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Putin Thrusts Global Food Markets Into Russian Politics

Russia’s government is squeezing wheat exports to push down prices in a country with a long history of public anger over food costs.

Russia’s wheat output has nearly doubled in the past two decades.

Russia’s wheat output has nearly doubled in the past two decades.

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
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Dmitry Bravkov is the kind of farmer that makes Vladimir Putin proud. The Russian president regularly touts his country’s rise to the top of the world’s agricultural exporters as another sign of its global power.

But after 14 years of running a dairy and grain farm 300 miles southwest of Moscow, Bravkov has suddenly found himself on the wrong end of Kremlin policy. In three weeks, he’ll get less for his wheat because of new tariffs and quotas designed to curb exports and drive domestic prices lower.