Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 21, 2022

No, The Ukraine War Has Not Stoked A Global Food Crisis.

Russia is falsely accused of blocking Ukraine's sea ports and thereby increasing a global food shortage:

The United Nations has warned that the war in Ukraine has helped to stoke a global food crisis that could last years if it goes unchecked, as the World Bank announced an additional $12bn in funding to mitigate its “devastating effects”.

UN secretary general António Guterres said shortages of grain and fertiliser caused by the war, warming temperatures and pandemic-driven supply problems threaten to “tip tens of millions of people over the edge into food insecurity”, as financial markets saw share prices fall heavily again on fears of inflation and a worldwide recession.

Speaking at a UN meeting in New York on global food security, he said what could follow would be “malnutrition, mass hunger and famine, in a crisis that could last for years”, as he and others urged Russia to release Ukrainian grain exports.
...
Before the invasion in February, Ukraine was seen as the world’s bread basket, exporting 4.5m tonnes of agricultural produce per month through its ports – 12% of the planet’s wheat, 15% of its corn and half of its sunflower oil.

But with the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and others cut off from the world by Russian warships, the supply can travel only on congested land routes that are far less efficient.

It is not Russia that is withholding Ukrainian grain or cutting off its seaports. Ukraine does that all by itself. As the Russian Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine reports:

75 foreign vessels from 17 countries remain blocked in 7 Ukrainian ports (Kherson, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odessa, Yuzhniy and Mariupol). The threat of shelling and high mine danger created by official Kiev in its internal waters and territorial sea prevents vessels from safely leaving the ports and reaching the open sea.

In confirmation of this, the Russian Federation is opening daily from 08:00 to 19:00 (Moscow time) a humanitarian corridor, which is a safe lane south-west of Ukraine's territorial sea, 80 nautical miles long and 3 nautical miles wide.

Detailed information in English and Russian on the modus operandi of the maritime humanitarian corridor is broadcast daily every 15 minutes on VHF radio on 14 and 16 international channels in English and Russian.

At the same time, the Kiev authorities continue to avoid engaging with representatives of states and ship-owning companies to resolve the issue of ensuring the safe passage of foreign vessels to the assembly area.

The danger to navigation from Ukrainian mines drifting off their anchors along the coasts of Black Sea states remains.

The Russian Federation is taking a full range of comprehensive measures to ensure the safety of civilian navigation in the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

That is just Russian propaganda you might say. But no, it is not. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has published reports about the Maritime Security and Safety in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov:

At the start of the conflict approximately 2000 seafarers were stranded aboard 94 vessels in Ukrainian ports. 10 vessels have subsequently safely departed the Sea of Azov and 84, merchant ships remain, with nearly 450 seafarers onboard.
...
The Council (C/ES.35) on 10 and 11 March agreed to encourage the establishment, as a provisional and urgent measure, of a blue safe maritime corridor to allow the safe evacuation of seafarers and ships from the high-risk and affected areas in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov to a safe place in order to protect the life of seafarers, and ensure the mobilization and commercial navigation of vessels intending to use this corridor by avoiding military attacks and protecting and securing the maritime domain.
...
The Russian Federation has informed IMO that it had established a humanitarian corridor, to provide for the safe evacuation of ships once outside the territorial waters of the Ukraine. Despite this initiative, there remain many safety and security issues which hamper access to the corridor and the ability for ships to depart from their berth in Ukrainian ports.

Ukraine’s ports are at MARSEC (maritime security) level 3 and remain closed for entry and exit. Sea mines have been laid in port approaches and some port exits are blocked by sunken barges and cranes. Many ships no longer have sufficient crew onboard to sail.

Ukraine also provided their preconditions for the safe evacuation of ships from their ports. These include an end to hostilities, the withdrawal of troops and ensuring the freedom of navigation in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, including carrying out mine-sweeping activities with the involvement of Black Sea littoral states.

The MARSEC level of a port is determined by the local authorities. Ukraine is simply prohibiting ships from entering or leaving the ports it controls. It has taken these hostage and makes unreasonable demands for their release.

It also has laid some 400 anchor mines around Odessa which are so old that some of them have parted from their chains and drifted south towards Turkey. It does not allow Russia to de-mine the sea.

Meanwhile foreign ships that had been held by Ukraine in Mariupol have been able to leave since Russia has taken the city and its harbor.

UN secretary general Guterres certainly knows all this. That he is accusing Russia of causing a blockade only shows that he does not honor the neutrality his position demands.

The global food shortage has by the way been around since early 2021. It was not caused by the Ukraine crisis but, as an October 2021 report says, by high prices following supply chain disruptions during the pandemic:

[T]he food shortage around the world isn't just a factor of supply chain issues. According to a rapid phone survey done by the World Bank in 48 countries, a significant number of people are running out of food or reducing their consumption. Global food prices have hit a 10-year peak, according to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), driven by gains in cereals and vegetable oils. Despite record cereal consumption, a shortage is forecasted on higher consumption projections.

Guterres' accusations were copy-pasted from remarks U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had made in an interview:

Blinken: Ukraine is one of the leading producers of, among other things, wheat in the world. Russia, of course, is a large producer itself. And in Ukraine, there are literally tens of millions of tons of wheat that are stuck there because Russia's blockading Ukraine's ports. There are about 85 ships right now with grain, wheat in them. They can't get out. There are another 22 million tons of wheat in silos near the ports that can't get there.

Blinken is lying about the port blockade. The Ukraine is by the way currently exporting wheat via railway, Danube barges and then through the Romanian port Constanta. That wheat though is likely to go to Europe.

Blinken is also lying about fertilizers:

Blinken: Now, the reason for that is there's also a fertilizer shortage because a lot of that is produced in the region. That means that as farmers are thinking about next year's crops, if they don't have fertilizer, the yields are going to go down. So there's going to be even less food on the market and and prices go up even more.

Russia and Belarus are big fertilizer producers. Neither has been hindered to produce by the war. There is therefore no shortage. The only reason the U.S. and 'western' countries will not get fertilizer from those countries are the sanctions they have enacted against buying from them.

This passage from Blinken's interview has a comical element:

Q: You were in Kyiv recently, about a month ago, and you said that Russia is failing, Ukraine is succeeding. What is your assessment now?

Blinken: That remains the case. Here's what's important: Putin's number one objective in going into Ukraine was to erase its independence, erase its sovereignty, to bring Ukraine fully back into the Russian fold, to make it part, in some fashion, of Russia. That's already failed.

How would Blinken know what Putin's number one objective was or is? Has he put himself into Putin's mind? Putin himself has given the reasons for the launching the operation in his Victory Day speech. Ukraine's independence was never questioned in it.

The next question after Blinken had put himself into Putin's mind is this one:

Q: How did he get this so wrong? How did he miscalculate this so badly?

Blinken: It's very hard to fully put yourself in the mind of anyone else.

Yeah. Thought so.

Q: What are you hearing intelligence wise?

Blinken: Well, we had, of course, very good information about Russia's planned aggression in the first place, which we shared with the world. A lot of people were skeptical. And it's one of those things where, as I said, I wish we'd been wrong about it, but we were right. ...

When during the winter of 2021 Biden warned of an 'imminent Russian invasion' of Ukraine he did not know what Russia's plans were. What he did know was that the Ukraine was planning, with U.S. help, for an all out on attack on the Donbas republics in February 2022.

Biden knew that no Russian politician could stand back when that were to happen. When you know on what date a war will start it is of course easy to predict when the response to it will happen.

Starting on February 16 Ukrainian artillery attacks on Donbas increased from a few dozen per day to more than 2,000 per day as was dully noted and reported by the OSCE special observer mission. It were these artillery preparations for a full blown attack that pushed Russia towards the preemptive operation in Ukraine.

This is confirmed in a recent Russian news report about the liberation of Azovstal (machine translation):

The [Russian] operation [in Ukraine] began against the backdrop of the situation in the Donbass that worsened in mid-February. The authorities of the DPR and LPR reported increased shelling by Ukrainian troops, announced the evacuation of civilians in the Russian Federation and asked for recognition of independence. On February 21, Putin signed the relevant decrees.

Again:

  • There was and is a global food crisis because food has become unaffordable for some people.
  • The war in Ukraine did not cause the food crisis.
  • Russia does not blockade Ukrainian harbors.
  • Ukraine could export more wheat if it would allow ships to leave its harbors.
  • Putin has not questioned the independence of Ukraine.
  • The reason for the war was the planned and prepared for Ukrainian attack on Donbas.

Anything else said about those points is just propaganda.

