Ukraine War Day #136: Zaporozhian Harvest

Dear Readers:

In previous posts we saw how Swedish King Karl XII graciously granted the Zaporozhian Sich (an area he no longer controlled, especially after the Battle of Poltava) as a vassal to Poland.

Karl XII and his pet kitty-kat Fluffles

Modern-day Zaporozhia is, as we speak, split down the middle, horizontally. Ukraine still controls the northern chunk (which, admittedly, contains the capital and the lion’s share of the population), whereas Russia controls the southern slice.

There are a lot of problems here. For starters, we just learned this morning that Ukraine has cut off the gas to the southern part. By damaging the pipe which feeds natural gas from the Ukrainian sector to the Russian sector. Evgeny Balitsky, who heads the Russian-controlled sector, declared an emergency and appealed to the Russian Federation: “HELP We got no gas!”

In response to this crisis, Russia will send a bunch of electrical appliances to help the population. For example, if you needed gas to cook your dinner, you will now have to use an electric hotplate. I just noticed, by the way, that odd “face within a face” in Karl’s pet lion. I happened to squint at it in just the right way, and the face popped out at me. I don’t know if the artist put it there on purpose, or just an accidental artifact. Looks like a middle-aged hippy kind of guy wearing sunglasses (the lion’s mouth is the sunglasses, and the fang is the guy’s nose), with curly hair and a grizzled beard! In the broader picture, Karl would be grabbing this hipster by his hair while he stomps on the world’s globe.

Anyhow, moving on to more important matters, we have this piece by reporters Darya Volkova and Alyona Zadorozhnaya. The title is something straight out a Soviet newspaper:

Russia Is Helping Zaporozhie To Win the Battle For The Harvest

Keep in mind that we are talking about the Russian-controlled slice here, the lateral southern slice.

Zaporozhie Oblast in full
The arrow shows capital city Zaporozhie, still under Ukrainian control

The good news: The harvest is ready to gather, and it’s an exceedingly good one this year. The bad news: The harvest is split between the Ukrainian and Russian-controlled portions of the Oblast. But people are rushing to do what they can, and reap what they sowed. Even the Russian army have helped out, by supplying fuel. The Russian occupying forces are centered in the city of Melitopol, now serving as the “temporary capital” of the Oblast, until Zaporozhie city can be liberated. The authorities there are working feverishly on the harvest issue, and expecting a very good result. Vladimir Rogov is a member of the Provisional Military-Civilian Administration soviet: “The main problem for the farmers is a lack of agricultural technology which, in past years, the Ukrainian government took away from southern regions and moved north, to Kiev.” Rogov goes on to explain the rationale: faced with a deficiency of technology, the Kiev regime took to rationing what they had.

Vladimir Rogov

“The very same combine was put to work in three or five oblasts. But now that system [of sharing] has been broken. Plus, there was an interregnum period between the seasons, before we, the new government of the Zaporozhia Oblast, have been able to restore order. During that period there was a lot of maraudering and robberies, as a result of which there is even less technology now then there was before the start of the Special Military Operation.” [yalensis: one should note in this regard that Ukrainian marauders have been known to steal a valuable piece of machinery and then just break it down for scrap metal, selling for pennies to the dollar.]

A man named Andrei Siguta heads the Military-Civilian government of the Melitopol region. Possessing a magnificent head that looks like a block of concrete, this is what Siguta had to say about this important issue:

Andrei Siguta

“The main problems relate to the harvest machines and heavy equipment. In earlier years we used to outsource this process and hire specialized contractors, who would bring their own machinery. But now we can’t do that any more.”

Hence, Harvest 2022 is shaping up to be the greatest challenge faced yet by the new authorities in South Zaporozhie. Rogov again: “We are appealing to the Krasnodar region [of Russia] and to Crimea. We are requesting that they rent to us the machinery that we need to collect the harvest. All the more so in these times, when, in the world market, grain is literally worth its weight in gold.” Fortunately, the problem is already solving itself. [yalensis: This was penned before the news about the gas cut-off, I don’t know whether the gas problem will impact the harvest issue; maybe not, since these machines run on diesel, probably.]

