Stingers and Javelins.
One of the best scientists alive.
1. The Economist:
By invading Ukraine, Vladimir Putin will destroy the lives of people far from the battlefield—and on a scale even he may regret. The war is battering a global food system weakened by covid-19, climate change and an energy shock. Ukraine’s exports of grain and oilseeds have mostly stopped and Russia’s are threatened. Together, the two countries supply 12% of traded calories. Wheat prices, up 53% since the start of the year, jumped a further 6% on May 16th, after India said it would suspend exports because of an alarming heatwave.
The widely accepted idea of a cost-of-living crisis does not begin to capture the gravity of what may lie ahead. António Guterres, the UN secretary general, warned on May 18th that the coming months threaten “the specter of a global food shortage” that could last for years. The high cost of staple foods has already raised the number of people who cannot be sure of getting enough to eat by 440 million, to 1.6 billion. Nearly 250 million are on the brink of famine. If, as is likely, the war drags on and supplies from Russia and Ukraine are limited, hundreds of millions more people could fall into poverty. Political unrest will spread, children will be stunted and people will starve.
Read the rest. (Source: economist.com)
2. The United States has accused Russia of holding the world’s food supply hostage amid growing fears of famine in developing countries, as a former Russian president warned that the Kremlin would not release vital grain shipments without an end to western sanctions. Speaking at a UN security council meeting on Thursday, US secretary of state Antony Blinken demanded that Russia lift its blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and enable the flow of food and fertilizer around the world. “The Russian government seems to think that using food as a weapon will help accomplish what its invasion has not – to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people,” he said at the meeting called by the Biden administration. “The food supply for millions of Ukrainians and millions more around the world has quite literally been held hostage by the Russian military,” he added. (Source: theguardian.com)
3. The White House is working to put advanced anti-ship missiles in the hands of Ukrainian fighters to help defeat Russia’s naval blockade, officials said, amid concerns more powerful weapons that could sink Moscow’s warships would intensify the conflict. Ukraine has made no secret it wants more advanced US capabilities beyond its current inventory of artillery, Javelin and Stinger missiles, and other arms. Kyiv’s list, for example, includes missiles that could push the Russian navy away from its Black Sea ports, allowing the restart of shipments of grain and other agricultural products worldwide. Current and former US officials and congressional sources have cited roadblocks to sending longer range, more powerful weapons to Ukraine that include lengthy training requirements, difficulties maintaining equipment, or concerns US weaponry could be captured by Russian forces, in addition to the fear of escalation. (Source: reuters.com via scmp.com)
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to News Items to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.