Posted by b on May 21, 2022 at 15:02 UTC | Permalink

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Top 6 Wheat Exporters by Country
Russia: US$7.3 billion (13.1% of total wheat exports)
United States: US$7.29 billion (13.1%)
Australia: US$7.2 billion (13%)
Canada: US$6.6 billion (11.9%)
Ukraine: US$4.7 billion (8.5%)
France: US$4.6 billion (8.2%)

Posted by: Ghost Ship | May 21 2022 20:51 utc | 101

Down South@93
1/ Agriculture in Russia was collectivised long before the Revolution. When the Revolution came the share of the land held by the former serf owners became available to the village collectives which, among other things, regularly re-distributed the land to ensure that each family had a proper share as its holding.

2/The kulaks had thrived during the NEP years. One of the ways in which they had prospered was by holding food back from the market-without regard to social needs- in order to maximise the prices they got. With their profits they were able to become money lenders and practise usury.

3/ When you say that "More than 1.8 million Kulaks were forcibly dispossessed, deported and executed." What do you mean? Were they subject to these actions successively or were some subject to one, others to another and a third group executed. And where does the figure come from? Is it from the Robert Conquest book that he wrote for the British Foreign Office's IRD?

The idea behind the collectivisation policy was to modernise old fashioned farming methods. The model followed was that of US agriculture. The idea was to have bigger units and to use capital, in the form of inputs such as fertilisers and irrigation and machinery-tractors and harvesters to make agriculture more efficient.
It did not always work, just as it had not always worked in the US or Britain, but it was, in terms of the context, a perfectly reasonable policy. As to its being Marxist that is a matter of opinion. In my view it was not, but traditional schools of 'marxism' often regarded capitalist agriculture as an advance to be supported. This would have been in that category.

There is no question that "farmers' far from being eliminated were more usually promoted on merit. The plans called for increased production and among the peasantry in all its layers there were many who became stars in the collective and state farm systems.

The ideologue here is yourself and the ideology is that of liberal private property, the same ideology that is manifestly failing and has long failed to provide food for all.

I recommend that the Grover Furr article as a short introduction, with links to more detailedcstudies
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/03/the-holodomor-and-the-film-bitter-harvest-are-fascist-lies/

Posted by: bevin | May 21 2022 20:56 utc | 102

"Russia is not carving up parts of Ukraine, it's own citizens are doing that because they don't want to be ruled from Washington. But that truth is unpalatable to the Western elites. There is nothing resembling "independence" in Kiev's actions, only American puppetry."

Posted by: nook | May 21 2022 16:02 utc | 16

Absolutely, but, why this truth has to keep being repeated is important. The U$A and it's sycophants raped Ukraine in 2014, and never looked back, using Ukraine as a springboard to fuck with Russia..Period, full stop!!

Posted by: vetinLA | May 21 2022 20:58 utc | 103

It should always be added to these Holodomor type stories that the biggest famines with the most casualties have always been those produced by Capitalist ideologues, such as Trevelyan. And many of these have taken place in India -see Mike Davis Late Victorian Holocausts- under British rule. The last of the Bengal famines was in World War II and was unrelated to Communism, except that it gave the Bengal Communist Parties a great boost in membership.

Posted by: bevin | May 21 2022 21:03 utc | 104

The msm meme here in Oz is that it’s all because of a “perfect storm” - as in, a whole vague mixture of things except any of the deliberate decisions made by our own leaders…

Posted by: Rae | May 21 2022 21:11 utc | 105

Posted by: BM | May 21 2022 17:52 utc | 58

In a broader context, China's thoughts also. See the last paragraph, especially:

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202205/1266202.shtml?id=12

Posted by: G | May 21 2022 21:13 utc | 106

When do they ban Russian porn and all there is left is obese trailer trash with missing teeth from the US to look at? Girls Hunter would do.

Posted by: Bruce Lee Marvin Gay | May 21 2022 21:18 utc | 107

@104 No worries mate. Your new PM will soon have it all turned round.

Posted by: dh | May 21 2022 21:19 utc | 108

Posted by: bevin | May 21 2022 20:56 utc | 101

You are wrong:

But how are the agricultural units to be enlarged?

There are two ways of doing this. There is the capitalist way, which is to enlarge the agricultural units by introducing capitalism in agriculture-away which leads to the impoverishment of the peasantry and to the development of capitalist enterprises in agriculture. We reject this way as incompatible with the Soviet economic system.

There is a second way: the socialist way, which is to introduce collective farms and state farms in agriculture, the way which leads to the amalgamation of the small-peasant farms into large collective farms, employing machinery and scientific methods of farming, and capable of developing further, for such agricultural enterprises can achieve expanded reproduction.

And so, the question stands as follows: either one way or the other either back -to capitalism, or forward-to socialism. There is no third way, nor can there be.

The “equilibrium” theory is an attempt to indicate a third way. And precisely because it is based on a third (nonexistent) way, it is utopian and anti-Marxian…

The characteristic feature in the work of our Party during the past year is that we, as a Party, as the Soviet power,

a) have developed an offensive along the whole front against the capitalist elements in the countryside;

b) that this offensive, as you know, has brought about and is bringing about very palpable, positive results.

What does this mean? It means that we have passed from the policy of restricting the exploiting proclivities of the kulaks to the policy of eliminating the kulaks as a class. This means that we have made, and are still making, one of the decisive turns in our whole policy.


Stalin on the Liquidation of the Kulak

The mass famine/holodomor in 1932-1933 period was a a direct result of the destruction of the commercial farming class (Kulaks) by Stalin the bulk of which took place in 1930-1931. He may not have intentionally tried to starve them but they certainly did starve as a result of his policies.

Posted by: Down South | May 21 2022 21:24 utc | 109

I've been following your reporting for quite some time and commenting on WayoftheBern, which is a Reddit site.

Interest in Russia seems to be waning there and It is past time for me to acknowledge how wonderful your coverage of this conflict has been. Between, MOA, The Saker, Andrei Martyanov, Pepe Escobar and Gonzalo Lira I will be reading about how Russia succeeds in making every one of its strategic points and victories.

Russia's aims will be fulfilled. (Not that we know precisely what Russia plans.)

Not NATO's Lies.

Thank you so much for informing us about the most important thing going on globe-wide now. Perhaps the only thing that unites all the threads----shortages. rising prices.

Posted by: Vicki | May 21 2022 21:24 utc | 110

“You may lose men but never lose a minute.” – Napoleon

Speed is of THE essence in war. Hell, even we La-Z-Boy Napoleons know that. Something strange is going on in Ukraine. Is Putin too shilling for the JWO?

https://citizenfitz09.blogspot.com/2022/05/putins-slow-motion-war.html

Posted by: Citizenfitz | May 21 2022 21:26 utc | 111

Down South assures us that millions of Ukrainians were starved to death in 1932 because Stalin was just evil like that. Just like Putin, doncha know.
But why only that one year? Why starve people only one year, if you're that evil?
Shouldn't it have been an ongoing thing? Just think how many more people would have died if Stalin had been evil annually.

Posted by: wagelaborer | May 21 2022 21:26 utc | 112

Keep in mind that it is the west, currently, that is fomenting this food crisis. (((Globalists))) know how to torture their goy into compliance. Also keep in the mind the idea that the international communists emigrated to the west during the Stalin-era because Soviet Russia could not resolve the internal contradiction of communism in one nation while the world was still bicameral in spirit. This internal contradiction eventually led it to its collapse and now the game is afoot once again with Russia being the bulwark of the communists' international (read: "no nation") plans, the precise inverse of the proceeding cold war version 1.0. Fukuyama was entirely wrong: the cold war went dormant but the ember of spirit remained. And by the stoking of Putin, we are seeing the Phoenix of this unresolved problem.

Just like the Christian Jung toppled the Jewish Freud, it's a brand new day for the Logos! It can never be swallowed by the Luciferians.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 21 2022 21:28 utc | 113

In response to wagelaborer@111,

Well, presumably Stalin (?) starved them in the 1920's, 1910's, three times in 1900's and 1890's as well. Actually, Stalin starved Ukraine at least once every 10 years going back centuries. At least he had enough heart to get grain imports from Egypt in exchange for gold in the 30's, because as we all know Stalin hated having gold reserves even more than he hated Ukrainian peasants.

Posted by: Skiffer | May 21 2022 21:34 utc | 114


thanks for this one, b. Interesting.

re Guardian: "....But with the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and others cut off from the world by Russian warships, the supply can travel only on congested land routes that are far less efficient..."

ah yes the liberal liars at The Guardian... and at the NY Times. the two worst war mongering propaganda shills of the collective West - they've never met a pro-US war they didn't love, or a Russian push back they didn't love to hate. The devil take them all.