Siguta again: “There is still a lot of the old Soviet technology lying around, some of it can be repaired or partially restored. When it comes to foreign technology, there were a lot of issues with acquiring parts, but we managed to resolve those problems as well. [yalensis: how? do tell!] Also, the one enterprise that we have that produces fuel and lubricants, it’s still functional. And the main thing is that we have done this in a way that is affordable to our farmers. With their hard work and with the direct assistance of Russia, we are solving all these problems.”

Everyone To The Harvest!

The harvest started around June 20 and is continuing. When it started, Russian soldiers were able to bring fuel to the farmers, to feed their tractors, and so on. A government grain company agreed to purchase all the grain. As of current time, around 20% of the harvest has been collected on the Russian-controlled (“liberated”) territories of the Zaporozhian Oblast.

“Haven’t you heard? That wheat is literally worth its weight in gold!”

Rogov again: “Right now the farm work is proceeding at a feverish pace. The fertility [of our harvest] is higher than the Ukrainian rate, by 10-15%. We are pulling something like 5 tons for each hectare.”

The Melitopol authorities have announced that 20% of the barley has been collected; and over 30% of the rapeseed. [yalensis: Dumb question: What the heck is rapeseed?]

Thus putting at ease earlier worries that they would not be able to collect the harvest by the deadline. Happily, everything is going according to plan. But the key thing is for the new authorities to establish good relations with the private farmer class. The farmers are being asked to register in Melitopol as “juridical persons” (юрлица). This will allow them to interact, in the legal arena with grain traders. If a farmer does not wish to sell his grain at the current time, then he may store it inside an elevator.

Siguta again: “I admit that many of these issues we are just resolving off the cuff as they occur, we don’t yet have a proper system. This stems from the fact that we are not yet a subject of the Russian Federation. As soon as that happens, then a proper system will be built, a vertical in the organs of government, and then an understanding of all the inter-relationships.”

Nonetheless, it is obvious even to the casual observer that life is returning to normal within the province. You can see that by the work in the fields, and also from what is going on in the cities, including Melitopol. For example, the work of the Melitopol asphalt-cement plant resumed work this week. Currently city workers are compiling a list of streets that need to be repaired. In Melitopol, the municipal authorities have started to send out coupons for the payment of communal services [yalensis: bills for gas, electricity, water, etc.], and the payments will be accepted either in rubles or [Ukrainian] hryvnas.

Next: the exciting new educational reforms!

[to be continued]

This entry was posted in Economics, Military and War and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Ukraine War Day #136: Zaporozhian Harvest

  1. FatMax says:

    “run on diesel”
    99% of industrial machines/trucks/vans in Europe run on diesel, so yeah.

    “What the heck is rapeseed?”
    Also known as “oilseed rape” (Russian “рапс”, Serbo-Croatian “uljana repica”) is an extremely important plant, mostly grown for animal feed and oil. Since there’s a whole drama concerning the lack of vegetable oil (particularly sunflower oil) in Europe, I must add that this is an even more important source of vegetable oil than sunflower.

    It has a extremely unfortunate name indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yalensis says:

      I found a picture of it.
      Apparently this plant is related to cabbage and also to rutabaga, which has a funny name.
      Ah, canola! Why didn’t they just say so. I buy canola oil all the time at my grocery store, I prefer the taste to sunflower oil or corn oil, when it comes to cooking.

      Etymology: derives from the Latin rapa or rapum which means “turnip”. Which has no Common Indo-European root, so probably was a borrowing from a non-IE word. So yeah, has nothing to do with sex or violence!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. peter moritz says:

    [yalensis: Dumb question: What the heck is rapeseed?]

    rape (raps in german) is a member of the cabbage family (brassica) and the cultivars are known as Canola, so no one speaks of rape seed anymore in the west, and the product derived from the seeds is Canola Oil. Apparently, 1/3 of all vegetable oils is Canola, and in Canada there are huge fields
    of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • peter moritz says:

      Is it not the case that the gas that Ukraine blocks is of Russian origin? Wold it not be the easiest thing then for Russia to turn off supply to Ukraine?
      And if Ukraine receives the gas from the EU, the easiest thing again would be to advise Europe that any supply to Ukraine of Russian gas to Ukraine would result either in less gas to Europe, the equal of the amount transferred to Ukraine, or a total ban on Russian sales to any country of the EU except those with new long term contracts, especially Hungary.

