What just happened? Russian soldiers in the occupied city of Melitopol stole nearly $5 million worth of farm equipment from a John Deere dealership and ferried it more than 700 miles into Chechnya. But the whole operation was in vain: all the equipment fell into disrepair, as it was blocked remotely.

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CNN reports that Russian troops not only robbed residential buildings, but also increasingly stole agricultural equipment, hundreds of thousands tons of grainand building materials price Ukraine |

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In one case in Melitopol, a Russian military vehicle was used during a robbery at a John Deere dealership: a flatbed truck with the letter Z painted on the side. This symbol was used to show support for the invasion, which is why the Russian professional Dota 2 player was expelled from his team on the weekend.

The list of stolen items included two combine harvesters worth $300,000 each. There were also 27 units of agricultural machinery, including other types of tractors and seeders. The total cost of all products was about $5 million.

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Part of the equipment was taken to a neighboring village, and the rest ended up 700 miles away in Chechnya. Most vehicles are equipped with GPS tracking systems and can be controlled remotely, which means they can also be disabled and locked down remotely.

“When the occupiers drove the stolen harvesters into Chechnya, they realized that they couldn’t even turn them on because the combines were locked remotely,” the source told CNN.

The equipment is now reportedly on a farm near Grozny as consultants in Moscow try to bypass remote locks. In case of failure, the only option would be to sell the cars for parts.

We have repeatedly heard about the big role technology plays in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. DJI suspends drone sales in the USA ttargeting Russian bitcoin miners.

Header Image Author: Darla Huyskemiddle image: Ben Seymour