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FRIDAY BIZARRE

Our Look Back At Some Of The Weeks Most Bizarre Or Cool Russo Moments

Earthworms Globally Produce As Much Grain As Russia

Earthworms’ contribution to the world’s grain harvest matches that of Russia, according to a study by Nature Communications highlighting the creatures enormous role in food production. The worms help produce 140 million tonnes of food a year, which would make earthworms the fourth largest global producer if they were a country. Russia produced 150m tonnes in 2022 and expects to produce 120m tonnes this year. It’s not the most flattering comparison we’ve ever heard but then again…maybe worms should run for the Presidency of the United States with that sort of agricultural base.  

The Zelensky’s Purchase King Charles’ Highgrove Residence

Britain’s Daily Mail is reporting that Russian ‘sleuths’ planted a story that King Charles had sold his long time Highgrove home in Gloucestershire to Ukrainian President Zelensky. Now that is actually quite funny, if patently untrue. Highgrove, despite his Dad living there, is actually owned by Prince William. Talking of the Zelensky’s, an unsubstantiated rumour we overheard – but from a credible source – said that Mrs. Zelensky was seen buying a £1 million necklace in London recently. So maybe they’re planning a life of English Aristocracy? The UK has committed £12 billion to Ukraine, with up to 10% of funds unofficially being allowed to vanish as ‘comprador expenses’. If correct, that buys a lot of bling – and houses. View that as hearsay? Maybe, but at the same time show us the audited reports as to where the money went.

We Told You So: German Bankruptcies Are At A Record High

The Leibniz Institute for Economic Research Halle (IWH) has reported that insolvencies by German partnerships and corporations rose to another record high in March. According to the IWH, there were 1,297 insolvencies of partnerships and corporations in Germany last month. That’s 9% more than the previous record, set in February, and 35% more than in March 2023. IWH points out that insolvencies often lead to permanent losses of income and wages for the affected employees. An estimated 25,000 German companies will go bust this year and another 20,000 in 2025. 2022 had held the previous record high. It is interesting to note IWH data below and the dates this trend began – in 2022, when sanctions were first imposed.

We discussed whether the EU had adequately planned for the impact of sanctions this week in this article here.

The EU In A Pickle: To Recognise Putin’s Election Victory Or Not?

The European Union is in a quandary over whether to accept or reject the Russian Presidential Election results, which saw 80 million Russians cast their votes. Putin won with 88% of the votes cast. EU hardliners want to declare the elections as ‘illegal’ which would have the effect of placing Putin as persona non grata and as an ‘illegitimate’ leader to negotiate with in the event of any proposed settlement to cease the Ukraine conflict. Accepting Putin as the legitimate leader keeps that door open. Ivan Preobrazhensky, of the Aspen Institute Central Europe summarised the position as being that if the EU hawks win, it will prevent EU officials from communicating with Russia’s foreign minister, Russian representatives in international organizations, and with Russian ambassadors. The question would then be “How can we negotiate with Russia if we label it run by an illegal government?” A decision is likely to be taken during an EU parliamentary session at the end of this month in Strasbourg. Democracy huh?

Nationality Discrimination: Ukraine Wants Russian Nationals Banned From All EU Flights

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmigal is to push the EU to ban Russian and Belarussian passengers from all flights into the EU, explaining that Kiev is hoping to disrupt and cause discomfort to Russian tourists, families with members in the EU, and businessmen. Quite apart from imposing Ukrainian will on the EU, the precedent such an action would take is appalling: sanctions based upon nationality, although Europe’s migrants and the Palestine issue seem to be based on this. It’s a racist position and purely based on creating humanitarian divisions.

Ukrainian Olympics Committee: Do Not Shake Hands With Or Congratulate Russian Athletes

Ukraine’s National Olympics Committee (NOC) is releasing conduct guidelines for the country’s athletes, explicitly warning them against making any contact with Russians during the upcoming Paris Games. The governing sporting body has prepared a new protocol of conduct for the country’s athletes, NOC boss Vadim Gutzeit revealed on Monday, which include “Do not congratulate each other, of course, do not stand up for any mass photos, do not give joint interviews, of course, do not shake hands.”  Given that even to attend the Olympics, Russian athletes must not have shown any support for Russia against Ukraine, this seems pretty harsh. The Paris 2024 summer Olympics have already been diminished, now they are becoming unsporting. It is very sad that Russian nationals are now being treated as the Jews and Negros were by the Nazis at the 1936 Berlin event.

Son Of A Rich!

On a lighter note, “Son of a Rich 2” is the top grossing film in Russia so far this year, coming from the success of the first. The spoilt son of an Oligarch is forced to reevaluate his morals and standards. For a taste of what to expect, the (English subtitled) trailer of the pretty hilarious first film is here. “She’s wearing undies from the future!”

The Number One Song In Russia

Right now, it’s the RKBeavers and their song “After The Rain”. The cool, if moody video is here.

Dinamo Moscow v Spartak Mocow

It was a top of the table Moscow derby in the Russian Premier League last weekend. Wanna watch the highlights? Of course you do, here

Food For Thought

What we’ve been reading:

Keep Safe. And have a great weekend!
Russia’s Pivot To Asia

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