Posted by: michaelj72 | May 21 2022 21:36 utc | 115

Argue that Russia has legitimate security concerns that can override Ukrainian sovereignty (it does), but don't claim that that Russia respects Ukrainian independence.

Posted by: Ben | May 21 2022 15:23 utc | 4

Does the USA accept and respect Canadian independence? How about Mexico? Cuba? I guess it just depends on what Uncle Scam says those countries are allowed to do. Certainly not join an overtly hostile offensive military alliance with China, Russia or Iran.

Guess it comes down to your definition of independence and whether the same def'n applies in the Western Hemisphere and Eurasia, then, doesn't it?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 21 2022 21:39 utc | 116

The West had long been trying to provoke a Russian attack on the Ukraine, but the Russians had been refusing to take the bait. I believe that the straw that broke the camel's back and led Putin to decide to invade was Zelensky's speech at the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 19, where he called for the Ukraine to have nuclear weapons. This factor figures prominently in the explanation of the war that Putin gave in his Victory Day speech.

If I am correct that this was the straw that broke the camel's back, then those who were saying Russia would not invade were not wrong, because up to that point Putin was not intending to invade. The critical factor was that the West wanted war, and so they were just going to keep increasing the provocations until Russia felt it had to respond.

By the way, Kamala Harris was at that Munich conference and met with Zelensky there.

Posted by: Lysias | May 21 2022 21:40 utc | 117

BG13 @ 89:

The famine that killed 10 to 12 million in Persia has been attributed to several causes: drought certainly was a major contributing factor but the local political context and broader geopolitical background help set the scene. The Persian govt (the Qajar dynasty) was weak and the country was under competing British and Russian "spheres of influence". The British requisitioned huge supplies of food for military purposes. (They did the same in the Bengali-speaking parts of India during WWII with similar devastating results for the people there: famine and mass starvation resulting in 2 to 3 million dead.) Food-producing areas in Persia, close to Ottoman Turkey, itself suffering from political instability and the disruptions of war leading to famine and starvation, were affected by fighting between the Ottomans and the British.

This information was gleaned from Wikipedia which has an article on the famine.

It was just a few years after the famine and mass starvation catastrophe in Persia that Reza Pahlavi (sorry, I forget his proper name) overthrew the Qajars and made himself Shah. He changed the country's name to Iran.

Posted by: Jen | May 21 2022 21:40 utc | 118

Posted by: Down South | May 21 2022 21:24 utc | 108

How do you feel about the capitalist-led Irish genocide, then?

For which of those two famines is there better documentation of a policy designed exactly to wipe out large numbers of people?

Why would Stalin, a native Georgian, conceive of or enact policies aimed at Russian supremacy and genocide of his own people?

What about all the other USSR countries that experienced even worse famine and death due to the bad harvests? Did they all put up memorials in the 21st century and only start officially recognizing their own famines as Stalin's fault exclusively?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 21 2022 21:42 utc | 119

What happened to RSH that hack bloke?

Posted by: Steve | May 21 2022 21:47 utc | 120

In defense of Et Tu 41 against b 53.
If the US controlled, or strongly influenced, Kiev's actions, and if the US's goal was to provoke Russian invasion, then it was simpler and more practical to merely mass Ukrainian troops at the LOC and increase their artillery fire, as-if Donbass conquest was planned than to actually plan it. Donbass conquest would require different equipment and expose the Ukrainian army as their deep defensive positions didn't. Such fake provocation from Ukraine would risk destruction of Ukraine, but to ask what Ukraine stood to gain from it ignores that there might have been another power with greater standing.

Posted by: dcouzin | May 21 2022 21:50 utc | 121

Down South:

I think you're in Australia along with PeterAU1. Do you guys plan to post anything about this story to tomorrow's O/T?

https://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/1613921/Queen-news-Australian-elections-prime-minister-Anthony-Albanese-Australia-republic

I'd be curious to hear from an actual Australian on what looks like a political battle with the Queen that could get ugly.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 21 2022 21:54 utc | 122

The money gotten from squeezing the peasants in the Soviet Union enabled building up Soviet industry and the military. Without that, I doubt if the Soviets could have succeeded in fighting off the Germans 10 years later.

What was done to the peasants was of course awful. But history is full of those terrible dilemmas. I thank God that I have no power and so whatever little weight my vote might have probably does not matter.

Posted by: Lysias | May 21 2022 21:59 utc | 123

How do you feel about the capitalist-led Irish genocide, then?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 21 2022 21:42 utc | 118

Eh???

Simply because I point out a famine that resulted from Marxist policy did actually occur doesn’t mean I support capitalist induced famine.

Bevin has repeatedly tried to dismiss the famine as a hoax propagated by fascists to discredit communism.

I merely pointed out it wasn’t a hoax or some fascist propaganda but did actually take place , however unintentional , as much as he may dislike it.

Now if someone came in here as said the Irish famine was a hoax or communist propaganda to discredit capitalism I’d do the same as I did above.

Posted by: Down South | May 21 2022 22:05 utc | 124

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 21 2022 21:54 utc | 121

Down South as opposed to Down Under.

I’ll leave it to the Australians to comment on.

Posted by: Down South | May 21 2022 22:08 utc | 125

Wagelaborer @ 111 raises an excellent point that Down South @ 93 has yet to address: if the famine in 1931/2 was so severe, and due to Soviet collectivisation and persecution of the Kulak class, how was it overcome the following year? The mass famine did not just affect the Ukrainian SSR, it spread across southern Russia and into Kazakhstan as well.

The kulaks were known to have killed their animals and destroyed their crops in protest against their lands being collectivised. How much did their actions benefit them and the wider Soviet public?

There were good harvests in the USSR for the rest of the 1930s and famine and starvation passed into history, apart from one year (1947?) after WWII due to the devastation caused by the German-led multi-nation invasion Operation Barbarossa in the early 1940s.

Also, as has been noted by MoA barflies already, the Ukrainian SSR in the 1920s/30s did not include Halych (Galicia) and Volyn (Volhynia) regions: these were part of Poland and subjected to Polonisation pressures. Yet the biggest support for a "Holodomor" comes from people in those regions or with family links to them.

Incidentally Ben @ 4 must not be aware that Poland plans to send peacekeeping forces (with US blessing apparently) into the very areas that it once controlled 90 years ago, and that the Polish and Ukrainian govts declared open borders between their territories. So much for Poland respecting Ukrainian territorial sovereignty.

Posted by: Jen | May 21 2022 22:09 utc | 126

Posted by: Down South | May 21 2022 20:27 utc | 93

Stalin a Marxist? I would suggest Stalin's interpretation of Marxism and indeed, your knowledge, is based on that of Groucho rather than Karl. As he expressed with his usual wit in Duck Soup, "Nobody died of starvation under capitalism."

Posted by: G | May 21 2022 22:12 utc | 127

If nothing else, America and Israel are masters of diverting blame. Neither, if they are still in existence in 50 years, will ever, I repeat ever, accept the responsibility of their actions and the resulting fallout from them.

Posted by: WTFUD | May 21 2022 22:13 utc | 128

Two things:

The Kulaks were not amenable to communism due it to its obvious hatred of Christianity (Christian clergy were sent to work on the railroad while rabbis were allowed to continue on in their synagogues).

And..

Centralization reform, when done to quickly, can result in a horrific brain drain on the local, driving level. It can alienate the existing pecking order and thus productivity declines immediately. This is a VERY generous reason as to why starvation may have occurred.

...

I also find it funny that there are so many "holodomor-deniers" (irony alert x100,000,000 lol!!!) and that they happen to be the same ones who are drilling us into submission regarding 6 million extinguished Jews by the Evil Nazis.

Once again, bad faith detector is off the scale.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 21 2022 22:14 utc | 129

As per usual, Americans lie and bribe and posture and threaten.
No physical presence. No weight behind the words.

Posted by: Parfum | May 21 2022 22:19 utc | 130

Posted by: sln2002 | May 21 2022 17:17 utc | 46


May be wrong but believe 'korn' is the German for 'grain' hence this confusion since many such basic everyday words from German are found in English.

Posted by: Scorpion | May 21 2022 22:20 utc | 131

Posted by: bevin | May 21 2022 20:56 utc | 101

Conquest legitimises Hitler's school of literary criticism.

Posted by: G | May 21 2022 22:22 utc | 132

Tom Q Collins @ 121:

You ought to read what the Queen supposedly did to Gough Whitlam when he was Australian Prime Minister in the early 1970s. The meeting involves the use of a plush carpet. Sort of makes you think of how Cleopatra was supposedly introduced to Julius Caesar.