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        From what I understand (and this just happened this morning), the Ukies didn’t so much “block” the gas supply to southern Zaporozhie, as egregiously blow up a pipe. In an act of infrastructure terrorism, otherwise known as “scorched earth” policy.

        Like

    • yalensis says:

      Yup. From now on I will translate as “canola oil”. Thanks, everyone!

      Like

      • John Kane says:

        From now on I will translate as “canola oil”.

        Canola is just one version of rapeseed developed in Canada. It may well be that in Ukraine they grow other types of rapeseed. Still it sounds better in English.

        Like

    • John Kane says:

      Canola Oil, probably the most used cooking oil in Canada. Alberta and BC, IIRC, produce huge amounts. Sounds better than rapeseed so the Canadian developers invented the new name.

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        Russians don’t have to change the word рапса (“rapsa”) because Russian language does not have that unfortunate homonym to contend with.

        Like

  3. Rapeseed is referred to as Canola (Canadian Oil Low Acid, it seems) here in Canada, though that’s fairly recent. When I was a boy, the agricultural summaries on the radio always referred to it as rape. As you say, unfortunate name, sort of like the London suburb of Dorking.
    Let’s hope the harvest goes, at least, semi-smoothly

    Like

    • peter moritz says:

      “fairly recent”
      I remember having arrived in Canada in 1979. I am not sure of the name at that time but it was called Canola by latest 1981, when I worked on Farms in BC and Alberta, seeding the stuff. Depends on what you call recent.
      As I said, canola are varieties of the original and the goal was to reduce the erucic acid of the original…and then came the Round Up resistant varieties…

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        Thanks again, guys, this is very informative. I buy Canola oil all the time in my store, and I never realized that it was an acronym from Canadian Oil Low Acid.

        If I thought about it at all (probably not), I may have vaguely assumed it had something to do with those Italian pastries, canollis!

        Like

      • Yeah, that’s still fairly recent in my mindspace. I’m an old fart.
        Cheers!

        Like

  4. lou strong says:

    I’m arriving too late to show my knowledge about rapeseeds, sigh.
    Cannolo (singular) ,cannoli (plural ) are Italian pastries typical of Sicily.
    The recipe of the ” tube ” to be stuffed by ricotta etc etc doesn’t require oil but lard or butter.

    Like

  5. S Brennan says:

    Just a little update, The Saker Blog has been disconnected, the message I got was:
    http://thesaker.is/ => “Error establishing a database connection”

    Clearly, the belief of DC’s 3LAs & their media minions is, if our grand neocolonialist plan is failing [again & again] then “…lie..lie..and lie some more, because it can’t fail..yes..yes.it’s been failing for over 30 years but…if we just keep trying to do the same thing over and over again surely…surely it’s bound to work”.

    Now, everybody together act awestruck at the Emperors new clothes…and throw that mouthy kid down the rabbit hole. I often disagree with the Saker but, the 1st Amendment makes it clear:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Clearly, DC’s 3LAs believe they are above US law, that they are the supreme power in the USA. Lavrentiy Beria would be proud of DC’s 3LAs…well..maybe a little envious.

    Like

  6. That’s Gravatar’s swastika not mine says:

    In regards to the “harvest” topic, and the “scorched earth” side topic that was mentioned, I’d like to bring up something that disturbs me greatly. Just recently, I seem to recall it after the Shinzo Abe assassination but before the Sri Lanka meltdown, the Russia Times channel on odysee (https://odysee.com/@RT:fd) posted a video very clearly showing a helicopter flying around deliberately firing numerous rounds of obviously special incendiary ammunition into a wheat field, deliberately setting it on fire. There were no military targets in sight and the helicopter was obviously neither under attack nor attacking anyone, especially not with that type of ammunition. The title said it was the Ukrainian armed forces deliberately burning wheat crops while retreating. I was going to post a direct link to it here in the comments, since it was obviously directly relevant to this post about the harvest.

