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John Hartley

I do fear this is a slow motion car crash.

Fred the Frog

The Starving World needs actions, not words, quite why we pussy foot around trying not to upset this latest “small man” dictator is beyond me.

ATH

Then you lack imagination. How much are you willing to bet in what he would do if his back was very firmly against the wall?

Sean

We don’t put his back against the wall, we just push him back into his own yard and let him stew there. Blast any and all Russians forces in Ukraine, after giving them a warning to leave.
Chase them to the border, but don’t cross it.

Duker

Ahh . the keyboard warrior

Sean

Better than the keyboard appeaser or Putin-stooge

Last edited 1 month ago by Sean
Duker

You may find your approach works when someone parks their car in the street outside your house…yes gasp.

Fred the Frog

I guess you too would have appeased Adolf Hitler at the expense of the 50 million poor souls who ultimately paid the price, well not me Attila the hilarious. I’d rather back all the other folk in this little corporals camp, to do the right thing than let untold more millions starve. Has history taught you nothing ? are you above poverty and starvation ? Will you sleep well tonight knowing all the suffering this little chap is causing ? Can you even start to begin to imagine the lack of your own imagination, because I can and you really cannot. sleep safe tonight my incredibally ignorant friend.

ATH

If you think there is significant support for a land campaign in Ukraine by NATO troops you are totally misinformed.

Last edited 1 month ago by ATH
D J

I think NATO realises that Russia is trying to keep a reserve in case NATO decides to move. I highly doubt Ukraine has faced the best Russia can do. It is facing the best Russia can afford to do without risking its existence. Russia still has to keep an eye on its friend in the east, while having no friends in the west other than a rather shaky Belarus & opposition from an ever increasing NATO (especially now that Sweden & Finland are joining). In an alternative universe, Russia could have been a NATO member. Sad really, but it is what it is.

Supportive Bloke

I’d be amazed if Russia had much decent weaponry left to throw at the fight.

You are right, though, that China could become a threat overnight. But IRL China isn’t that stupid to try and invade somewhere as large as Russia with nuclear weapons. The treat is more subtle and involves ‘friendly’ purchases of nuclear submarine tech etc. As well as ‘helping’ Russia farm vast tracts of land……

D J

I think you will find it has quite a lot left. It just can’t afford to commit it. To take on NATO will take a lot more than has been expended on Ukraine. To hold China in check will take a lot more than has been expended on Ukraine. Putin literally as two tigers by the tail. One in each hand.

Julian Edmonds

The “best Russia can do” is all held back in Moscow, there to protect Putin personally, lest other elements of the military or security services turn against him.

Fred the Frog

As are you then, if you believe Nato has no stomach for this lattest russian aggresion then think again my cyber friend. think again.

Duker

Theres almost zero capability for Nato land invasion of any Russian territory. First Belarus is in the way and Kaliningrad isnt worth anything for the cost. Yes they arent going to repeat Putins mistakes
.
Airpower is the only option and remember Nato is an alliance so needs complete agreement from its members for an attack that isnt self defence. Mean while Im sure you are reliving the Napoleon era in many other ways as well.

N-a-B

The “Starving world” could start by putting it’s own house in order. There was a time when the USSR could not even feed itself. Now, Russia alone exceeds the grain output of the USA.

Perhaps Zimbabwe could remember how and why it used to be the breadbasket of Africa, instead of the basket case.

Either way, the ability of western military power to open the Black Sea (and more importantly, the Bosphorus) is rightly a matter for international law and in this case Turkey.

RobB

Well Fred, since you like to talk about poverty and starvation, it is worth noting that it is only the richest in the world – the West – that are opposing Putin. The rest of the world’s countries, representing 90% of the world’s population, and including the worlds largest democracy, are not even boycotting Russia. In fact, India is happily buying Russia’s oil at a discount. So is China.

