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TOPIC: shortages

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Hard Evidence Links Ukraine War Damage To Grain Shortages Around The World

Reporting from agricultural centers in eastern Ukraine confirms a landmark study: Extensive wartime damage to the country's crucial agricultural sector risks raising hunger in places that have counted on Ukrainian grain.

KHARKIV — It was the spring of 2022 when rockets began to land in Lyonid Lysachenko’s wheat fields in eastern Ukraine.

The first rockets landed “a few weeks after the invasion began,” he said, crunching across one of his snow-crusted fields nearly a year later, in early February. He stopped and hitched up the collar of his jacket against the biting wind, then pointed east. “Their positions were only a few kilometers away at one point. This whole area was within range.”

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Lysachenko has been farming this 1,100-acre-plus plot of land for more than three decades, and, at 70, his crushing farmer’s handshake has lost none of its strength. When he spoke of the war, though, his broad shoulders sagged a little and his smile faded.

The same day that Lysachenko’s farm was first hit, his neighbor’s was too. The neighbor’s grain was also destroyed. Lysachenko estimated the loss at more than 1,000 tons “because the rocket landed right in the middle of his warehouse.”

Soon after, another Russian rocket struck the large grain elevator at the center of Lysachenko’s property. No one was injured, but the building was obliterated, along with the grain inside. The financial damage was immense.

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What Russians Fear The Most (And It's Not Escalation In Ukraine)

An annual report has revealed Russians' anxieties. This year, contracting COVID has been replaced by food shortages, inflation, and internet blackouts.

MOSCOW — A recent report has revealed what Russians fear most. Carried out by the CROS agency (Public Relations Development Agency), the report traces Russian citizens' primary concerns over the first three months of the so-called "special military operation".

High on the list were fears caused by the blocking of Western social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (now only available via VPN) or the departure of foreign brands from the Russian market. So too was the issue of food shortages, which has dominated the minds of Russians since February. The issue has become so prevalent that it may be called a “pseudophobia,” the study says.

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The findings mark a sharp change from those published in 2021, which ranged from fears of contracting COVID to having freedoms limited by Russia’s harsh imposition of QR codes for entry into public places.

Fears caused by inflation and the increase in the number of violent crimes also came up high.

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In Real Life, Venezuela Is A Ticking Time Bomb

OCUMARE — It's midday on this Thursday, and hundreds of people are squeezing inside a supermarket in Ocumare, a poor city about an hour's drive south of Caracas. Armed police officers are allowing people in, but just a few at a time, infuriating the multitude massed outside since dawn to buy corn flour at a government regulated price.

As tensions mount, one policeman on a motorbike accelerates towards the crowd, forcing people to scatter.

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Venezuelan Health Care System, Now On Life Support

The supply crisis that has plagued supermarkets and consumers for months now has hit the health care sector, with medicines, doctors and even emergency care in short supply. Plummeting oil prices are a major factor, as is the legacy of Hugo Chavez.

CARACAS — Emilia Lares, 72, has been queueing for 40 minutes in the midday sun outside the pharmacy on Altamira Square, in eastern Caracas. "I'm running low on insulin reserves," she explains, visibly distressed.

She has other sick friends in the same situation, "whether they have from hypertension, heart problems or cancer."

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Extra! Food Prices Soar In Venezuela

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El Tiempo, August 18, 2015

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Passant Rabie

Tackling Egypt's Energy Crisis With Online Consumer Tools

As electricity costs climb in the face of energy shortages and a steep reduction in government subsidies, a new website helps consumers track their consumption and calculate costs.

CAIRO — When the lights come back on after a lengthy power outage, it's almost tradition in Egypt to utter cheers of el-noor geh (the lights are back).

It's a bit of a game, or at least it used to be, until power cuts became more frequent and severe over the past year, peaking last summer. These cheers have since been muted, replaced with mounting frustration.

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Daniel Salgar Antolínez

Hunger For Breakfast? Venezuela Facing Deep Shortages

A year after the death of President Hugo Chávez, food and consumer shortages are spreading through Caracas along with protests. Blame over-regulation or capitalistic hoarding?

CARACAS – "There's chicken in the Bicentenario!" ran the rumor around the capital one recent morning - referring to a well-known chain of big-box retailers. In one Bicentenario branch in the Plaza Venezuela people were practically rioting to get chicken, a staple product turned "scarcity" in Caracas.

But for those looking to stock up, there were few left that day, and only two per shopper could be purchased.

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America Economia

Voices Of Middle-Class Venezuelans In The Face Of Basic Shortages

CARACAS - The ongoing shortage of basic products – including food, personal hygiene products and medicine – is having a huge effect on Venezuela.

President Nicolas Maduro and his government have made several announcements to fight the shortage and have accused the opposition of fanning the flames. Meanwhile, people continue to struggle to find the products they need and many blame the government for the situation.

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