    What disturbs me greatly is that Russia Times has DELETED the video and DELETED all references to it. I’m no military expert. I couldn’t have told you the model of the helicopter, let alone whose helicopter it was, but I do know a little bit about logic, and I can only think of one reason why Russia Times would delete, within just a few hours of posting it, a video purportedly showing Ukrainian armed forces deliberately destroying food crops. What do suppose the reason could be for RT to delete all mention of this video so quickly after it was posted? Hmm?

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      I dunno. Maybe it turned out to be fake news? In which case they should have posted a retraction. Out of guesses.

      Like

    • moon says:

      Adding one:
      It was fake, and they withdrew it, fearing it could give Ukrainian troops a bad idea.
      It was a badly made fake video, which (unfortunately or not?) also contained quite a few forensic tell-tale signs.

      Like

      • That’s Gravatar’s swastika not mine says:

        If it was fake, it was extremely sophisticated, with sound changes corresponding to turns and distance, lighting of the helicopter corresponding to direction, the shots fired being very similar to each other but different, oriented to the current angle of the helicopter, etc, and it was so expertly done that I saw nothing fake about it. If it was fake, someone sure went to a hell of a lot of work for essentially no practical benefit. I don’t think any of that is likely. And if it was fake, I still would have expected an honest news org to say so, admit to being fooled, and point out how to tell it was fake, not just delete the whole thing and all references to it and try to pretend it didn’t exist.

        The second possibility I considered was “those Ukrainians are such assholes, and we could really whack them upside the head with this video, which they deserve, but… let’s cut them some slack this time. Delete it.” I don’t think that’s very likely either.

        That leaves me with only one plausible possibility I can think of, one I really dislike. “Uh oh, that’s not a Ukrainian helicopter. Delete that video and forget you ever saw it.” That would be REALLY stupid and unnecessary, as well as dishonest of RT. I doubt I was the only one who saw it, and others who did could have saved it.

        Like

        • That’s Gravatar’s swastika not mine says:

          Human memory is a damned unreliable thing, as innumerable court cases have proven.

          https://southfront.org/in-video-ukrainian-helicopters-burn-harvest-in-kherson-region/

          It’s possible that I found this video on southfront, not on RT’s channel on odysee, and that’s the explanation why I can’t find it where I thought it was. I also note with embarrassment that there’s no sound on the video, which isn’t what I remembered at all. Of course, this could be another copy, and the sound got deleted, and my memory is fine, but for now I’ll back off and say the fault lies with my memory. But there are remaining questions: is this real or fake, how can you tell, where was it, whose helicopter is that, and why would anyone risk getting their helicopter shot down just to burn some wheat??

          Like

          • yalensis says:

            Thank you for being honest and correcting the record, that is very admirable of you and shows journalistic integrity. I think we all had that experience, where we remembered something a little differently. Maybe this video was on more than one place, we all watch so much stuff, and sometimes it blurs together.
            As to why they would risk a helicopter to burn wheat, I would guess that is the “scorched earth” master plan in action. It fits in with other stuff I have read, whereby the Ukrainians are very determined that Russia must not be allowed to boast of economic successes in Kherson region; or of life returning to normal. Losing Kherson is a very bitter pill for the Ukrainians, they were in denial for a long time, but now it’s starting to sink in. It’s like the jilted lover who becomes a stalker: “If I can’t have her, then nobody can have her!”

            Like

    • Pure guesswork, maybe it’s this. Helicopters (well, military planes of all sorts) have been doing this whenever they’re in potential range of MANPADS for quite some time. Maybe they decided the imputation of malice was both unproven, and, indeed unprovable, yeah?

