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Sunday, June 19

Oops!

 Ii updated the previous post but just to make sure everyone sees the update:


UPDATE 9:05 PM ET

From a later entry at Moon of Alabama comment section:

@40; terrifying video of Kinzhal strike;

That video is fake - VFX.

It is a copy of this YT video "What if Russia Started Nuclear War?" from 22 February.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZ67hVlxM-8

Posted by: moabeobachter | Jun 19 2022 15:56 utc | 67

Oops.  Okay, but the what the heck is that explosion?  And what does a Kinzhal strike look like?  Anyway, the video is definitely not showing a strike today on Uke weapons depot.  



"Oh fuck! Oh fuck! Oh my God! Holy shit!" UPDATED 9:05 PM ET

 알렉산더 대왕 on Twitter: "@Russ_Warrior @Navsteva A Russian Kinzhal missile at 12,000 kilometers per hour, 10 times faster than sound, was, reportedly, used today to destroy a Ukrainian weapons depot 136 meters underground. (Listen to the astonishment of the American reporter when he suddenly saw this). via @Dmitry65smols https://t.co/hbP4BsmFlb" / Twitter


(H/T Moon of Alabama comment section.)

UPDATE

From a later entry at Moon of Alabama comment section:

@40; terrifying video of Kinzhal strike;

That video is fake - VFX.

It is a copy of this YT video "What if Russia Started Nuclear War?" from 22 February.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZ67hVlxM-8

Posted by: moabeobachter | Jun 19 2022 15:56 utc | 67

Oops.  Okay, but the what the heck is that explosion?  And what does a Kinzhal strike look like?  Anyway, the video is definitely not showing a strike today on Uke weapons depot.  

Thursday, June 9

"What a complete mess the collective West has made of things."

The observation is from Alex Christoforu (The Duran) during his walkabout/video report today at the Thessaloniki harbor in Greece.

NYT, Biden has no idea what Elensky is doing. Yellen price cap oil. Lavrov de-mine Odessa. Update 1 (rumble.com)

(Kiev's government called for a global ban on the letter "Z" so Alex took them at their word and always refers to Zelensky as "Elensky." snark.)   

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Russia consolidates gains in Ukraine

Russia Consolidates Gains, Land Bridge to Crimea Complete, Ukraine Must Surrender Kherson Zaporozhie (rumble.com) - Alexander Mercouris (The Duran) video report June 9

Sunday, June 5

While China has been encircling India, India has been encircling China

Interesting.  The catch is that the explanation is delivered in VERY rapid-fire Indian-accented English; the moderator is racing to stuff the report into 15 minutes. Also, he keeps referencing his "previous" video about China; I can't find it yet -- "Think School" has several videos posted at YouTube.  Well, the previous video is not necessary for an understanding of India's own "String of Pearls." It just requires close listening to keep up with the pace of explanation.

How India is TRAPPING China with its Military STRATEGY? : Geopolitical Case study - YouTube

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"Why should you have nice relaxed weekend when I can spoil it for you?"

Andrei Martyanov at the top of his form.  I decided not to spoil my weekend so I'm watching the complete video tonight but I can't resist the title:  "Math of Geopolitics."  Something to do with "Composite Index of National Capability, British fake videos, real economy."  

Math of Geopolitics, CINC. - YouTube

Sounds like 25 minutes of sheer hell but Andrei has a way of making hell sound almost fun, or at least amusing.  

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"The U.S. cannot defeat China. So what they're going to do is burn down the world to spite China."

Brian Berletic is a one-man army LOL.  Listen and learn if you've never heard of the Oslo Freedom Fund before.  


Brian, under the pen name of Tony Cartalucci, has been exposing the scheming of such characters for years, which I've mentioned several times over the years on this blog, and is continuing under his own name to pull back the curtain. 

I am very proud to say that Brian is an American, born and raised.  He has already done more than his share to alert fellow Americans to the worst threats from within their own country.  He has lived for years in Thailand but should not be confused with the anti-American contingent of expat Americans around the world. He is most definitely not anti-American. It is just that he knows in great detail the real drivers of the worst of American foreign policy.

His New Atlas channel on YouTube is also available on Rumble and while he started a new blog called The New Atlas, I am seeing a dire security warning associated with the link.  So, I am sticking with his old blog, Land Destroyer, which features his most recent writings/videos for New Atlas. 

