Ukrainian Gold Fantasies

I am sure that most STFU readers know by now of the news from more than a week ago, reported by GATA on 7 March (http://www.gata.org/node/13754), that the US had taken custody of all of the Ukrainian gold reserves.  I originally saw a barely intelligible machine translation (no URL saved) of the original news release from Iskra News (located in the Eastern Ukraine, where there are a majority of Russian speakers), but the GATA version has been cleaned up considerably.
 

A reworded, condensed version of the story (with my quotation marks) is that four trucks and two VW minibuses, all without license plates, were waiting on the tarmac when a 'transport aircraft' landed at Borispol Airport, near Kiev.  The fifteen waiting people, dressed in black and armed, quickly loaded more than 40 'heavy boxes' onto the aircraft, which (after other mysterious men had boarded) then took off on an emergency basis. Later, a senior official of the former Ministry of Income and Fees reported in a return call (presumably to Iskra) that the US had taken custody of all gold reserves in Ukraine. Various estimates from the intertubes of the Ukrainian gold reserves involved have varied from 33 or 36 up to 43.2 tonnes.


The application of some third-grade arithmetic to the figures above cause some reasonable doubt on the verisimilitude of the story, or at least on its elaborations with regard to the implied amount of gold putatively involved.  First of all, those must have been some really big, heavy trucks if four of them could carry 33 or more tonnes, recalling the size of the ubiquitous ‘deuce n' a half' US military trucks in use back when I was fulfilling my 'Universal Military Servitude' in the late 1950s.  Secondly, those must have been some really sturdy, heavy-duty boxes if 40 of them contained all of the reported (2013) Ukrainian gold reserves, as each of the 'more than 40' would have weighed at least 700 kilograms, or even up to 1000 kilos, depending on the claimed amount of gold. How many even big and strong men does it take to lift and carry that much weight, much less to hurriedly load it onto an aircraft?  What would they have used?  Slings, with or without carrying poles?  No mention of a fork-lift or two in the news release!  And then, to cut this post short, last but not least what sort of ''transport aircraft' was involved?  Unless it was a high wing military 'roll-on roll-of’ design, like the US C-M5 Super Galaxy or Russian AN-124, either of which can carry well more than three times the reputed amount of gold, how could the men have gotten it up into a cargo version of a low-winged passenger jet without mechanical loading aids?

Note that it was a 'senior official' of the former regime that made the claim that the US had taken Ukrainian gold reserves, as there was no report of anyone at the airport looking inside the boxes..  Perhaps the former official was trying to divert attention from prior reports that the deposed President had squirreled Ukrainian gold away to Russia before he fled there himself?  Presuming that the airport report had any veracity at all, what else could have been in those heavy boxes?  Maybe something like nerve gas canisters or small nukes that somebody wanted to keep out of the clutches of the US sponsored neo-fascist armed groups that had seized power?  Use your imagination!  Everybody else commenting on this 'story' certainly has.

7 comments:

endzeit14 said...

Last week we received new fire wood. 24 palettes, 1.7 m³ each. Delivered in one single truck. Unloaded with a forklift and placed in our storage hovel. Personnel: One man. Duration: 1.5 hour.
A very easy task.

Slow Loris said...

endzeit:

How much did each of those palettes of fire wood weigh?

How long would it have taken how many men to unload them and stack them in your 'storage hovel' if they hadn't had a forklift?

SLL

endzeit14 said...

SLL,
one palette weighs roughly 900 kg.

From where do you know, that no forklift was available for the gold?

Slow Loris said...

endzeit:

As I suggested in my post, we know nothing at all for 'sure' from the original news report or from the ex-government source that linked the reported activity to Ukrainian gold.

The report did not mention any mechanical loading machinery, such as a forklift, so I just imagined that nothing of the sort was available.

You are of course free to imagine that the fifteen armed men had one.

Whether or not they 'actually' did is irrelevant to whether or not the heavy boxes contained gold, or something quite different.

SLL

Elmer Habavilo said...

hopefully the US was able to secure the 33 tons of Ukrainian gold for the Ukrainian ppl, and keep it out of the greedy hands of Yanukovych, the democratically elected leader of Ukraine, who was deposed by the good Ukrainian ppl when his regime ultimately became despotic and just plain corrupt. The situation was similar to what happened in Libya, where that regime was ousted via a humanitarian action on the part of NATO. Presumably or hopefully the US was able to secure the 115 or so tons of Libyan gold for the Libyan ppl. Irresponsible commentators have suggested that the timing of the overthrow in Libya in sept 2011 coincided with the top of the gold chart at $1920, suggesting that Libyan gold was used to satisfy paper gold contracts on the comex. Similarly, some have suggested that Ukrainian gold can be used to depress the price of gold. I find this to be a shameful accusation because the whole point of the USA's $5 billion in assistance for the liberation of Ukraine was to maintain SOME semblance of democracy and some respect for the will of the ppl there. Also, 33 tons is hardly enough to be significant on the world market at all-- it's equivalent to about a few days of global gold production. In any case, if US involvement in other countries did really have the point of maintaining the dollar as main reserve currency and suppressing gold, that can no longer work because Russia is annexing land (crimea) and trying to successfully resisting the overthrow of tyrannical regimes that Russia supports (Syria)... Given that Russia is now pursuing aggressive nationalistic ends in Central Asia and the Middle East , and is resisting humanitarian aid to various indigenous populations offered by the Eu and the USA , presumably the deplorable commentary about the US interest in "maintaining Bretton woods at all costs" will subside... the other option is that gold will now move back to its previous highs because US control of resources is in decline as Russian bald-faced imperialism continues, and Obama refuses to lift a finger to stop it and to preserve the integrity of national borders in that troubled area of the world

Elmer Fuddman Habs

Slow Loris said...

@ Elmer

Thank you Fuddman Habs for the post.

Now at least we all finally know where you're coming from!

SLL

Elmer Habavilo said...

SLL - yes. And let no man compel me to find my previous posts on this glorious site where I laid out how food inflation will finally pick up in earnest in the USA this year!

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-26/real-inflation-fear-us-food-prices-are-19-2014