Preparing for War

Yesterday the Russian media reported that St Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko had signed a decree establishing the amount of grain reserves for the next three years. According to media estimates, they should guarantee that St Petersburg residents are supplied with 300 grams of bread a day for 20 days In the event of an emergency or a war.

The city, of course, denied such plans, and claimed that the grain stocks were meant to stabilize the price of bread.

Vadim Elistratov wrote on his blog:

Stocks of grain, rye, and wheat in St Petersburg consist of two parts – the “untouchable” reserve and the operating reserve. The first one guarantees the 5.2 million residents bread for 20 days. The second is needed to regulate the price of flour and baked goods.

In the next three years it is planned to hold in both reserves a total of not less than 69.7 thousand tons of grain. This would ensure that each resident got the prescribed 300 grams of bread a day. St Petersburg plans to spend 159,4 million rubles to replenish both reserves this year.

Of course, this brought on comparisons to the Siege of Leningrad during World War Two, when ration cards were used.

October 1941 – 200 grams of bread (via Elistratov)

Andrei Malgin wrote:

Why can’t it be a little more? On Twitter they say that in December 1941 to January 1942 they were given 350 grams of bread on a work card, and 200 grams for office workers. In February 1942, they increased the ration to 500 grams of bread for workers, 400 grams for civil servants, 300 grams for children and the non-working. A year later, in February 1943, they added 100 grams to each category.

Poltavchenko! Return to the blockade rules!

A former deputy of the Legislative Assembly, Irina Komolova, told Rosbalt that the information should not have been made public.

“Did it appear in order to provoke someone or something, or is it somebody’s stupidity, I cannot say. But the fact is that such things should not be reported…. The fact that it came up in St Petersburg, where such things are painful, is a criminal outrage. This information should exist, but to present it to the unprepared reader is shocking.” Komolova said.

According to her, Russians are likely to prepare for “some activities of an economic nature.” “We have long been accustomed to the idea that the country is surrounded by enemies, that in the near future we will need to tighten out belts, to protect the sole leader, and the territory. Many believe this. If so, then the training should be carried out more reasonably… It is like an obese person rising at 6am, giving him a rifle and saying “Run! Shoot!”.

But the current danger, she concluded, is that Russians will panic and hurry to their banks and stores, leaving empty bank accounts and empty shelves.

Meanwhile, a dietician told Rosbalt that 300 grams of bread “would only provide a third of caloric needs. It will be difficult for citizens to survive on such a diet is defective because hunger pangs change mentality and behavior.”

“300 grams is about 600-700 calories, provided that the quality of the bread is as it is now, and not [substituted] with sawdust…. A person should take two-thirds of the diet from somewhere else in order to maintain viability.”

He continued:

“Malnutrition day in and day out leads to hypoglycemic states, fainting, psycho-emotional breakdowns, mass manifestations of antisocial behavior. People will steal food and kill each other,” said the doctor. He added that hunger could cause mass cannibalism.


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