      Like

      • Bukko Boomeranger says:

        I’m with Stephen on this, that the helo was firing deception flares to decoy heat-seeking missiles. Many of the shoulder-mounted ones home in on hot engines (helicopters spin their rotors using the power from a jet turbine, so they come across the same as an airplane in the sensors of a missile). I’m not a pilot, but I’ve read about that anti- anti-aircraft tactic in enough contexts that it seems a likely explanation.

        Plus, trying to burn wheat fields to deliberately cause economic damage is pointless, or at least not cost-effective. It’s unlikely that setting one field on fire is going to do much harm. Grain fields are not like massive dry forests where flames can spread for hundreds of kilometres. Australia knows all about that! Fields are divided with fences, hedgerows, roads, waterways and other barriers to flames. Even if the wheat burns in one spot, it would not get intense enough to jump from place to place. Dry cornstalks burn fairly well, but they’re taller and have more combustible mass than a bunch of wheat. The cost of 1.) sending a helicopter flying; 2.) the risk of having it shot down; and 3.) however expen$$$ive the incendiaries are would not be worth it to torch a lot of relatively low-value wheat.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          Thanks, Stephen and Bukko, this makes total sense now: the helicopter was filmed firing deception flares. This also explains why RT would have pulled the video (if they had such video, so Gravatar’s memory may have been correct after all), once they realized what was actually going on. Was still dishonest, they should have retracted for their readers: “Oh, uh, we just realized what that helicopter was actually doing… my bad…”
          I’m not going to defend RT editors, I have had a lot of criticisms of them in the past.

          Like

  7. Bukko Boomeranger says:

    Even the Russian army have helped out, by supplying fuel.

    That’s a hella-important thing in the Ukraine context. I don’t know if you’re up-to-date on Peak Oil theory, Yalensis, but part of the reason that dynamic is so ominous is that we basically EAT OIL. As in hydrocarbons. Indirectly, of course, but without the black gold — which humanity has drained half of the Earth’s total supply, and that was the CHEAP & EASY TO GET half — we would not have so much food to get morbidly obese with. No fuel to run the giant harvesting machines that can lop off wheat ears by the hectare? How much can the peasants cut using scythes in their hands? (And where ya gonna get that many peasants anyway these days? Serf’s down, not up!) Then there’s all the oil energy needed to plant the stuff, truck it to grain elevators, mill it, bake it, truck it to stores, etc. — but I won’t go on a discourse about Peak Oil here. (I often do in real life, in other contexts, because people should be aware of this topic that’s going to dramatically affect civilisation in the 21st Century. The corporate media won’t highlight it until it’s too late, because it’s too damn depressing. Peak Oil will kill more people sooner than Climate Change will. OK, CC will have a higher death toll in the long run, but PO will hit us first.)

    Anyway, the harvest in Ukraine is going to go badly, and not just because there’s fighting in so many places and all the Brave Sir Robinovs of Banderaland have run off to Poland so they won’t be drafted as cannon fodder. The Russians have blown up a lot of refineries in Ukraine, it’s not safe to drive a fuel delivery truck in the combat zone, and the Ukie army would be grabbing any diesel it can to use in military vehicles. I reckon a lot of wheat is going to fall to the ground unharvested in the areas controlled by the Banderigime. Good year to be a pecking bird or a mouse! If the Russians can supply fuel in the Donetsk and Luhansk zones, that might be the only wheat that anyone has a chance to eat. (Aside from what canny country folk will take for themselves with human-powered tools, because kulaks have enough sense to preserve themselves.)

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Hey, Bukko, you’re a bundle of joy! I had heard the term “peak oil” before, and vaguely understood that it was still one more horrible calamity approaching humanity. Like the 4 Horses of the Apocalypse. I reckon, when the oil runs out, we all go back to being scythe-wielding serfs. UNLESS! Humans will see the wisdom of, and adopt my proposal, namely, we should abandon big agriculture and just breed bunnies for food.

      OR: that asteroid will strike first and wipe out our planet, which might even be a sort of blessing, by that point. See, all those years we wasted drilling for oil, when we should have been building anti-matter spaceships…

      Like

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