By the way he's doing great video updates on the war in Ukraine. I see The Duran is starting to take notice.  

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Saturday, June 4

Electronic warfare on the battlefield

Telegram: Contact @intelslava - June 4
The newest electronic warfare complex "Palantin" during a special operation suppresses electronic objects of Ukrainian militants [video]
The complex of electronic warfare (EW) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation "Palantin" blocks the control of reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles of the enemy, "jamming" cellular communication centers and Internet sources at the command posts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Actually, Palantin has been in use for some time:  

"Tirada" and "Palantin": 19 new electronic warfare systems have been created in Russia over the past few years (topwar.ru) - 5 May 2021 ("Many of them have no analogs.")

For a broader discussion of battlefield EW:

Deadly secret: Electronic warfare shapes Russia-Ukraine war | AP News - June 4

Detailed report that breaks down complex concepts so a 'general' reader can understand them.

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Friday, May 27

Middle East sandstorms getting progressively worse

© Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters - Workers on May 12 look after trees planted in the “green belt” area around Iraq's holy city of Karbala, trying to prevent worsening desertification and sandstorms.

There are a number of problems in addition to 'climate change' making the sandstorms progressively worse and which the following Washington Post report outlines.  The situation in Iraq is particularly alarming. 

As for planting trees -- the report discusses some of the initiatives, but then you run into the problem of watering the trees well enough to develop deep roots to withstand the high winds from the sandstorms. 

And I'm afraid the Dust Bowl plantings, if used as a model for the Middle East, ignore the very different climate in that region of the USA, and the fact that uprooting of native grasses on the plains to make room for crop plantings was the biggest culprit.  

Another tip stemming from the lessons of the Dust Bowl-- Scientists got the farmers to stop planting crops in straight rows; they needed to leave a little soil overhang for moisture to accumulate.  

Middle East sandstorms, worsened by climate change, send thousands to hospitals - The Washington Post - May 26

 and  

[...]

Sand and dust storms, known as haboobs, have always been a feature of life in the Middle East, a region known for its deserts. The storms ramp up in the late spring and summer as seasonal winds blowing from the northwest, known as the “shamal,” kick up dust from the Tigris-Euphrates basin and transport it to the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula.

But experts say the storms this year are particularly intense, as climate change and desertification increase their frequency. In Iraq, at least nine significant storms have hit the country since April. More are likely to materialize in the summer and, without major policy changes, could continue to get worse in years to come.

“We have had many more dust storms this spring than in the past,” said Salam Abdulrahman, a lecturer at the University of Human Development in Iraq, said in an email. “Every dust storm has lasted from one day to 2-3 days. Previous dust storms were shorter.”

Benjamin Cook, an environmental scientist at Columbia University’s Climate School, said three elements are needed for a sandstorm to take off: wind, a source of dust where there is little to no vegetation, and very dry conditions.

The recent storms in Iraq have stemmed in part from a lack of rain, water-flow issues and human activity.

2020-21 was the second-driest rainfall season in 40 years, resulting in crop failure. Conditions remain poor. In most of the country, groundwater storage, used for crop irrigation and drinking water, is near its lowest levels compared with long-term records, according to NASA data.

The limited water stunts vegetation growth, which loosens the surface for dust storms, said Abdulrahman. He said some locals in Iraq now refer to the dust storm activity as “soilfall” or “earthfall,” because the winds kick up layers of soil.

Wetlands in southern Iraq and Iran, where many people make a living off the land, are drying up.

Ismael al Ameri, a research fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, said the near-disappearance of Al Sawa, a salt lake about 150 miles south of Baghdad, will leave a new source of mud, silt and salt for sandstorms. The construction of dams on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers has added to the problem, he said, and more broadly, military operations in Iraq since 2003 have also damaged topsoil layers.

In Iran and Iraq, the storms are also connected to farming practices in the region and the mismanagement of shared rivers, said Banafsheh Keynoush, a nonresident scholar with the Middle East Institute’s Iran program.

The conditions driving dust storms have been exacerbated by human-caused climate change. The Middle East is heating up about twice as quickly as the rest of the world, which has warmed by about 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit since the preindustrial era.

The hotter temperatures, paired with increasing water-supply issues, prime the desert region for more dust storms.

