Sunday 5 June 2022

Blame Putin

Vladimir Putin by Krystal M.

Russian Head of State Vladimir Putin is being held responsible for a looming global food crisis, an increase in petroleum and accelerating inflation. But a closer examination reveals an altogether different picture of where the blame lies.

The "Russia is behind the imminent starvation of large swathes of the global population" is yet another piece of false propaganda manufactured by bungling Western leaders and the corrupt Western Mainstream Media.

Those already brainwashed by decades of anti-Putin and anti-Russian sentiment will be ripe to fall for this narrative, in the same way that they have fallen for the   narrative that Putin started this war when in fact the present tragic conflict is the culmination of years of provocation including the US-backed coup of February 2014 which was effected by neo-Nazi and ultranationalist proxies. It was this overthrow of a democratically elected president by Russophobic forces that kickstarted the war in the Russian-speaking eastern part of Ukraine.

On the issue of looming food shortages, it is important to point out that there is a backdrop to this which is a continuum of the disruptions to supply chains caused by the lockdowns associated with the declared pandemic. A truer picture of the shortfall in grain production would encompass the fact that more countries have over the years chosen not to export cash crops. The focus on Ukraine as a vital exporter of wheat neglects to point out that Russia exports far more wheat than does Ukraine. Russia is the third largest exporter in the world, more than double what Ukraine exports. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of grain, an amount which is approximately four times more than Ukraine.

As far as the sea transportation of Ukrainian wheat and grain is concerned, ships have not been able to leave Ukrainian shores because the Ukrainians mined coastal areas around the Black Sea. This includes the port of Odessa. What is more, Russia estimates that Ukrainian authorities have refused to give permission to 75 ships from 17 countries to leave Ukrainian ports despite Russian guarantees of safe passage.

The focus on seaports conveniently ignores the fact that Ukraine can export its grain through other channels such as Romanian ports. A Reuters report in May 2022 estimated that 1.5 million tons of Ukrainian grain would be exported out of Romanian ports that month and anticipated that 3 million tons would be exported in the near future.

This situation could be straightforwardly resolved by allowing the wheat and grain to be transported via Belarus. But Belarus is sanctioned.

The sanctions weapon which the West has cumulatively applied after each Russian response to a provocation of one sort or another was applied with tremendous force after Russia's "Special Military Operation"/"invasion" in February. It was the moment the neocons, US-exceptionalists and European Russophobes have been waiting for a long time: the chance to bring about regime change in Russia with the hope of the coming to power of a pro-Western leadership which would surrender its sovereignty to the West and deliver its natural resources to the control of Western capital. 

But it was not to be.

The rouble did not turn to “rubble". The Russian economy stood the test despite the theft of billions of dollars of its foreign reserves. And instead of been overthrown, President Vladimir Putin has emerged with his popularity and approval ratings at an all-time high among the Russian population.

This threatened food shortage could be alleviated if the Western-imposed sanctions are lifted. This ill-considered manoeuvre has backfired. It has only succeeded in making the Russian economy stronger and the economies of European countries more vulnerable. 

Russia it turns out is not the nation masquerading as a gas station as the Late Senator John McCain famously asserted. The collective West failed to consider Russia's importance in terms of the production of commodities, wheat, grain and fertiliser.

African nations who are (unfortunately) dependent on Russian wheat, grain and fertiliser are upset that the West failed to consult them before they barred Russian banks from the SWIFT payments system. No one in the mainstream media appears to have asked how African nations will be able to pay for wheat when the means of payment has been removed.

The people of the West need to be careful about falling victim to the lies perpetuated by their incompetent elites over their faltering economies. This idea that Putin is to blame is an asinine one.


Again the backdrop of the pandemic offers some explanation. The fact that the Biden White House and the EU printed a lot of money after the lockdown gives an idea of the origins of increasing inflation.

And what of rising gas prices? An easy one to blame on the present conflict in Ukraine but one which the more astute would realise is not the case. Anyone who saw the way US Senator Josh Hawley rebutted US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm's attempt to blame the rise in petrol (gas) prices on Russia will understand this. When she explicitly blamed "the actions of Vladimir Putin in Ukraine" for the rise of gas prices in the US, Hawley was brutal in his comeback "With due respect Madam Secretary that is utter nonsense".

In January 2021, Hawley reminded, the price of petrol (gas) was $2.21 cents. But 8 months later "long before Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine", the price was up over 30% and has been going up consistently ever since.

It would be remiss not to add that the imposition of anti-Russia sanctions in the field of energy and gas by the EU has only had the effect of pushing up prices which will now be absorbed by the consumer. With other oil producing nations unable to plug the gap, as well as the specific qualities associated with Russian oil, EU nations who refuse to buy Russian oil in roubles will ironically still be purchasing Russian oil in the foreseeable future through third party nations.

The false narrative of Russian culpability for world food shortages is simply part of a Western-constructed informational war which has been waged for a considerable period of time. And given that Ukraine wishes to use the monies from wheat and grain sales to purchase weapons to use in its war against Russia, the twin focus on Ukraine’s perceived indispensability as a global producer of crops along with the blame for the inactivity of Black Sea ports being solely foisted on Russia, the rationale of this campaign of scaremongering and demonisation is easy to discern.

So, if you fall for the "Blame Putin" narrative just as many fell for the fictitious "Russiagate", you will only have yourself to blame.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2022).

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England. He has an interest in geopolitics.

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