Crimean blockade getting Moscow’s attention

Food prices in Russia-occupied Crimea are rising as a result of the food blockade from Ukraine organized by Crimean Tatars (Image: QHA)

Food prices in Russia-occupied Crimea are rising as a result of the food blockade from Ukraine organized by Crimean Tatars (Image: QHA) 

2015/10/08 • Analysis & Opinion, Crimea, Russia

The effectiveness of the Crimean Tatar-organized blockade of occupied Crimea is reflected not only in price rises and shortages in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian peninsula but also in the reaction it is generating not only among the occupation forces but also in Moscow which has been trying to play down the Crimean issue.

The blockade of occupied Crimea has resulted both in shortages and price increases for basic foods that mean the prices in Crimea are now “higher than in the Ukrainian capital” and in some cases an order of magnitude of more higher, the best indication that the action is having an impact.

Refat Chubarov, the head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis (Image: QHA)

Refat Chubarov, the head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis (Image: QHA)

But the most important consequence of the blockade, Refat Chubarov, the head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, is that it has returned the issue of Crimea to the center of attention of the international community and led to new declarations that the Russian occupation must end and Ukrainian control restored.

The reaction of occupation regime officials suggests, the Crimean Tatar QHA news agency says, that they are beginning to “panic” as a result of the blockade. Remzi Ilyasov, vice speaker of the Russian-organized Crimean State Council, says the blockade shows Ukraine doesn’t care about Crimeans while Russians do.

And Vladimir Konstantinov, the chairman of the Crimean State Council, says that the blockade represents “a threat of genocide,” something he adds are “the real intentions of the fascist illegal band formations.”

By such declarations, QHA points out, the occupation authorities are showing “the effectiveness of the action and also indirectly undercutting the recently made statements” of other officials there “that the blockade of Crimea is not inflicting any economic harm on the peninsula.”

Edited by: A. N.

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  • canuke

    Well, well. My heart bleeds for those who stole Crimea from Ukraine, and now are complaining that Ukraine is not providing for them. Give your head a shake!

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      If the Crimeans want to buy food at reasonable prices, all they have to do is drive to the mainland- I’m not sure whether there is any train service, photos of Simferopol railway station suggest there isn’t.
      The main point of the blockade is to prevent food from the mainland ending up on the plates of Dwarfstan’s occupation forces by preventing trucks delivering food (and other items) to the Crimea. The demented dwarf will now have to organise his own food transport across Kerch Strait. Will the ferries be able to operate during the coming winter? Will they be able to handle the volume of traffic that previously came from the mainland? Will he have to fly food in to Simferopol from Dwarfstan if the ferries can’t handle the commercial traffic? Does Dwarfstan have the capability to do so with the necessity of supplying the troops in Syria already making demands on air and sea transport? Even if he can it will significantly increase the cost of food and other items for the Crimea. Will the dwarf subsidise everything to prevent discontent due to price increases, or won’t he? Either way, the cost of his occupation has gone up- and it’s already costing the Dwarfstan treasury billions.

  • Murf

    You gotta love ligitmate civil disobedience.
    They have even said they are looking at an energy blockade.
    Remember Vlad:
    Winter is coming.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Apparently the goods have been rerouted and are now starting to be transported by sea from Rostov-na-Donu and some Ukrainian ports. The Ukrainian ports can be blockaded by activists as well, but Rostov is a different matter. However….. with winter approaching the Sea of Azov may not be a pleasant area for sea transport due to bad weather and ice, and transporting the goods by way of the Kerch ferries will run into the same difficulties.
      All in all it adds up to extra costs for the demented dwarf. Wil he pass the costs on to the Crimeans, or subsidise everything to stifle discontent? Does he even have the money to do so now that he is pouring troops and weapons into Syria? He’s already been forced to slash the subsidies to Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and the Crimea, not to mention cutting the budgets foreducation, health care etc.
      He’s desperately trying to get the Gulf states to help jack up the oil prices, but why would the Saudis and others cooperate, especially now that he has formed an alliance with Shia Iran and his planes are bombing their Sunni co-religionists? What’s more, thanks to the Iran nuclear deal Iranian oil will soon be available again due to the lifting of sanctions, and Teheran desperately needs loads of cash to prop up the economy. The oil price won’t be going up to the $100+ the dwarf needs soon. Seen in this light, his support of the nuclear deal makes no sense at all. And the alliance with the ayatollahs is hardly a natural one, not least because Teheran wants to sell its oil and gas to the dwarf’s customers in Europe.

      • Murf

        The Russian Finance Ministry confirmed what the Western Financial press has been saying for months; that the Reserve fund will run out in 2017-18.
        Russia is running a 2t ruble deficit. They will have to start barrowing within a year.
        You are right about his antagonizing the Gulf with his Syrian move. He could cut loose Assad have continued to develop his ties with Iran and by association Iraq and had some influence on oil output. While not antagonizing virtually every oil and gas producer in the region.
        Have influence with two OPEC members would have been far more useful than influence in poor Ukraine.
        But when you can’t think beyond Cold War style military posturing you blunder around and piss people off.
        People he needs.