“These climate extremes are widely reported as clear indicators of climate change,” said al Ameri, who has previously written on the subject. “This is combined with an increase in storm recurrence activity, not only in spring and summer, but in autumn and winter too.”

An Iraqi environmental ministry official said the country’s dusty days have increased from 243 to 272 days a year over two decades, according to data from the General Authority for Meteorology. He said Iraq could face nearly 300 days of dust storms per year by 2050, the Iraqi News Agency reported.
[...]

They also come at a cost to health.

[...]

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority on Tuesday called on people to wear masks and refrain from eating food exposed to the open air to protect themselves from harmful particles carried by the storms.

[...]

Planting trees and other vegetation represents one solution. During the Dust Bowl in the United States in the 1930s, the federal government planted millions of trees to stop soil from continuing to blow across the Great Plains. These “shelterbelts” or “green belts” reduce soil erosion and preserved moisture in the soil.

Saudi Arabia plans to plant 10 billion trees in the next decades to reduce its carbon footprint and land degradation. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled a “Middle East Green Initiative” last year, hailed by the United Nations, to work with other Arab countries to plant 40 billion more in the region.

Iran, a regional rival, has spent 450 million euros ($483 million) over the past three years to mitigate sandstorm hot spots in the country by planting trees, stabilizing soil, constructing windbreaks and other measures, according to the Tehran Times.

raq has been experimenting with the strategy for more than a decade, planting eucalyptus and olive trees and date palms as part of a plan to shield the central city of Karbala, one of Iraq’s Shiite holy cities. But construction delays, funding shortages and neglect contributed to the project’s failure, Agence France-Presse reported. Some blame financial mismanagement.

The cabinet on May 10 directed the Finance Ministry to disburse some $2 million to implement a project to stabilize sand dunes, the Iraqi News Agency reported.

Governments in the region have invested in early-warning and monitoring systems for sandstorms, Keynoush said.

But regional governments should take stronger collective action to address the problem, she said. “We need to be a step ahead of sandstorms rather than sandstorms being a step ahead of us.”

[END REPORT]

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Wednesday, May 25

Who knew BBC was a Russia news site?

No shame. The Western mainstream media have no shame when reporting on Russia matters -- but tagging the BBC Russian-language site a Russian news source is going too far even for them. Bernhard has fun taking this one apart:  

 MoA - Ukraine Propaganda - BBC Tries To Sell Telegram Rumors That Make No Sense (moonofalabama.org)

Pundita's Global Sitrep

All the roads are rocky right now but as long as they end up in Dublin 1 2 3 4 5  


Sunday, May 22

Can Russia save Ukraine's farmers from an awful fate?

Black Soil

I didn't notice these reports from March 2019; at the time I was still focused on the Syrian War: 

Zelensky Administration Prepares to Sale Ukrainian Land to Transnational Corporations - SouthFront 


And so I didn't notice the news in April 2020: Farmland in Ukraine – Zelensky enacts law on sale from July 2021 — UNIAN, which the site presents as good news for Ukrainians ("
The law will enable the realization of citizens' constitutional rights to dispose of their property freely." That omits all the fine print, which is awful news for Ukranian farmers.  

I'm now noticing as of a few hours ago, when I came across an article written anonymously for a Russian Telegram channel site called The Right People. I am republishing the entire article including two photos but minus the several helpful charts and maps, which are large and clear enough to be read easily.

Black Gold: It's not what you think ... – Telegraph

The Right People ( Telegram Channel) May 21, 2022

As I am sure you have heard, trouble and famine are coming, the war has caused Russia and Ukraine, two of the world's largest food exporters, to stop or partially stop their export flow, why are these two lands so fertile?

The secret of the plantations, of their success, lies largely in their soil. The most fertile soils for cultivation are generally known as Mollisols, which occupy 7% of the ice-free surface of the Earth.

These soils are characterised by a thick black top layer or A horizon, the "chernic horizon", which must be at least 25 cm thick and is rich in decomposed plant material and therefore contains a lot of humus and carbon. In Ukraine, the thickness of the chernic horizon can reach several metres. This soil is known in Ukraine and Russia under the name of Chernozems "black ground".


As I said these lands fed the Russian Empire, the disruption of production caused the brutal famine commonly known as the holomodor.