Fifty years later, Anthony Albanese may not need to do much: the Queen is in her late 90s and is becoming more frail, and there is a possibility that with her passing, Britain itself may decide to get rid of the monarchy. If that should be the case, an opportunity opens up for the Labor govt to declare Australia a republic. If anything, Albanese needs to address this possibility as soon as possible by suggesting a new referendum on Australia becoming a republic and how its head of state should be selected.

Posted by: Jen | May 21 2022 22:25 utc | 133

One thing that needs to be considered in all this is that humans are fallible and decision making is a mess. Everyone here agrees, I think, that Tony Blinken is a dope. He is advised by dopes. He is so stupid he likely has some limits imposed on his authority same as we assume Joe Biden has imposed limits. And he still has a lot of influence and still gets left to make policy on a hundred small matters that will affect the big picture. He also gets to shoot off his mouth and will be quoted everywhere. His expert opinion is a steaming pile of bullshit but it is bullshit with a megaphone.

It is convenient to imagine that somewhere is someone who is really in charge. Maybe, but if so, not always. If Blinken badly wanted some good advice he might call an old professor. If he did he’d talk to a fool like Niall Ferguson or Timothy Snyder. Blinken might think back to lessons learned from old wise men. Like maybe his stepfather, Sam Pisar. Who was lawyer and fixer for Robert Maxwell. We are told that Blinken was a childhood playmate of Ghislaine Maxwell so he likely knew Robert as well. Robert Maxwell of course being a Ukrainian Jew as Blinken is a Ukrainian Jew. As Vicki Nuland is a Ukrainian Jew. Just maybe there is an echo chamber here and these people believe their own bullshit. If you were Tony Blinken it might be quite difficult to find someone who knows as much about The Holodomor as our own Bevin does. Next could be that since that famine was caused by the Evil that was Stalin, and everyone agrees to that, any talk of serious famine is nonsense because we here in US government policy positions are not evil like Stalin was.

So the situation could get quite out of hand just from stupidity. It is possible to be sophisticated and know a lot about how the world works and how things really get done and still be very stupid. Then if there is a malicious actor somewhere in the scenery a little push will cause a lot of harm. With a long history of racism directed at Russia stupid racism alone could push policy to insane outcomes.

So Capitalism and Great Power rivalry and the decay of The West are all there but on the ground are a lot of stupid people. Our host b is extremely good at laying it all out in simple terms anyone could understand. Only us barflies are listening. The stupid shall lead them.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 21 2022 22:27 utc | 134

No surprise here: Clown McFoul (sic), former ambass to Russia who was told to leave, confirms that the "real world" is that the us "diplomats" (sic) lie all the time:

https://sputniknews.com/20220521/thats-the-real-world-fmr-us-ambassador-to-russia-says-us-was-lying-to-ukraine-about-nato-bid-1095678504.html

Jeez, the us has diplomats? Who knew?

Posted by: Thomas | May 21 2022 22:33 utc | 135

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | May 21 2022 17:54 utc | 59

I spent a good 15 minutes looking but simply cannot find the wholesale distributor I used 10+ years ago when incarnated briefly as an organic sourdough brick oven baker on Cape Breton Island. The distributor was in Quebec province somewhere. But you might start looking for organic wholesale distributors. I used to get 25kg buckwheat along with just about anything else in grains delivered to the door (minimum order $1000). But those companies sell to retailers and have lists of them so they might be able to tell you where you can get good organic buckwheat. Meanwhile this popped up whilst looking for the other one: https://well.ca/products/inari-organic-white-buckwheat-groats_18790.html
I just remembered it, found the name and turns out it was bombed a couple of weeks after I placed my last order in Nov 2014.... very strange. Anyway, good luck!

Posted by: Scorpion | May 21 2022 22:40 utc | 136

I am guessing that, whatever the practical effect of Stalin's collectivization policies was, if there had not been a regional drought in 1931/32 that famine and loss of life during those years would not have been particularly remarkable.

My wife's great grandfather lost his grain mill due to the policies of that time but there is no residual resentment of Russia over this fact. This is why the "Holodomor Famine" is merely a political cudgel.

Posted by: the pessimist | May 21 2022 22:41 utc | 137

Posted by: Down South | May 21 2022 22:05 utc | 123

On some points, fair enough. You're not arguing that it was intentional. However, the "holodomor" is a hoax inasmuch as it 1) exaggerates the conditions and deaths and 2) completely leaves out the greater context including that numerous USSR states had even worse famines. Furthermore, it was in fact Nazi propaganda that kicked the whole 'movement' off back in the 1930s and there is a strong undercurrent of Nazi and Banderite ideology in and among those who insisted on making it effectively a holiday or day of remembrance in Ukraine. Another part of the 'hoax' aspect is that in order for it to stick, many elements of the story and history had to be changed and other accusations against Stalin without any evidence must be accepted whole cloth or the main narrative falls apart.

But yes, the famines were greatly attributable to junk science and Stalin's belief in one particular quack's theories on agriculture.

However, you're wrong about the Irish Potato Famine. It was in fact a capitalist-mercantile-elite conspiracy to kill (or allow to die) as many Irish as possible.

RE: Down South vs. Down Under - My apologies. I thought there was a semiregular poster here with a "Down" in their handle from Australia.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 21 2022 22:44 utc | 138

"The holodomor or great famine that lead to the deaths of millions of people was preceded by the elimination of the Kulaks as a class by Stalin after they opposed his efforts to collectivise farming and establish state farms."

Posted by: Down South | May 21 2022 20:27 utc | 93

Opposition which included such constructive measures as wholesale slaughter of cattle and work animals, destruction of produce and its withholding in inadequate conditions; something which was jokingly referred to as "the elimination of horses as a class".

Because, really, if you want to oppose an agricultural restructuring and you don't have legislative primacy; you sabotage agricultural production, producers and means of production.

And this wasn't a time and place where policies were "opposed" only by sitting behind a banner singing songs with paint on your face - they were opposed by sabotage, torchings and reprisals.

So your statement that kulaks opposed collectivization, is also indivisible from admission that kulaks opposed agricultural production in itself, particularly modernized agricultural production.

"Now it is important to understand that the Kulaks were the prosperous farmers or what we would call commercial farmers here. They produced more than they consumed for the purpose of selling the excess production in the market. Therefore, the elimination of the Kulaks as a class as a whole literally meant eliminating the very group of people whose excess agricultural production fed the population."

The kulaks were engaged in food production because they wanted to profit off it.

So remove the profit motive and suddenly they're not only no longer interested in producing food, they're also interested in making food production more difficult for everybody else. This is called spite: if I can't win, at least I'll try to make you lose. A very dangerous thing in general, even more so when applied to the first sector of the economy.

It's called "class struggle" and "class warfare" - not "class picnic" or "class salsa lessons"

P.S.: You don't need to stand before a firing squad to be a "kulak eliminated as a class", you can also grab a hoe, start shoveling, and count your blessings.

Posted by: Arganthonios | May 21 2022 22:44 utc | 139

Thank you b for an excellent reveal on the food distraction story.

UN secretary general Guterres certainly knows all this. That he is accusing Russia of causing a blockade only shows that he does not honor the neutrality his position demands.

Guterres is a dishonorable fool. He has consistently exhibited his craven western outlook and subservience. Unfit for any role in the UN.

On a bright note the recent national elections in Australia have evicted the neocon religious dogmatics party and return the Australian Labor Party - a social democrat style party. The parliament has a larger contingent of independent and Green members than ever in its history. So we could be in for interesting times.

I would like to see this new Labor government make a hasty and direct appeal to the UK and especially the Queen to issue a total pardon and immediate release of Australia's champion journalist and publisher Julian Assange.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 21 2022 22:45 utc | 140

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 21 2022 22:44 utc | 137

Also as others have noted, the British were responsible for the severity of numerous famines, including one particularly bad one in India.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_major_famines_in_India_during_British_rule

No matter how you slice it, the British elite were capitalists as far back as the 18th century.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 21 2022 22:48 utc | 141

Posted by: Jen | May 21 2022 21:40 utc | 117

The Shah was installed after a US-Anglo-backed coup removed Mossadegh.

Posted by: G | May 21 2022 22:54 utc | 142

Howler Alert!! Bloomberg: "US economic growth to outrun China for 1st time in decades." Official US report for 1Q had GDP contracting 1.4%, not growing. All those short sells on the stock markets are added to GDP when they shouldn't be added at all, same with long buys. Utterly amazing the brazenness of the lying nowadays. Perhaps Bloomberg's mistaking inflation for growth as the former closes in on 20%.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 21 2022 22:57 utc | 143

"It does not allow Russia to de-mine the sea."

