The Ukrainian grain bomb to blast

Munir Ahmed


The writer is the Director Devcom-Pakistan, an Islamabad-based policy advocacy and outreach think tank.

The Russia-Ukraine war is gradually becoming dirtier. The US and NATO nations are all out to completely ruin Ukraine to grab space at the Russian border, just to halt Russia’s outreach to the world. Very strange that all the mighty nations can destroy 27 percent of the world’s food basket only to disrupt Russia’s economic growth and outreach to other countries. After winning the cold war and gaining the disintegration of the USSR, the capitalist US-West alliance is all out to play any tactics to sustain their unilateral power, and to dictatorially run the world and grab its resources for some very influential.

Ukraine’s negotiations with Russia were successfully interrupted by the US to engage the country with Russia in a war. Ukraine, a prosperous country, is now under severe debt of the US and NATO nations, and entirely dependent on the US-West support. The Kiel Institute has tracked €108.8 billion from 46 countries in financial, humanitarian, and military aid, from 24 January to 20 November 2022. Out of that €108.8 billion, €51.8 billion came from the European Union and €47.8 billion from the United States, with most of the remaining coming from the United Kingdom, Canada and Norway, and significant but smaller amounts from several other countries. In military aid, the United States has provided more than every other country combined.

The US-West could not prove their claim of ‘dirty-bomb’ that they blamed Russia for. On the other hand, the US accepted at a meeting at the UNSC that it has biolabs in Ukraine while refuting Russia’s claim of preparing bioweapons. Russia lost the resolution in the UNSC by 2-3 of forming a commission to probe the US biolabs in Ukraine.

Now, in an ‘emergency statement’, the Joint Coordination Headquarters of Russian Federation for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine has warned that “The Security Service of Ukraine is preparing for a large-scale provocation in the next few days to discredit Russia for disrupting the ‘[Black Sea] Grain Deal’, and to accuse Russia of creating ‘shortage of food’ in Ukraine.”

The ‘emergency statement’ says: “In Karaichnoye (Kharkov region), the Ukrainian intelligence service is planting mines in a granary. After its explosion, the Russian Federation will be accused of the allegedly ‘intentional elimination of grain stocks in Ukraine to spark starvation’, and therefore ‘disrupting the [Black Sea] grain deal’. Western media will present this incident as ‘another atrocity committed by Russian forces’ that requires a ‘harsh response of the international community’.”

Referring to an intelligence report, the Joint Coordination Headquarters of Russian Federation for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine has said: A group of up to 30 Ukrainian professionals in explosives and employees of the Security Service of Ukraine arrived in Volchansk (Kharkov region) for preparing the sabotage. The granary is owned by V. Uvarov, a non-staff employee of the Security Service of Ukraine. There is also identification data for A. Tkachuk, the chief of the group, and all of its members as well as their current location in the military commissariat of Volchansk (Dukhovnaya St., 29).

“In the wake of Ukrainian army’s failures, and on the eve of the meeting of the NATO defence ministers at airbase Ramstein (Germany) on 20 January, these resounding provocations are used by Kyiv authorities to put more pressure on the opinion of Western countries for achieving large-scale supplies of modern armaments and hardware for the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).

The Black Sea Gran Deal was brokered by the United Nations and Türkiye on 22 July 2022 to open a safe maritime humanitarian corridor in the Black Sea called ‘The Black Sea Grain Initiative’. By late October 2022, over 500 ships full of grain and other foodstuffs had left three Ukrainian ports, Chornomorsk, Odessa and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi until Russia announced pulling out of the grain deal with Ukraine. Russia accuses Ukraine of attacking Russian ships in Crimea, reviving concerns that global supplies may not be enough to meet global demand and reverse recent declines in prices. After assurances, Russia came back to the deal for ensuring 1300 voyages by mid of January 2023.

The UN Black Sea Grain Initiative Coordination Centre updated the journalists on 18 January 2023 that “From August 2022 to date, 17.8 million tonnes of grain and other food products have been exported under the Black Sea Grain Initiative to 43 countries. In December, the exports through the Ukrainian Black Sea ports marked a bit over 3.7 million metric tonnes, up from 2.6 million in November. In the last two weeks, nearly 1.2 million metric tonnes of food have been moved from those ports. However, unfavourable weather conditions both in Odessa ports as well as in Turkish inspection areas have curbed some movements in the last week.”

So far and according to information reported at the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), China is the primary recipient of exports, Spain is second and Türkiye is third. Nearly 44 per cent of the wheat exported has been shipped to low and lower-middle income countries. The World Food Programme bought 8 percent of the total wheat exported under the Black Sea Grain Initiative in 2022 in support of its humanitarian operations in hunger-struck places around the world.

Russia has gained more goodwill and moral support from the global community after uninterrupted global grain supplies. Certainly, worrisome for Russia’s rivals and perpetrators of the Ukraine war. Their objective to contain Russia and defame for all dirty reasons seem to fail so far. The alleged new attempt to destroy Ukrainian grain will only immensely dent food security and enhance the global recession.

The United Nations has urged all parties ‘to work to remove obstacles for the reduction of the backlog and improve operational efficiencies within the JCC’. The Misery of the UN is that it can only urge the parties to behave. Unfortunately, it has no stick to enforce its initiatives. It is so toothless that it cannot form a commission by itself to probe the alleged bioweapon labs in Ukraine. Shall we expect to have an independent UN’s timely probe of Russia’s ‘warning’ against sabotaging the Ukrainian grain?

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