The food agreement between Russia and Ukraine mediated by Erdogan is a giant image gain for the neo-Ottoman sultan, who could now go down in history as the savior of the Global South from a world hunger apocalypse.
Dr. Rahr, as an admirer of production comparisons between Ukraine and Russia, also with regard to the former Soviet Union, emphasized the inferior importance of Ukrainian grain production compared to that of Russia:
“Even in the best years, Ukraine exported two or two and a half times less grain than Russia. Current plans for Ukrainian exports of 6 million tons per year are not such a significant figure. In 2021, Russia ranked first among the largest grain exporters in the world. Ukraine was fifth with 14 million tons, behind the USA, Canada and France. Looking only at wheat production, Russia is third with 85 million tons, behind China and India with 26 million tons import it from the US and Canada“.
Impressive numbers. At least the USA and Canada have not threatened world hunger or anti-communist world starvation, as Putin is the only one who allegedly wants to do so. With the Soviet Union-that is known. But first of all, it’s not about production figures alone, but about the narrative that there will be a world hunger catastrophe if Russia turns off the grain tap from Ukraine and not from Russia, i.e. a kind of apocalypse if Russia vetoes it. And it should be clear that this would also take place independently of Russian agricultural production, since this would not be able to fill the resulting gap, regardless of all these numbers.
It was always interesting how Russian geostrategists and agricultural experts who, in addition to the Resource Empire of gas and oil and strategic mineral raw materials, thought of an Agro-Empire as the future pillar of the Russian world power and enthusiastically fantasized about climate change, that this would boost the amount of agricultural land in Russia enormously, would cause mass droughts in the South, which would then be supplied by the Russian Agro- Empire and the new food superpower Russia. It was not clear to these addleheads that climate change does not end after 10 years and then simply stops and they can then build their beloved Agro-Empire on sand and methane swamps, which would then perish and will sink. This was reminiscent of the eggheads that the then Ford manager and US Secretary of Defense McNamara gathered around him to scientificate and industrialize the Vietnam War with the US military as the assembly line in a Fordian mass production process. At that time, the eggheads fed the then Pentagon computer Ada with all available Big Data and asked him in 1967 when the USA would win the Vietnam War. The answer: 1964 – we have already won.
At least Erdogan managed to get a preliminary agreement supplying the Global South with food. Putin and Selensky probably didn’t want to appear in the international public arena as world hunger killers. It will be interesting to see whether both sides stick to it beyond tactical games and whether this could be the starting point for more.
Dr Alexander Rahr said:
“Putin’s war plans vary: First he wanted a blitzkrieg. Did not work. He became more modest: only Donbass (with Crimea) , after the fall of Mariupol again Novoyosiya. Kharkov, Zaporozhye, Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson regions, semi-Dnepropetrovsk. In the fall, he might want even more: Nikolaev and Odessa- and Transnistria. The West will deliver weapons to Ukraine so that this does not happen”.
But Selensky’s war aims also vary: the reoccupation of Donbass, Crimea and NATO membership was once up for discussion, now not again, but after the arrival of western weapons they hope to reconquer a number of areas and then negotiate a ceasefire. It is interesting, however, that Putin has so far not crossed the red lines that are often drawn on the wall: Use of nuclear weapons and thus breaking the non-use of nuclear weapons after World War II after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, i.e. an unspoken international taboo, no B- and C-weapons, thirdly, even if it is a brutal war, the number of military and civilian victims is, cynically speaking, limited and is not a body count or goes into the figures of the Korean or Vietnam war (which in Germany only Merkel’s ex-military adviser General Vad dares to speak out), fourthly, Putin does not want to be seen as the world hunger killer, as the agreement with Ukraine in Istanbul mediated by Erdogan and the UN shows. This has less to do with Putin’s humanitarian sentimentalism than with well-calculated consideration of the international propaganda external effects and impact.
Dr Rahr added: „And don’t forget the gas. Putin isn’t turning it off.“ Possibly, and that could even bring him sympathy in Germany and the EU, as a preventer of a freezing winter Germany and the collapse of parts of the German economy, as well as preventing a world hunger catastrophe, whereby he could embarrass his harshest critics from the Greens to Applebaum and achieve a relative image boost . It is quite possible that Putin does not turn off the gas completely, but turns it on less and more and then off again, representing this as a reaction to the West’s decoupling strategists, whereby he always has the popular temperature in mind and tests the reactions in Germany and the EU. Just as Erdogan always uses the EU migration deal and the NATO membership to pressure the West. Especially since Putin, from his own life experience and as a KGB-trained siloviki, like every psychologist, police psychologist, secret service agent and other resourceful people know how to use the Stockholm syndrome: that is, that the kidnapped person enters into a symbiosis with his kidnapper, in the hope that he can appease him and dissuade him from his plan, i.e. hostages who form an alliance with the hostage-taker. And in this case, too, many would say: He may be an asshole, but not a total one. A Mussolini, but no Hitler. Then again, he’s not that bad. You can negotiate with the man and he is rational. Then again, he’s “not that bad and evil”.
Conversely, it is interesting that, according to ntv, a Ukrainian Selensky critic has now been banned from entering Ukraine. No one knows who he is, whether he is a dove or a hawk, or what he criticizes, but there seems to be fear that the much-cited unity of the Ukrainians could be undermined. Meanwhile, Selensky also has a few image problems, after Mariupol fell, he dismisses his secret service chief, including the Attorney General and leading members of his staff, for treason and collaboration and wants to put them on trial, as Russian propaganda has also partially succeeded with fake video conferences to ridicule Selensky´s international video performances involving a fake Klitschko with Berlin´s mayor Giffey or a fake Selensky with the popular US bestselling author Steven King. So let’s wait and see whether the next Eurovision Contest can be held in Ukraine, and if so where, as Selensky announced.