I'm curious. How is that being done? I would have expected Russia to be de-mining regardless of what Ukraine wants. I would expect Turkey to be engaged in it, too, if they have that capability.

Here's what makes sea mines Russia's biggest challenge in Ukraine's Mariupol port
https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/russia-ukraine-war-mariupol-port-sea-mines-azov-sea-1945555-2022-05-05

Speaking to India Today at the port, Sergei Neka, Commanding Officer of the de-mining operations, said, "Since we started the de-mining operations in the city of Mariupol, we have extricated up to 10,000 sea mines and other explosives so far. But, there is no way of estimating how many are still left."

Ukraine cannot defuse Black Sea mines, charges NATO with task: Moscow
https://english.almayadeen.net/news/politics/ukraine-cannot-defuse-black-sea-mines-charges-nato-with-task

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 23:04 utc | 144

I would like to see this new Labor government make a hasty and direct appeal to the UK and especially the Queen to issue a total pardon and immediate release of Australia's champion journalist and publisher Julian Assange.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 21 2022 22:45 utc | 139

It would make sense, so it is unlikely to happen. I would be most glad to be surprised.

They could also delay/cancel nuclear submarine program and similar boondoggles, and again, since it would make sense...

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 21 2022 23:07 utc | 145

OT alert

Morrison is gone in Oz. Ding dong the witch is dead! We hope that Albo will be a vast improvement.

But we just know he won't when it comes to an independent foreign policy...

Official Australian Federal Election Results: https://tallyroom.aec.gov.au/HouseDefault-27966.htm

Posted by: Patroklos | May 21 2022 23:13 utc | 146

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 21 2022 22:45 utc | 139

You called it right UT. Not holding my breath on Assange though.

Posted by: Patroklos | May 21 2022 23:18 utc | 147

@ b

Don't forget to add some links about the Oz election in tomorrow's W-i-R. Barflies need to know what a liberation this ALP victory means to us. Not revolutionary but seriously full of possibilities. At least an end to shocking graft and corruption (for a while).

Posted by: Patroklos | May 21 2022 23:21 utc | 148

@ 135

Thank you for the info. I haven’t looked since moving to Montreal, but in Vancouver what was available, like flour from Annie’s Organic Mill or Bob’s Red Mill, or groats from the bulk bins, came from Bulgaria, Turkey or China at first, then the US later. For little old consumer me, the only Canadian-grown organic buckwheat I found was in the soba noodles at that specialty Japanese store (not-for-export Japanese goods). Anyway, maybe the commercial bakers, like yourself when you were, get the supplies, and really that’s not such a bad thing. … I guess. … I don’t know about this whole commodity market business. I mean, we should just be grateful to still be able to purchase home-grown cherries, lobster and salmon. (I actually emailed the feds about a total lack of dried Canadian berries for sale. Received some bureaucratic non-answer of a reply.)

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | May 21 2022 23:22 utc | 149

Russia may be similar to the US, virtually zero mine-sweeping capability.

MOSCOW, April 30, 2019. /TASS/. The Russian Navy plans to operate about 40 Project 12700 mine countermeasures vessels by 2030, Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Vladimir Korolyov said at a meeting on surface shipbuilding on Tuesday.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 21 2022 23:25 utc | 150

Tom_Q_Collins

on Australia and its recent national election:

There will likely be changes to the better for many.

There will likely be hysteria aplenty beginning in a day or two as the new Prime Minister and his Deputy attend the QUAD meeting somewhere with other leaders.

Expect fear and loathing in MSM.

I imagine efforts will be made to restore pleasant functional relations with China.

Expect the Solomon Islands US meddling to be activated against Australian independent thought and its desire to re-establish $billions of lost trade with China.

I suspect/trust we will have an anti war majority in the House of Representatives that will be obstructed by the Senate (given today's tally in an incomplete count).

Expect contrived street rallies and NED funded activities designed to perpetually undermine the new government. These will be resisted.

Know that the blatant bias in media against the Australian Labor Party and Greens and some independents will only escalate and amplify the screeching of oligarchy.

Improvements for Australian society can be achieved through better health, education, and infrastructure can manifest given the chance.

High speed rail along the eastern seaboard perhaps but I expect that to turn into a 'hate China' schemozzle.

Free Julian Assange is hopefully high on the agenda.

As for Ukraine: there are possibly no more weapons to spare, we could send pig iron to their foundries in what is now Russia, soon we could assist in the rebuilding of grain loaders in liberated Odessa,

Australia has quite a few nazis that could be encouraged to try their luck at 'home' so it could provide assisted passage ;)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 21 2022 23:27 utc | 151

"Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force."

This 2 paragraph blurb is pretty much verbatim how every RT article on Ukraine has ended since Feb 24.

To those proclaiming that anyone questioning the imminent Ukrainian invasion preempted by Russia narrative is 'propaganda', i ask, why would Russia's own official 'propaganda' channel insist on providing such a rendition of events and ignore all this alleged evidence of an imminent Ukrainian attack instead?

Furthermore, just like most of Europe, it is clear Ukraine's Gov't is not acting in the interest of Ukraine the nation, but rather Uncle Sam and its multiverse of paymasters, so i find any claim questioning the logic of such actions purely in national interest terms to be naive or even disingenuous. Perhaps, the whole point to was just to pretend an invasion was imminent, in order to provoke Russia into a preemptive strike, which would then provide the pretext for the 'nuclear option' of sanctions and total hybrid war.

Ironically, as well all know now, it wasn't just Europe who turned out to be acting against its own interests... go Ruble, go Brandon... we're all gonna pay.

Posted by: Et Tu | May 21 2022 23:29 utc | 152

On Oz, I've read that Morrison called Albanese the Manchurian candidate, and that there were many billboards showing Albanese pulling a lever for Xi. . .but as others have suggested, he'll fall in line after he gets that memo from the US. . .life is precious! . . Why do what's right for Australia when the US needs "allies."

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 21 2022 23:32 utc | 153

Posted by: Rob | May 21 2022 19:06 utc | 77

Agreed.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 23:33 utc | 154

Guterres is a dishonorable fool. He has consistently exhibited his craven western outlook and subservience. Unfit for any role in the UN.
Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 21 2022 22:45 utc | 139

Successive exhibitions get more blatant. What a disgrace. But in Guterres' case, at least it's confirmation, rather than disappointment. I'm not disappointed in the UN, I'm further convinced it's a totally useless body. Time to start fresh, I think.

Disappointments are obviously more challenging. Joe Lauria of CN does great work over there -- no question in my mind -- but even Joe does more virtue-signaling than seems dignified to me. Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky sometimes feel like they've planted their feet firmly in nowhereland. And then there's Pope Francis.

OMG, do we have to wait for the next puff of smoke from that Vatican chimney now? The reason I took up Hochhuth's "The Deputy" is to compare Francis with Pius XII: which Pope is the bigger war criminal?

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 21 2022 23:34 utc | 155

Many have wanted to know about relations between Russia and Africa. Yesterday, Lavrov met with Mali's FM and a presser was held after and a transcript published in English. Lavrov points to the problems Mali has due to neocolonialism and Russian efforts to ease Mali's situation. It also appears Mali has joined with Russia, China and other nations in the Group of Friends in Defense of the UN Charter. Mali must free itself from its remaining French fetters and look to Russia and China for genuine assistance.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 21 2022 23:34 utc | 156

The main issue in Europe, perhaps leading to a general war, a 'world' war, is some unwanted people living on a relatively small lot of land (4.4% of Ukraine), Donbass, an issue which the US has failed to face in preference to wide-spread death & destruction.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 21 2022 23:37 utc | 157

Posted by: Down South | May 21 2022 20:27 utc | 93

The holodomor or great famine that lead to the deaths of millions...

No! The Holodomor is a hoax. The real event is the Soviet famine of 1932. The Holodomor is a retelling of the famine using a Holocaust narrative, with Stalin playing the role of Hitler.

See my comment in the previous thread.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 21 2022 23:39 utc | 158

A most lively discussion.

As for for major famines Wiki(not the most reliable of sources) has a very long list dating back in time. Alas on the scale of deaths shown it is not the highest in the death toll. Nor do the promoters note that this famine was not isolated and unique to Ukraine in those years in question.......... Thus harp upon the 2% of the facts . The rest is pure propaganda with a strong dose of denial.

Interestingly in country 404. The one party leader/madman suffering from mental issues "Diktator 'Z' ". Now claims an "ERSATZ" military force of 700,000 . Able bodied cannon fodder for the front line. In order to reach that figure. One must include the police. fire brigade , emergency workers and all health care workers too. All of whom lack mobility.

