UKRAINE UPDATE: Food, Russia wants a food stalemate

UKRAINE: THE LATEST, The Telegraph Podcast

Quote: “We owe the Ukrainians the time to win.” Mick Ryan

  • Looking for more fighting around Izium.
  • Russians have not been able to push further west from Popasna (on the southern part of the pincer, the northern part is Izium).
  • Pooper parts of the world are dependent on this grain.  It is important for those at the very top at the Un to push back on the charges that the US is responsible for the food shortages, which is the Russian narrative.
  • Russia now sees dragging this war out as in their advantage.  They think they see a losing of interest on the part of the Americans.  There is the food crisis, the gas crisis, the cost of living crisis and they think that the US and the Western European countries will start to waver as these problem grow severe.  Putin expects them to put pressure on Ukraine for a ceasefire giving up territory.
  • Food is just a front in the war.  The Russians have no reason to help make the food situation less serious.  It is one of the cards Putin has to play. 
  • Grain could be moved by train, and there are evidently discussions within NATO about moving the train that way or by an escorted naval force.  This would run the risk of escalating the war.  We risk hyperinflation of food prices.  It is talked about as a defensive action.  This is being taken seriously.
  • This would be an extremely dangerous expedition, trying to get grain out by militarily defended ships.  This is a fanciful plan.  Trying to get grain out with rail would take a very long time.
  • It benefits Russia for the food situation not to be resolved.  Any resolution would involve demands on Russia’s part that sanctions be lifted or other things.
  • There are a lot of very complicated arrangements being proposed to transfer weapons from one country to another and the weapons are outdated. 
  • Almost everybody is critical of Germany’s role in the providing of weapons to Ukraine.  They are talking tough but doing very little.  Germany is learning the wrong lessons from its history.  They are so afraid of “humiliating” Putin.
  • The German population is not happy about the government’s performance on Ukraine.
  • Medvedev issued an outburst overnight.  It is uncharacteristic of him.  Undiplomatic language.  There is a suggestion that his statement was intended for domestic consumption in Russia.
  • The man behind the assassination of Litvinenko died suddenly, supposedly of COVID.   In future negotiations it might be inconvenient to have people like this hanging around who might be able to talk.  It might be demanded that he face trial in the UK.  Even if this case is not one of assassination, the Kremlin could be thinking in this direction about problematic people.

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