Here we go! Russia partially restricting grain exports !!!
Egypt, Turkey and Armenia excepted.
The exports are based on 'phytosanitary' grounds.
[There is some denial by Russia but a number of confirmations]
Re: Most countries at war generally end up importing
their priorities and economies get so messed up they just don't get the farmin done.
russia and ukraine are no different.
Re: putin will be history within 14 months and
Time will tell. I don't see a high return action he can take at the moment to reverse his fortunes but it doeesn't mean he couldn't try. However, with an intelligence background he should be used to thinking in terms of risk/reward. He hasn't seemed to be unstable or emotional but he DOES have an obsession with the old empire and tying neighbors to mandatory economic blocs. In this particular area he seems not to realize that a more sophisticated perspective is required. I think he may be insecure about Russia competing with a technologically advancing world even though they have shown skill in certain areas like aeronautical engineering and basic research.
Significant Russian policy reversal
Russia has officially said through Lavrov, its Foreign Minister, it is no longer calling for separation or autonomy of the rebel regions in Ukraine. The Ukrainians had the right to do whatever they want. That had to sting the rebels. Who wants to go out in the field and be the last fatality for a lost cause? Especially now that the US is sending heavy antitank technology to Ukraine.
PS - Ukranian fronts are finally quiet
Not to say it can't restart in the future but Russia apparently doesn't want any further PR that it is pushing things there. Obama still scheduled to impose more sanctions. Will he while it is sliding ove the edge? Maybe not if Russia signals 'uncle'.