The head of the African Union has said that he is “very reassured and very happy” with his exchanges with Putin on the supply of food.
https://ewn.co.za/2022/06/03/au-head-reassured-after-talks-with-putin-on-food-shortages

Glad that you are so rich that you can fight for the poor of the world, but I dont think they want your help, they are doing fine.

Duker

Every country works in their self interest
https://www.voanews.com/a/india-defends-wheat-export-ban-/6590477.html

Why not just accept sanctions have holes anyway and accept some commodities can continue to flow.
heaven forbid the EU wont have an immediate cessation of gas and oil from you know who- as its not in their interest either

Meirion x

It is in the interests of the EU to move away from Russian energy in long term, especially if Russia does more damage to an aspiring EU applicant.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
Meirion x

It’s the rulers of these countries you mentioned, don’t care if their poor go hungry!

Duker

Its the price thats the main sticking point and supply next

Supportive Bloke

While that is all true and Zimbabwe could easily feed a lot of countries I don’t see how concatinating two dreadful and entrenched geopolitical situations is going to feed people.

Yes, Zimbabwe should be given aid in return for agricultural reform so it at least goes self sufficient. And yes, it is a sick joke sending wheat to what should be a breadbasket. But it won’t get solved any time soon – until the African tribal politics…….

D J

Which won’t end until tribal politics is replaced with national politics on a friendly level without corruption. Otherwise, no, don’t send the wheat. You are just perpetuating the problem. Yes people will starve. They have been starving for thousands of years. Get over it. Do it right or don’t bother. Or get China to do it for you. Give them 10 years & there will be plenty of wheat (no black Africans though). Take your pick.

Duker

Zimbabwe under its previous name Rhodesia struggled to be self sufficient in wheat/maize growing even when the sanctions came in the mid 60s.
Its a tropical country not a temperate one like the major wheat growing regions of the world. South Africa for instance its the southern Cape provinces that are grain growing areas, and maize is from say the Free State province not the border regions of Zimbabwe like Limpopo province
Sure even those levels of the late 60s arent even reached today

captain p wash

Christ, what do we have here then ? I can see a major problem trying to free up the passage of grain through the bosphorus not to mention the mine clearance issues……… Would the RN be able to even begin to cleanse the Black Sea even with all the current MCM’s ships ? Even in peacetime ?

ATH

If the U.K. was able to use MCM’s in the Black Sea then so would all of NATO. Together NATO has a big mine warfare capability. But getting rid of the mines that is the relatively easy bit.
The difficult bit is creating conditions that both legally and practically allow mine clearance.

captain p wash

It appears that some mines have shifted position and drifted to other parts, I guess that might cause alarm to all the countries shipping without any action taken.

Duker

There is no issue with commercial ships passage through the Bosporus. itself.
Russia and Ukraine were both big grain and fertiliser exporters.

captain p wash

“were”…….

Duker

I can see a major problem trying to free up the passage of grain through the bosphorus’

‘This’

Bloke down the pub

I believe the Montreux convention allows warships through the Dardenelles if they are headed to their homeport. Ex Blyth and Ramsey would seem to fit this criteria when they go to the Ukraine. BTW, I saw today that Turkish autourities had arrested a Russian merchant ship accused of carrying stolen grain though I don’t know if this has been confirmed.

Fred the Frog

Well I hope there’s a grain of truth in that.

Sean

Seizure of Russian merchant vessel confirmed. The Turks are now investigating whether the grain is stolen before deciding what to do with it.

Sergo

No need for nato frigates and cruisers in the black sea. Offer help to Ukraine. Use small boats, ROVs and AUVs and divers to clear the mines. The large Russian missiles in Crimea are not a threat to them.
If the mines are cleared the sea distance along the coast from Odessa to Romanian waters is a little more than 100 miles. River vessels sailing close to shore may be used. If the Russians fire missiles from Crimea, that will be piracy. Large Russian ships won’t risk coming within range of the harpoons, and the raptor cutters can be wiped out by bairaktars and the brimstone missiles you supply.
The grain path can be opened!

