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Russian grain ban takes effect

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- A Russian ban on grain exports took effect Sunday as the country grapples with a severe drought that also has fueled wildfires across the country.

The ban, announced August 5 and in effect for the rest of the year, has helped fuel a surge in wheat prices worldwide. It follows a drought that has destroyed an estimated 20 percent of the wheat crop in Russia, one of the world's top grain exporters.

Large parts of Russia have suffered this summer from excessive heat, drought, and a spate of wildfires that have also created stifling smoke and smog. Hundreds have died in the combined disasters.