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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Quick Little Oil and Gas Bounce? Ukraine Next?

Another short post.

A quick little bounce in Oil and Gas could be brewing...

From a technical perspective, both are massively oversold, and the Bulls haven't given up on the 'energy is going to infinity because we've reached Peak Oil and the Chinese are gonna buy up everything in the whole wide world' trade yet.

Geopolitical developments are starting to raise some eyebrows. The Russians aren't too keen on keeping the ceasefire in Georgia...

The real big prize is the Ukraine. With 11 million ethnic Russians living in the east, Russia is just 'itching to cause some serious shit' before December when NATO reviews Ukraine's membership application...

“Under the radar, in early December, tests came back from three undisclosed labs in Belgium, Britain and Germany, confirming what many scientists already suspected: In September, 2004, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko had been poisoned. His blood samples did indeed contain an abnormally high level of dioxin, 1,000 times the accepted level. One year later, Yushchenko's face—with its strong jaw and movie-star features, perfect politician material—remains badly pockmarked.

Dioxins are normal byproducts of industry and waste incineration. Most people have been exposed to them in small doses. For example, anyone who eats animal fat has a little dioxin in their bodies. But, in higher quantities, the chemicals can cause cancer, organ disease, miscarriages, menstrual ailments, low birth weight, abnormal hair growth or a severe form of acne called chloracne. This same skin condition plagued the locals exposed to a chemical spill in Seveso, Italy, in 1976 and now Yushchenko suffers the same fate.

Most experts believe Yushchenko ingested the dioxin on the night of September 5, 2004, in the midst of a neck-and-neck presidential race, after dining with General Igor Smeshko, the former head of Ukrainian intelligence. Shortly after dinner, Yushchenko complained of sickness and vomited. Bad sushi, the state-run media claimed at the time.

No one has been charged with the president's poisoning and, like most criminal cases in the former Soviet Union, it is unlikely to be solved. But that has not stopped scientists in the Ukraine from assembling their own version of events.

In the days following the dinner, Yushchenko fell gravely ill. He underwent three weeks of detoxification treatment while being sequestered at an Austrian clinic. Doctors diagnosed him with acute pancreatitis and symptoms of edema. But, two weeks later, his face developed pockmarks.

"We knew right away he was poisoned because his skin symptom was very symptomatic of this kind of dioxin," said Mykola Prodanchuk, one of Ukraine's top toxicologists and the director of the Kiev-based Institute of Eco-Hygiene and Toxicology.

Tasteless but highly toxic, the dioxin Yushchenko ingested was administered in a dose probably less than 1 mg. A drop in a bowl of soup would have gone undetected, said Prodanchuk. Yushchenko was served a rather large dose, roughly a quarter of the lethal quantity for rhesus monkeys. Once ingested, the dioxin—a fat-soluble chemical—moves from the blood to fatty tissues. The body then tries to eliminate the dioxin through its sebaceous glands, which are what causes skin to grow oily or pimply. Half a dose of dioxin gets eliminated every few years but never completely rids itself, Prodanchuk said.

The dioxin found in Yushchenko's blood—pure 2,3,7,8-TCDD—is "the most potent of all the dioxins," said Daniel Hryhorczuk, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Illinois. "I doubt someone could have been sophisticated enough to give a dose in the range where you'd be guaranteed to maim and not kill," added Hryhorczuk, implying that the intent was most likely Yushchenko's death, not disfigurement. Hryhorczuk said the dioxin was probably not a homegrown concoction made in Ukraine, but rather, the work of a foreign laboratory. "To make a compound this pure requires a lot of sophistication."

The early suspect: Russian intelligence. After all, it is no secret that Yushchenko, a pro-Western reformer, was not the Kremlin's preferred candidate in 2004. Moreover, Russia's KGB has a long history of failed assassination attempts of political figures, stretching as far back as the time of Rasputin, Tsarina Alexsandra's mystic who was nearly poisoned in 1916 by pastries laced with cyanide.”


Anonymous said...

thanks Ben.

Any plays on nat gas that you would suggest...other than

Anonymous said...

how does one play in the us? using

Anonymous said...

yea...good question. I can't get either.

Anonymous said...

Great post.

Anonymous said...

Let’s not get hysterical with “the Ukraine next” cry. Ukraine will sooner have a civil war or even split in two before it goes out against Russia. It came close to a civil war a few years back. Furthermore, Ukrainian politics is extremely murky business: “there are still more questions than answers about how he [the Ukrainian president] was poisoned and who was behind the act." Read here:

Don’t forget also that Saaki before the war had been a very unpopular president accused of corruption and murder of political opponents within the country. This little war rallies the populace around him, shuts up the opposition and comes right after he promised to investigate the accusations against himself and his family.

Same may go Yushchenko if judged by his son’s flamboyant life style: (

I would’ve thought that the best revenge is living well. But hey, maybe having your industry and infrastructure destroyed and your land littered with depleted uranium, mines and alike s**t is better.

Anonymous said...

I see that the "Putin poisoned Yushchenko" chestnut is being rehashed - clearly the recent developments out of Malorussia (aka Ukraine) have eluded the author. In late July, Yushchenko ally David Zhvania revealed that the dioxin claim was a fraud designed to help his election, and that his disfigurement was caused by food poisoning and alcohol... Yushchenko responded by accusing Zhvania of being the poisoner. Zhvania is an ethnic Georgian official in an anti-Russian Ukrainian nationalist party, you know, a "Ukraine in Nato" party.

Most likely scenario is that Zhvania is right and it was a hoax... if we are to believe Yushchenko then his own people poisoned him. Any way, Putin is off the hook.

It says a lot about Yushchenko's character that he "shoots the messenger" - someone blows his cover and he has the nerve to turn around and accuse him of being the poisoner and is setting the state prosecutor against him...and wants to ave him deported... a very low character, a very unpopular president who is going out of his way to start a war with Russia... I wonder if he has a death wish...

So here's an extremely unpopular president making extremely anti-Russian provocative moves and doing this against the will of most Ukrainians, and whose poisoning stunt has been exposed, and yet do we hear of his unpopularity in the West, do we hear that his "poisoning" was a hoax, that he accuses one of his own of the "poisoning"? Of course not! We still have to blame Putin, after all.

Alex said...

Kharkov is going to host Euro-2012 games. The city will accept ten thousand fans from Europe. And none of them knows, that during 2007 year 10423 tuberculosis infected persons have died in Ukraine. Many of them have forgotten, that illness. Germany, Finland, Austria, Italy do not inoculate their citizenzs against this lethal disease.

Unfortunately, funds became insufficient and the Kharkov authorities made an original decision. Keeping within the limits of Euro-2012 preparation Kharkov reduces the number of tubercular departments. So, by March, 15th 345 places of 545 available will be reduced in the first Kharkov’s antitubercular clinic №1. But do not worry, it is a temporary situation: liquidation of last two hundred places and complete liquidation of the whole clinic will occur till the end of this year.

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