Duker

Grain is shipped in bulk carriers not ‘river vessels’ This is millions of tons of a granular type shipment which needs both specialised rail and port handling facilities

Fred the Frog

Sorry, my bad, just a bit passionate when it comes to mass starvation and uncaring comments, it will not happen again. I’m sure that all the starving nations will now sort their affairs out having read the replies posted yesterday.

D J

Please identify who you are referring to. Hopefully it wasn’t me, but who knows? There is no indent for reference.

D J

Hit refresh & found Fred had handed himself in. Still my point stands, some point of reference is needed for unindented posts.

Jon

It might even be easier to ship using the Danube and canals to the Romanian coast, if the Romanians would allow it.

captain p wash

Greenpeace need to make their presence felt in the Black Sea…… Save the Dolphins.

Fred the Frog

Dolphins ?

captain p wash

Yes, Dolphins….. apparently they are dying in their hundreds due to naval activity in the Black Sea…

D J

There is this thing called a railway. Grain crops are not grown seaside. Most are delivered to a shipping port via rail. They are trucked to a railhead & then railed from there. This is no different for most large countries, be it Russia, Ukraine, Canada, USA, Australia etc. Ukraine grain railways have been centred on shifting grain to Black Sea ports. While it is less than optimal, they need to be railing the grain to Mediterranean ports. Yes the interconnects are not there in the format you would want. But in my mind, it’s easier to get external civilian support for this than trying to get civilian shipping into Odesa.

Jon

Apparently the Ukraine uses Soviet guage while Romania swapped over to Western guage and as we speak have a project running to revivify an old Soviet link from Ukraine to a Danube port. I don’t know why they can’t swap guages rather than unload it onto barges, but I never really understood guage theories.

D J

Problem is that railway wagons have their wheels fixed in place (which causes the gauge problem if theirs doesn’t match yours). It is often possible to build a multi gauge rail line. Narrow gauge usually fits inside standard gauge which fits inside wide gauge. Still it’s expensive, you are using twice the amount of steel. Problem is most countries did their own thing in the beginning. So definitions need national references. It’s only when you got to the border you realised you may have a problem.

Duker

Romania never used Russian gauge, their railways were pretty well established before the second world war and becoming part of the Soviet bloc. Same went for Poland

Duker

The town in Romania mentioned as the Danube river port is actually right on the border with Ukraine so would have been the russian gauge railhead just a few km. the problem still is reinstatement to the existing Ukraine system
Another city is Vicsani again near the border , but the problem there is transhipment by rail

Duker

There is however a single Russian dual gauge line that extends well into Poland, nearly 400Km from the border to Katowice which was built for heavy industry use as the ore mines were in Ukraine
However for every wagon that goes west it must come back again, apparently its a lifeline and a bottleneck

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linia_Hutnicza_Szerokotorowa

Last edited 1 month ago by Duker
Fred the Frog

So give up on Odessa and retreat then ?

D J

Who said anything about retreating? As Jon has said, it’s a gauge problem. With shipping containers, you can shift the container to another flatbed via a big forklift or crane, just like you shift one to road transport or onboard or off a ship. Grain railcars are designed to fill from the top & dump unload from the bottom. So it’s not easy to shift grain from one carriage to another (grain ends up all over the ground). Ideally you want to go from the receiving silo railhead to the shipping port railhead. If they fix the gauge problem to at least allow grain carriages to get to an alternative railhead silo to allow bulk unloading & reloading would be better than barges (or alternatively all the way to port, but that could take considerable time – possibly years).

Fred the frog

Bless, I have a new friend.

Billy no mates

Wish I had one.

Julian Edmonds

13% of grain exports is not the same as 13% of production – more like 2% because most grain is produced and consumed domestically. For as long as anyone can remember, the UK and Europe’s agricultural sectors have struggled with “mountains” and “lakes” of surplus produce, and are now paid by the taxpayer to act as stewards of the environment rather than produce food. So there is huge potential to increase production if needed, easily enough to replace the lost 2%.