Sadly, since the actual true resident population population of country 404 has declined by around ten million from forty three million. His current selection of further additional cannon fodder recruits. Is basically middle aged retail employees, pensioners and children under the age of ten. Due to corruption. The only option is to arm them with hand made broom stick pikes.........

Truth is stranger than fiction.......

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | May 21 2022 23:40 utc | 159

Posted by: lex talionis | May 21 2022 20:40 utc | 95
"Now I think I need to learn about being a prepper."

I can point you to several Youtube channels: TheUrbanPrepper, City Prepping, and Canadian Prepper, respectively Cliff, Kris, and Nate. There are tons of others but those are the big 3. These guys, with the occasional exception of Nate, don't go into massive hype of doom and gloom, just how to use reasonable precautions to deal with reasonable threats. Cliff (TheUrbanPrepper), in particular, being an IT guy, is extremely organized and reasonable in his approach. Cliff and Kris are mostly into urban prepping, Nate covers everything.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 23:44 utc | 160

Bush Jr. spilled the beans on breaking promises to Russia about NATO expansion eastwards. "Times change..." is his excuse for the breach in word. I feel bad for countries around the world who will suffer food shortages from this conflict, but I feel no sympathy for the West and the consequences they are suffering with energy shortages, inflation, and food shortages. Keeping your word is a sacred act and should be treated as such or else we find ourselves in bad situations struggling to solve them peacefully because of the lack of trust between the several parties involved.

Posted by: Prometheus | May 21 2022 23:47 utc | 161

Posted by: Bruce Lee Marvin Gay | May 21 2022 21:18 utc | 106

Japanese porn - much better, more interesting. :-)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 23:47 utc | 162

From what I understand the Russians have made every effort not to destroy Ukrainian agricultural land so that wheat production can go on. What is holding back farmers on the Eastern side is the continued war efforts to invade the Donbas region by Zelensky's forces.

Wheat is grown in the Ukraine from April through October, and so if there are any shortages it will be after that. A great part of Ukraine farming land is not affected by the war, and recent coverage in the region by people like Patrick Lancaster show that the wheat is growing perfectly fine in the fields. It is a crop that does not need a lot of attention while it is growing, and it is dependent on rain for water. No irrigation required.

If the ports are closed by Zelensky but kept open by Russia in the East, then it is once more a case of Zelensky sabotaging his own people for press disinformation(seems to be his greatest skill). He could stop the war too. The UN needs to get some guts and stand up to the American dominance here.

The truth however is that wheat and other grain and oil crops are down (or will be down) in quotas later this year in a many regions of the world including India due to excessive early heat in turn triggered by climate change, and in Australia mainly due to climate change in combination with La Nina weather patterns where there has been too much rain (which also destroys young crops).

Posted by: George Wendell | May 21 2022 23:49 utc | 163

as for russia's supply...if only there was a huge country with a billion people in the vicinity. or maybe an entire continent of food insecure darker skinned people who have spent a few centuries being fucked with by the west and don't care about sanctions. if only.

Ever heard of.... China.... ASEAN... Pakistan.... Iran.... Afghanistan..

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | May 21 2022 23:52 utc | 164

@145 Any chance Albanese will find a way to get out of the nuclear sub deal?

Posted by: dh | May 21 2022 23:58 utc | 165

Russia has offered to open Ukraine's Black Sea ports in exchange for sanctions relief.
B, please don't engage in mental gymnastics to defend something that Russian side has admitted to.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/5/19/russia-says-opening-ukraine-ports-would-need-review-of-sanctions

Posted by: Krištof | May 22 2022 0:00 utc | 166

@G (141)

Not quite. The Pahlavi dynasty came to power in a coup during 1930s. They were then overthrown by a joint UK-USSR invasion during WW2, then got restored to throne after WW2 with US support. The original Pahlavi was a fascinating character, good and bad, within Iranian context, which gets ignored by well meaning Westerns

Posted by: hk | May 22 2022 0:01 utc | 167

“ Leaked emails reviewed by The Grayzone reveal possibly criminal plot by pro-Leave elites to sabotage Theresa May’s Brexit deal, infiltrate government, spy on campaign groups, and replace May with Boris Johnson

“Among their key objectives was to strengthen the security relationship between London and Washington, thus supplanting EU authority with more substantial US oversight.”

https://www.sott.net/article/468047-Operation-Surprise-leaked-emails-expose-secret-intelligence-coup-to-install-Boris-Johnson

Posted by: Moses22 | May 22 2022 0:02 utc | 168

Posted by: Lysias | May 21 2022 21:40 utc | 116

What most people even here don't seem to get is the following:

1) Russia didn't want to invade.
2) Russia intended to invade.

Both are true. I'm pretty sure Russia has had contingency plans to invade since 2014. Those plans were periodically updated over the years, while simultaneously Russia kept pushing for the Minsk Package of Measures to be implemented - which is proof Russia didn't want to invade, they wanted a solution.

In spring, 2021, which everyone has forgotten Ukraine moved half its army to the contact line. Russia moved forces to the Ukraine border. It was at this point, I believe, that Russia decided to give the West one last chance to stop building up Ukraine as a threat to Russia. It was at this point, I believe, that Russia changed its contingency plan to invade Ukraine to an operational plan.

Then in fall, 2021, Russia began emphasizing the need for a new security architecture in Europe. In December, they offered the treaty proposals. They did so, knowing that the West would refuse them. This is when Russia decided to invade Ukraine - at some point - if the West refused those treaties.

The question was, when to invade? First, the West had to clearly show they refused to discuss the treaties. That occurred in January, 2022. Then we had a sequence of events: Zelenskyy went to Munich, came back and visited the Ukrainian lines, after which Ukraine began preparatory shelling. Second, Zelenskyy talked about getting nuclear weapons. Presumably at this point Russia decided to invade, and thus set up the legal rationale by recognizing the Donbass republics and signing a mutual benefit agreement with them, thus establishing a NATO Charter Article 51 rationale.

But the real reason was the West's refusal of the treaties. Ukraine's preparing of an attack and seeking nukes was only the timing. Russia knew Ukraine would do something to justify a Russian invasion eventually, presumably a Ukraine attack on Donbass, which was foreshadowed in spring, 2021. That 2021 operation by Ukraine was a bad mistake - it triggered Russia's preparing an operational plan for an invasion.

Right up to the moment of the invasion, Russia denied wanting to or intending to invade. And that was true - IF the West had responded positively to Russia's treaty proposals, Russia would not have invaded. But the West did - and at that moment the operational plan to invade was a done deal.

And in this thread and subsequent threads, people here will deny all that and go back to arguing over what triggered the invasion.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 0:02 utc | 169

Posted by: Steve | May 21 2022 21:47 utc | 119

He's losing interest in the same-old, same-old arguments here. Discussions of the history of grain don't interest him either. And there doesn't seem to be much going on in Ukraine at the moment except the grinding down of Ukraine forces in Donbass. And I'm busy.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 0:05 utc | 170

Aleph_Null #154

I'm not disappointed in the UN, I'm further convinced it's a totally useless body. Time to start fresh, I think.


I am sure many UN participants share the disappointment. IMO it is capable of reform plus the liberation of those captive nations from the UKUSA grip. Time will tell.

I guess Russia and China are moving toward that liberation in daily trade operations combined with the biggest global currency realignment strategy we have seen since the 1930's.

I don't think starting afresh is a sound idea as it would be instantly exploited by the lizard brained west. They always and immediately exploit any opportunity from division, its the western modus operandi.

I sense the globalisation of NATO is another step by the west to outflank the UN through establishing a parallel cluster. Its what they do consistently. Consider the WHO!

I can see a time coming when the UN will decentralise its administrative being and the General Assembly being captive to the USA will evaporate. Soon the bigotry of the US will result in an attempt to exclude Russia or China from attending. Thanks to technology and covid a large part of personal attendance can be virtual and greater reliance on embassy relations ensue. The physical conference can be established in any functional world city.

I am all for keeping the UN and expanding direct embassy to government structures that exclude UKUSA meddling. That is one reason why the UKUSA hate 'belt and road' initiatives.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 22 2022 0:06 utc | 171

RSH @ 162. Very true

Russia made very clear its demands. It also made very clear it’s power to overwhelm NATO/US.

The US prefers to escalate which Russia is able to accomadate.

Posted by: financial matters | May 22 2022 0:13 utc | 172

Et Tu | May 21 2022 17:06 utc | 41
______

Et Tu, assuming your concern and questions are sincere, you seem to imply that, absent documented proof of an imminent attack by Ukraine on the Donbass and/or Russia, Russia's SMO is unjustified and illegal. Please clarify.

What proof would be required?