The productivity of this land is so great and the land itself is in such demand that the sale of agricultural land has been illegal in Ukraine since 1992 until the ban was lifted in 2020, but the land, transported by truck, could be sold and bought illegally. 

According to the NGO "Green Front", the black market for illegally acquired chernozem in Ukraine reached approximately 900 million dollars a year in 2011. [1]

[Because of] This fact, the change of the land law in 2020 by Zelensky's executive [decree] was highly controversial [in Ukraine] and some point to one of the reasons why his popularity began to decline, as all this land was now open to exploitation by large landowners and foreign companies.

Russia, too, is a major food producer, and not surprisingly, Russia's most productive lands are those adjacent to Ukraine, although thanks to climate change these are increasing. These lands are inside the "black soil" belt that extends almost until Siberia as we saw.  [Map]

Ukraine has more than 41.5 million hectares (or 102.5 million acres) of agricultural land that cover 70% of the country. In 2020, Ukraine’s agriculture sector generated approximately 9.3% of GDP. Crop farming, which accounts for 73% of agricultural output, dominates Ukrainian agriculture, according to the International Trade Administration.

The country’s main crops are sunflowers, corn, soybeans, wheat and barley. Globally, Ukraine ranks:

1st in global sunflower production (For 2021/22 Ukraine sunflower seed production is estimated at a record 17.5 MMT)

6th in global corn production. (For 2021/22 Ukraine corn production is estimated at a record 42 MMT)

6th in global barley production

7th in global rapeseed production

9th in global soybean production

9th in global wheat production

This year Ukraine was forecast to account for 12% of global wheat exports, 16% for corn, 18% for barley and 19% for rapeseed. The share of agriculture in export revenues for Ukraine increased from 26% in 2012 to 45% in 2020 amounting to $22.2 billion.

As far as meat is concerned, Ukraine is not particularly strong in any one type of meat, although Russia is a major pork producer and the sanctions may affect the rest of the world.

In summary we can expect:

Crop Trade Effects

• Major disruptions in the World Wheat Market

• Significant disruptions in the World Corn Market

• Smaller direct disruptions in the World Soybean Market

Livestock Trade Effects

• Much smaller effects than the crop effects

• Most significant in poultry for both Ukraine and Russia

• More significant for Russia in the pork industry

• Smaller significance in the Beef and Dairy sectors

Strategic importance

[Three Maps -- Locations of Ukraine Corn, Soybean and Wheat production]

As we can see, most of the country's agricultural production is concentrated in central Ukraine, although the south also stands out, especially in cereals, where Russia is already the world's largest exporter. 

The human population will continue to grow, especially in places where the land is not the most productive, such as sub-Saharan Africa. As we are seeing, this gives great power to the food exporters, so it is to be expected that this Russian strength will grow greatly [with the Ukraine invasion], although the extent depends on how much land is captured or under indirect Russian control.

Western Ukraine is not very productive either industrially or agriculturally. So unless the EU is able to bring factories there after the war (I assume these areas will not be under any kind of Russian influence) expect them to be even poorer areas than they are today as they will lose the industrial base of the East and maybe the central agricultural one.

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As always, I have tried to keep the text short but informative. I hope you like it and don't forget to subscribe to my telegram channel: https://t.me/theRightPeople1

[END ARTICLE]

1)  Pundita note: The quote seems to be taken almost verbatim from this article on black soil:  Chernozem - Wikipedia, which questions whether the Green Front NGO is a reliable source.  All I've found so far about the NGO is that they have a Facebook page, most of which is in what I assume is Ukranian language:

While the 2019 ABC report I linked to puts a positive spin on the proposed new law, the SouthFront one closes with this grim observation: 
The developments of the Zelensky administration are a brilliant demonstration of that how populist ‘pro-people’ rhetoric can be used to promote interests of foreign powers and corporations."

Yes. 

Can the Russians stop what will surely happen next to Ukraine's farmers?  The Russians already have their hands full in Ukraine and have more than enough of their own black soil -- that last a point the ABC report didn't mention.

But I think it's certain that if this story gets enough coverage, Zelensky's government will not have one friend among the world's anti-globalists and those who don't want to see what has already happened to many African farmers repeat in Ukraine. SouthFront made a pass at describing some of it in the report I linked to, but that is not the half of what is by now an old and predictable chain of events once international agriculture companies buy off governments.  

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