Ukraine: HIMARS destroyed, Wheat for Rubles, Ukraine Holds Grain Hostage and more.

Russia is claiming they’ve struck 2 HIMARS missile systems and 2 ammunition depots as well. Ukraine denies. If I was going to bet, I’d put my money down on the Russia claim being accurate.

Russia claims it also destroyed two ammunition depots storing rockets for the HIMARS near a village south of Kramatorsk.

The Russian defence ministry has claimed its forces have destroyed two US-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) missile launchers in the embattled Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.

The ministry said on Wednesday that Russian forces also destroyed two ammunition depots storing rockets for the highly-advanced HIMARS near the front line in a village south of Kramatorsk in Ukraine’s Donetsk region – the main focus of Moscow’s military offensive following the capture of the Luhansk region during the weekend.

“Near the village of Malotaranovi in the Donetsk People’s Republic, two launchers of the US-made HIMARS multiple rocket launcher and two associated ammunition depots were destroyed by air-launched high-precision missiles,” Russian defence ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said.

Ukraine had received only four HIMARS systems from the US as of early July, the European Council on Foreign Relations said in a report. Washington had pledged to deliver eight of the missile systems by mid-July.

If the above information is accurate, Ukraine has two systems left.

Wheat for Rubles

Following on Gas for Rubles, LNG for Rubles..

Russia, facing sanctions from the West for its invasion of Ukraine, will now export grains to other nations only in exchange for rubles. In addition to grains, the Russian government has added sunflower oil and extracted meal to the list of export items to be paid in rubles. A resolution to this effect was adopted on Friday. Russia is the largest exporter of wheat in the world and a major supplier of sunflower seeds. The government resolution also extends a provision to pay for exported sunflower oil and meal duties in rubles until Aug. 31, 2023. As part of this payment mechanism, the base price for calculating wheat’s export duties has been set at 15,000 rubles ($263) per ton. The grain crisis is being felt across the globe as wheat prices have surged to record highs over the past two months. The global food market, already affected by weather and the Covid pandemic, was dealt another blow due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Western sanctions on Moscow. This has sparked fears of global food insecurity and hunger.

Ukraine still impeding grain shipments despite the best efforts of Turkey, Russia and the UN

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said a number of logistical details need to be worked out in talks brokered by Turkey and United Nations between Ukraine and Russia, though breaking the deadlock will be difficult. The comments contrast with those of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who on Tuesday echoed media reports that a deal could be reached in a week to 10 days.

We are just about a few steps from the deal, but these steps are the most difficult,” Kuleba said in an interview in his office in Kyiv on Tuesday. “I don’t want to join the chorus of those who say the agreement will take place next week.”

Obviously Kuleba doesn’t want to ‘join the chorus’ of those working towards freeing up the grains since this is not Ukraine’s desired outcome. If this works out Ukraine loses it’s leverage.

Kuleba said talks, being held at government-agency level, are centered on thrashing out delivery itineraries and mechanisms to secure cargo vessels. Negotiators haven’t yet reached an agreement on securing Odesa, Ukraine’s largest seaport, from Russian attack, as well as foreign patrols guarding non-military cargoes, Kuleba said.

“We need firm guarantees,” the minister said. “Those are the ones that are being worked out.”

“Still, Kuleba expressed skepticism that Moscow is willing to reach an agreement, since its blockade provides leverage over Ukraine. “

We’ve discussed this before on a number of occasions. The blockade serves Ukraine’s interests to a greater extent then it serves Russian interests

Most recently..

Ukraine needs to stop holding the world’s food supply hostage. The west needs to stop enabling global starvation

As stated previously..

Ukraine has the biggest advantage, gain, in keeping these ports blocked. They play the victim game, while being financially supported by international banking dollars and western money. Blocking forces the hands of the west. And it serves to tarnish Russia a bit more. Prevents Russia from advancing. While potentially causing huge problems for Turkey. -Which makes NATO happy. Can potentially create discord between Russia and Turkey- so despite claims made by them… the block potentially serves many of their goals.

Erdogan highlighted the blockade as a “serious problem” in his comments in Ankara, pointing up the necessity to lock in a deal.

Kuleba reinforced Kyiv’s plea for more heavy weaponry from the US and EU allies, “If Russia keeps on dominating, it means just one thing — we need more weapons,” Kuleba said.

Which is why Ukraine holds onto the desperately needed grain.

China and India have paid billions to Russia for energy

Russia has pocketed US$24 billion (NZ$39b) from selling energy to China and India in just three months following its invasion of Ukraine, showing how higher global prices are limiting efforts by the US and Europe to punish President Vladimir Putin.

China spent US$18.9 billion on Russian oil, gas and coal in the three months to the end of May, almost double the amount a year earlier, latest customs data show.

Meanwhile, India shelled out US$5.1 billion in the same period, more than five times the value of a year ago. That’s an extra US$13 billion in revenue from both countries compared to the same months in 2021.

The higher spending is helping make up for decreased purchases from the US and some other nations that have halted or slowed buying to punish Russia for the war.

How many readers here recall months ago the reporting that stated quite clearly the entire planet was not on board with these sanctions? It seems the insanity of western/ 5 eyes leadership is on display.

Quite willing to foment a global economic crisis including food and fuel for a war that should have/would have never occurred if not for NATO meddling.