- Wpuld the dramatic unilateral escalation alone in the shelling of Donbass from the Ukrainian side, which you've acknowledged, in late February '22, with mounting civilian casualties, be sufficient to show intent? Insufficient cause to use force to protect civilians?

- Would certified documents, along with biological samples, similar to those that Russia recovered from the ~30 Pentagon-funded bioweapon labs in Ukraine be required to show just cause?

- Was Zelensky's stated intent to re-aquire nuclear weapons, having the resources available to do so, not be sufficient cause for preemptive military action?

The legal-technical hurdles (or implicit objections) to Russia's SMO appear to be distinctions without any real difference in the definition of a Just War. Please elaborate. Thanks.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 22 2022 0:14 utc | 173

Posted by: Et Tu | May 21 2022 23:29 utc | 151

You get one thing right, and one thing wrong.

RT is not "Russia's own official propaganda channel." That is Tass.

"it is clear Ukraine's Gov't is not acting in the interest of Ukraine the nation, but rather Uncle Sam and its multiverse of paymasters"

This part you get right. People who think Zelenskyy has "agency" are simply wrong. The CIA and the neocons run Ukraine with the neo-Nazis being the muscle.

"Perhaps, the whole point to was just to pretend an invasion was imminent, in order to provoke Russia into a preemptive strike, which would then provide the pretext for the 'nuclear option' of sanctions and total hybrid war."

What's the difference between "pretending" Ukraine was going to invade and actually having an intent to invade, from Russia's viewpoint?

As I said above, Russia made its decision outside of Ukraine or the West's intentions in terms of Donbass. It was the failure to respond to the treaty proposals that governed the decision to invade. Ukraine is just step one of the "military-technical measures" Russia promised the West if it failed to accede to Russia's demands in those treaties.

Other than Karlof1, only a handful of people here seem to comprehend that.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 0:15 utc | 174

'Corn' was the generic term for wheat back in the very old olden days.

Posted by: polecat | May 21 2022 16:23 utc

Yes, "corn" was a New World, central American crop brought back to Europe by Spanish conquistadores.

Ancient Greeks couldn't have been raving about that!

Posted by: Qtto | May 22 2022 0:20 utc | 175

Here's a nice video from an English ex-pat living in St. Petersburg, with a Russian woman who I assume is his wife. She explains how Russians view the sanctions and their effects. Makes it pretty clear that most Russians don't give a damn about the sanctions. She specifically says as soon as the West imposes a sanction, Russians just treat that as another problem to be solved in everyday life - and then solve it.

WHY Sanctions have FAILED against RUSSIA – Inside Russia Report
https://thesaker.is/why-sanctions-have-failed-against-russia-inside-russia-report/

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 0:24 utc | 176

De-mining Mariupol

Three of these are stationed at Sevastopol. Maybe some older ones as well. No idea what they are using - saw some video of 2 people in a rubber dingy in the port itself. Sounds like the de-mining operation includes the city proper as well as the waterway, but clearly the port facilities have to be safe and operational, rail links and roads repaired, etc.

Posted by: the pessimist | May 22 2022 0:27 utc | 177

Just a quick one: what are the rules here not to get censored?
Posted by: e | May 21 2022 19:26 utc | 82

My reasonable comment beginning "In support of Et Tu 41 against b 53" was censored. The statement at the end of 53 was clearly fallacious, but since that was a rare post by the boss there might have been a rule.

Posted by: dcouzin | May 22 2022 0:35 utc | 178

Et tu, and others;

The shelling of the Donbass by Uke artillery increased by an order of magnitude just before the Russian decision to do a "Police Action". That artillery barrage was the stimulus which triggered the invasion. Many people don't seem to understand the Russian awareness of nazism. Do I have to remind you that nazis killed over 20 million Russians (including relatives of Putin) in WWII?

Posted by: Frank Shulse | May 22 2022 0:43 utc | 179

Can we say that Zelensky has been an absolute disaster?

Posted by: FredF | May 21 2022 20:44 utc | 97

Affirmative, and, we can also say he's been and absolute puppet.....

Posted by: vetinLA | May 22 2022 0:44 utc | 180

"The mass famine/holodomor in 1932-1933 period was a a direct result of the destruction of the commercial farming class (Kulaks) by Stalin the bulk of which took place in 1930-1931. He may not have intentionally tried to starve them but they certainly did starve as a result of his policies."
Down South@108

The Holodomor was an anti-communist propaganda construct, which, thanks to its Nazi parentage, had the additional quality of being a nationalist incitement to and justification of race hatred, which is how it is playing now.
As a historical event it exists only in the shadow world of mythology.
So far as the actual famines of 1932 were concerned they need to be understood in the context of the international capitalist boycott of Russian development. These sanctions made it a matter of urgent necessity to accumulate capital for investment and for defence. While Wall St and the City were pouring money into Germany, financing its rearmament and its plans for war, Russia was reduced to paying in gold for everything it imported and exporting agricultural products at a discount.
It is tempting to think that your insistence on the Holodomor was prompted, as it generally is today, by the need to provide a distraction from Ukrainian fascism. This is the position of some of those posting on your side: You can 't blame the Ukrainians after what Stalin did to them...But you appear to be motivated by a desire to defend the sort of Economics that Paul Samuelson used to teach- a fanatical belief in the market.
Read Sholokov...

Posted by: bevin | May 22 2022 0:53 utc | 181

Bruised Northerner@59
You can get any organic grains milled in Schomberg Ontario K2Milling. Whisky too.

Posted by: bevin | May 22 2022 1:00 utc | 182

@ Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 22 2022 0:14 utc | 172

Given the hefty body count and damage bill on all sides of the conflict, particularly in the purported area you credit Russia with 'protecting', perhaps letting Ukraine have a go first might not have been such a bad strategy after all? I can only speculate of course.

What of letting Ukrainian troops pop their heads out of all those 8 year old fortified positions Russia has been slowly hammering away at for 3 months now, and take them out in the open once they have advanced instead? Could it have even made more military sense. operationally, and even strategically, on the moral/media indignation aspect, given the cancel/sanction anti-Russian sentiment all over the West?

15,000 died in 8 years, what would a few thousand more be, to avoid all the hassle of cancel/sanction Russia? I know, the West would have likely worked out a way to do it all anyway, but surely Putin would have had a more defensible position to justify invading eventually? Was there a less bloody and confrontational option perhaps, or was that actually part of the calculus, knowing the sanctions would backfire so badly, ultimately weakening the West even more than Russia?

I am not necessarily in disagreement with anyone here per se, just making more of a nuanced point and questioning many things which, ultimately, i am realistically just as ignorant about as anyone else here when it comes to the specifics of the decision making.

Posted by: Et Tu | May 22 2022 1:02 utc | 183

@ Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 22 2022 0:14 utc | 172

Given the hefty body count and damage bill on all sides of the conflict, particularly in the purported area you credit Russia with 'protecting', perhaps letting Ukraine have a go first might not have been such a bad strategy after all? I can only speculate of course.

What of letting Ukrainian troops pop their heads out of all those 8 year old fortified positions Russia has been slowly hammering away at for 3 months now, and take them out in the open once they have advanced instead? Could it have even made more military sense. operationally, and even strategically, on the moral/media indignation aspect, given the cancel/sanction anti-Russian sentiment all over the West?

15,000 died in 8 years, what would a few thousand more be, to avoid all the hassle of cancel/sanction Russia? I know, the West would have likely worked out a way to do it all anyway, but surely Putin would have had a more defensible position to justify invading eventually? Was there a less bloody and confrontational option perhaps, or was that actually part of the calculus, knowing the sanctions would backfire so badly, ultimately weakening the West even more than Russia?

I am not necessarily in disagreement with anyone here per se, just making more of a nuanced point and questioning many things which, ultimately, i am realistically just as ignorant about as anyone else here when it comes to the specifics of the decision making.

Posted by: Et Tu | May 22 2022 1:02 utc | 184

Posted by: Citizenfitz | May 21 2022 21:26 utc | 110

> Is Putin too shilling for the JWO?

I wouldn't put money on that claim, not in the long run > 5 years from now.

This is indicated by a strengthening movement in Russia's State Duma to withdraw from WTO and WHO. The Covid citizen pass/QR code scams never picked up in Russia on a general scale; there are no reports of mon(k)eypox thus far. There's no GMO seeds allowed in Russia, and there are no intentions to allow that huge market be taken hostage by Monsanto, Bayer et al; same for the liberated territories in Ukraine.

In the long run, while China played all along and even synced the Shanghai lockdown with the start of Operation Z, I think China will slowly withdraw from WHO as well, starting by ending all cooperation with western biotech contracting. There won't be a Wuhan 2.0, to the dismay of Dr. Fauci.

