Grain war in the Black Sea

By Nina Bachkatov

Three months after the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, a new front has been open – about grain’s exports and global food security. The concept was hardly mentioned before the fall of Mariupol, when international attention switched from the fights around Azovstal to the inaccessibility of Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea. The accent has been put on its global consequences, from the prices’ increase of basic food in the West to the risk of famine in poor countries. In a couple of weeks, Westerners preoccupied with energy bills discovered that a third of the 200-300m tonnes of cereals exchanged yearly through the world were coming from Russia and Ukraine.

Please continue reading page 2

Strange victory day in Moscow

Nina Bachkatov

The address of president Putin during the 9 May Victory Parade on Red square was shorter than usual. The number of men and equipment was reduced by 30%compared to previous years; seats on the side of Lenin’s Mausoleum, traditionally packed with foreign diplomats and officials, were sparsely occupied. The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, had anticipated unpleasant questions by announcing that no invitations had been sent to former allies in the anti-Hitler coalition, nor to Germany or Japan, because it was not an even date, just the 77 th anniversary; and that the event will be scaled down. The surprise was not so much about what Putin said, but what he didn’t.

Please continue reading page 2