        • Dagwood Bumstead

          Who will lend Dwarfstan money? There’s $52 billion plus interest it still has to pay Yukos shareholders, but so far the dwarf has refused to do so, even though he had agreed to accept arbitration- which resulted in the verdict going against Dwarfstan. Not coughing up will piss the Yukos shareholders off, and they may well be People With Influence.
          There are also EU lawsuits against Gazprom for abuse of monopoly to look forward to which could cost billions in EU fines, though there are indications that Gazprom wants to settle out of court. Even if the EU agrees, Gazprom won’t get off scot free. Write off at least another 10 billion or so.
          Next, Dwarfstan can look forward to Ukrainian claims for the aggression against the country: the illegal invasion and annexation of the Crimea, plus the war in the Donbas with its death and destruction. And you can bet your last worthless ruble that Kyiv will claim everything it can think of and then some.
          But the REAL killer is something that hardly anybody mentions. When the USSR broke up in 1991 Russia,as sole successor state, inherited all its debts, above all the USSR debt to the US. In 1993 Yeltsin and Clinton agreed to a 20-year moratorium on debt repayment, which expired in December 2013 but which Obama allowed to continue until May 2015. The dwarf now has to start repaying that debt- and it’s not billions, but trillions. To the tune of “Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work we go” as sung by The Seven Dwarfs (oh, how appropriate!), citizens of Dwarfstan will be singing “We owe, we owe, so off to work we go” for decades. And given the current mood in Congress the dwarf won’t be able to count on any clemency on debt repayment.
          But hey, who cares about bankruptcy? Крым наш!- the Crimea is ours! For now, that is…….

          • what’s what

            Ha, ha! That’s great! I wasn’t aware of all of russia’s debts, esp. to US. Well, I suppose it’s a good thing putin is supposedly the richest man in the world…for now, at least. He can cough up all the cash he owes, then face the executioners! Yay!

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            I wasn’t aware of the ex-Soviet debt to the US either until fairly recently. I read about it in an article written by the Russian commentatrix Ania Dorn, which can be found in Russian and German on informnapalm.org, though it hasn’t been translated into English unfortunately- not yet, anyway.
            I don’t think Obama will give the thumbscrews a twist to remind the dwarf how much he owes and that he’d better start paying back PDQ, but his successor, whoever he/she may be, may not have the same reluctance.
            The dwarf is plundering Dwarfstan’s Reserve Funds, which are intended for paying pensions in the future, to plug the holes in Dwarfstan’s budget, but those funds will run out in a couple of years, by 2018 at the latest according to many financial experts. Then what? No pensions? He will discover the hard way, as did Brezhnev’s successors, that you can’t spend 35% of the annual budget on defence and the KGB/FSB forever. He’s losing customers for oil and gas- Lithuania already has an LNG terminal in operation and is currently buying gas from Norway rather than Dwarfstan. Next year, when the interconnecting pipelines are finished, Estonia and Latvia will also be able to use the terminal as well- apparently it can handle about 90% of the Baltics’ annual gas consumption. Poland is building an LNG terminal near Stettin which will be completed by June next year; its gas will come from Qatar. The Poles are planning an increase in the terminal’s capacity as well.
            But there’s worse to come- or better, depending on your viewpoint. The dwarf has pissed Saudi Arabia off so much by his air attacks on Sunni muslims in Syria that it intends to undercut Dwarfstan’s oil price. It can easily do this- Saudi production costs are about $8 per barrel, Dwarfstan’s 30-35. Apparently SA is already in discussion with the Poles about supplying oil at a lower price than Dwarfstan’s, and there’s little love lost between the Poles and Dwarfstanians so I foresee that Warsaw will happily accept the SA offer. Others may as well, certainly the Baltics, possibly Sweden. Less $$$ for the Dwarfstan treasury and the dwarf’s private bank account. As he will keep up his aggression against Kyiv and his involvement in Syria it means less for the Dwarfstanians- less for education, health care etc etc. The immediate and long-term effects on Dwarfstan will be disastrous.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      The blockade of the Crimea will get a hell of a lot more attention from the demented dwarf and his thugs now, as the first power supply line was apparently cut yesterday, according to zik.ua.
      It’s confirmed by Interfax, now only two of the four supply lines are still in operation, putting a dent in the power supply to the peninsula:
      http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/295907.html

      The dwarf had better start shipping mobile generators to the Crimea pdq, as it will take time to connect them to the net. I wonder whether he has enough of them in stock?
      Two down, two more to go.

      • W8post

        You better ask ‘SIEMENS’…