Russia and China play the long game. While the west is insanely fixed on Russia right now, China buys itself time and keeps a low profile, watching how the U.S. and the EU commit economic seppuku in slow motion.

China might take Taiwan by force when the time is ripe, i. e. western economic collapse has become visible to the point where western leaders can no longer deny reality — and once Taiwan gets all western attention and hissy fits, Russia might finish off the Baltic statelets for a land bridge to Kaliningrad.

But... who am I to make such speculations. One thing is sure though: Russia and China consult each other closely. Ending WEF wet dreams before they materialize is a top priority. As already said before by others, this is not just about Ukraine. It's about preventing postmodern transhumanist bullshit (with all its sickening side effects) to replace the classic, humanist era which is the basis of the UN charter and thus all hope for the Global South (and many in the west as well).

Posted by: Nervous German | May 22 2022 1:04 utc | 185

@ Et Tu | May 22 2022 1:02 utc | 182 who wrote
"
I am not necessarily in disagreement with anyone here per se, just making more of a nuanced point and questioning many things which, ultimately, i am realistically just as ignorant about as anyone else here when it comes to the specifics of the decision making.
"

The ignorance I see you propagating is the idea that Russia is making decisions entirely alone without coordination with China and other supporters in the region.

We are in a civilization war and you are projecting an entirely stand alone scenario and associated questions....why would that be?

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 22 2022 1:10 utc | 186

@Posted by: Down South | May 21 2022 21:24 utc | 108

The "Holodomor" is Western propaganda first put out in the 1930s. I found this excellent book online by Douglas Tottle, Fraud, Famine and Facism, The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard. It may have been another poster that pointed to this, but I can't remember. He completely demolished the propagandist creations of the 1930s, including the Hearst yellow press, together with the US establishment controlled Conquest. The same garbage that was completely delegitimized in the 1930s is wheeled out again in the 2020s to support the same rubbish.

An excellent read, very to the point:

http://www.rationalrevolution.net/special/library/tottlefraud.pdf

The kulaks were hated by the other peasants, in many cases the communist party officials had to work hard to stop grass-roots attacks. Same thing happened in China in the late 1940s collectivization drive. The kulaks destroyed their own property, including huge numbers of livestock and amount of produce rather than have it collectivized. The collectivization worked incredibly well, with a bumper harvest in 1934 and an end to the previously regular famines.

Posted by: Roger | May 22 2022 1:16 utc | 187

@ Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 0:02 utc | 168

thanks... i agree with your basic overview...

@ the west is a lost cause.... hard for some to see that and easy to make simple minded statements/questions that imply the west is still relevant... there is never a less bloody option when you're dealing with the usa-nato psychopath that's intent on dominating the planet with it's imperialistic bullshit... study the past 20 years of wars for a better understanding.. it is all their and clear for anyone to understand who is actually interested... or - read the msm if you want to continue to be baffled by bs.. the real war on the ground trumps the propaganda war that some are happy to swallow...

Posted by: james | May 22 2022 1:19 utc | 188

Posted by: Scorpion | May 21 2022 16:00 utc | 14

"operating more out of malice than stupidity since stupidity would err in many directions not always and only in totalitarian ones"

Well said - thx!

Posted by: ianMoone | May 22 2022 1:20 utc | 189

@Posted by: Et Tu | May 22 2022 1:02 utc | 182

If the Russians had let the Ukrainians attack first the whole of the population of the Donbass (which has no strategic depth between the frontline and the Russian border) would have become a human shield for the Ukrainian troops, and perhaps the Russian areas toward and perhaps including Rostov. Given what the Nazis did in Mariupol to the local population god forbid what they would have done to the Donbass population.

From a sanctions point of view, as Russia found out when they simply recognized the Donbass Republics, the "sanctions from hell" response would have happened no matter what Russia did. The Ukraine was just an excuse, a created cause celebre. In addition, the Russian losses are very low compared to the Ukie losses and the Donbass pocket has served to suck in the Ukrainian reserves. Those losses will soon go exponential as the Ukie army collapses leading to grave losses from attempted retreats and/or large scale surrendering.

Posted by: Roger | May 22 2022 1:25 utc | 190

your wasting your time roger... someone who can't put 2 and 2 together - ain't worth the time... maybe its a bot... AI

Posted by: james | May 22 2022 1:28 utc | 191

@ Posted by: psychohistorian | May 22 2022 1:10 utc | 184

That 'support' may turn out to be much more nuanced and less supportive than you assume. Abstinence over veto... individual Chinese banks and firms following commercial interests at Russia's expense, not to mention Russia needs Europe as an export market in order not to be too beholden to China. It's all far from black and white.

i think it is naive to assume even formal allies would act in such brazenly coordinated confrontation. Either way, i don't see how China's role has anything specific to do with the above. If anything, it would be China's wish to avoid confrontation at all costs, given their track record, although it is also hard not see that China will end up ultimately benefiting more than anyone, so worth considering.

Yet the 'civilizaiton war' you refer to is precipitated into war primarily by the actions of the US, the fading actor struggling to maintain its supremacy and in a race against time with worsening odds for the title fight as every year goes by.

Posted by: Et Tu | May 22 2022 1:31 utc | 192

@ Posted by: Roger | May 22 2022 1:25 utc | 188

Bro, the whole war is being fought in the Donbass, what does it matter if it's in the Russian or Ukrainian controlled side to begin with, especially when Russia will ultimately prevail?

Posted by: Et Tu | May 22 2022 1:36 utc | 193

Talk about the SMO being legal or illegal is stupid and irrelevant.

Let the lawyers argue it out.

In the meantime, 2/24/2022 transitioned the LDPR situation from cold to hot war - and in a hot war, the verdict is determined by the boots (or tank treads) on the ground.

Posted by: c1ue | May 22 2022 1:49 utc | 194

There is talk as if the US may be considering a more sensible approach. The US is entirely incapable of such (never mind UK). Particularly after 30 years of ground work and now 53B$ more invested and weapons and lend-lease, etc. I expect an intervention - doubling-down.

NYT is purely a CIA organ.

Posted by: jared | May 22 2022 1:52 utc | 195

Posted by: Et Tu | May 22 2022 1:36 utc | 191

Since you are clearly incapable of understanding military concepts, and apparently are advocating that Russia allow the military initiative to be on Ukraine's side in order to score some sort of pointless "moral" or "PR" "victory" by letting Ukraine attack first, I submit that you're continuing your stupid concern troll crap.

In other words, GTFO.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 22 2022 2:02 utc | 196

I suspect the suggestion of cease fire was just red herring. I am guess they were contacting Russia to advise them of some escalations they have in mind and wanted to get a reaction - "so you guys are going to start a global war over this, right?"

Posted by: jared | May 22 2022 2:03 utc | 197

@ Krištof 165
B, please don't engage in mental gymnastics to defend something that Russian side has admitted to.
"Russia’s decision to send its troops into Ukraine almost three months ago has prevented Ukraine from using its main ports on the Black and Azov Seas, and cut its grain exports this month by more than half compared with a year ago."

Krištof:
1. You ought to read your link, Russia didn't admit any such thing.
2. You also ought to read my 79:
Reuters May 19:"The ministry data showed that Ukraine has exported 46.51 million tonnes so far in the 2021/22 July-June season, versus 40.85 million a season earlier." . .So they are ahead of last season. . . and "cut its grain exports this month by more than half compared with a year ago"is BS.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 22 2022 2:11 utc | 198

Probably I don't need to advise anybody that the Pentagon has an active propaganda policy that includes a presence on social media.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 22 2022 2:14 utc | 199

Posted by: wagelaborer | May 21 2022 21:26 utc | 111

Posted by: Jen | May 21 2022 22:09 utc | 125

Hypothetical question:

Country A has a population of 10 million. Currently it produces enough food to feed 10 million. However, country A is ruled by a party determined to ensure that country A’s food production conforms with the ruling party’s ideological worldview.

Therefore, they decide to re-organise the agricultural production to conform with said ruling party’s ideological worldview and they use force to ensure this occurs in year 1.

As a result of of the policy changes implemented in year 1, in year 2 country A only produces enough food for 9 million. Hence, 1 million starve to death.

In year 3 country A again produces enough food to feed 9 million However, due to a decline of the population through starvation to 9 million country A manages to feed everyone and no-one starves to death.

Does the fact that nobody starved to death in year 3 mean that the policy changes implemented in year 1 was a success?

Because to everyone else who doesn’t conform to that ideological worldview it looks like a horrific failure.

Posted by: Down South | May 22 2022 2:16 utc | 200

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