, empty shelves are pictured in a grocery store in the Netherlands on March 16, 2020. BSR Agency/Contributor/Getty Images

A piece published by NBC's TODAY shared a freelance journalist's tweet showing empty shelves in a Kyiv store.

"Grocery shops today. Never have I ever seen anything like that in Kyiv," Tanya Kozyreva's tweet read. "Triggers the worst possible scenario in my head. Famine is already something Ukraine had experienced twice already."

Many who watched Liscovich's videos were saddened to see the lack of supplies that are available.

"Oh no," a viewer wrote. "Prayers for you all."

"Hunger brings bad situations alone, praying so hard for you," commented another.

"Think of all that we throw away...and they can't get the basics," one wrote.

In a third video, Liscovic shared that he was able to collect some supplies to donate to the soldiers, which included canned fish, pasta and bread.

"We always make good use of our donations, even when the shelves are a little empty," the caption on the video read.

Newsweek reached out to Andrey Liscovich for comment.