THE RUSSIAN MASSACRE OF UNARMED CITIZENS in Ukraine will alter the war in several ways, as chances of an imminent truce and a deal slip significantly.
ANALYSTS BELIEVE Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, clearly shaken by the carnage, is now far less inclined to negotiate — and much less likely to cede any of eastern Ukraine to the Russian butchers.
ZELENSKY IS DETERMINED to get more arms and more sanctions from the West, and there’s a very good chance that he will receive fresh support that could allow him to fight on for months to come. Ukrainians would reject any concessions to mass murderers; Zelensky’s popularity could erode if he even tried.
VLADIMIR PUTIN ALSO CAN HANG ON for months, even if his troops continue to suffer huge losses and his economy enters a deep Depression. He has public support in Russia and is willing to destroy much of Ukraine, as he did in murderous assaults in Syria and Chechnya.
NOW COMES A TEST: The Western world, largely unified, will not quickly forgive China, India and much of Middle East if they remain neutral. The biggest NATO issue is Germany’s addiction to Russian gas and oil, which has created a fissure within the alliance.
WE EXPECT MORE SANCTIONS AND ARMS SHIPMENTS within days. France, with a huge reliance on nuclear power, says it will back energy restrictions, but the prospect of higher gas and oil prices is not welcome as Emmanuel Macron faces a tightening election this month.
THE KEY IS THE BATTLEFIELD: Russian troops are retreating, in disarray and poorly supplied. Putin apparently is indifferent to their massive losses — perhaps over 40,000 killed or wounded, experts believe.
RUSSIAN PUBLIC OPINION, greatly influenced by state media lies, is a Putin asset for now, but at some point the enormity of Russian casualties will become apparent — and eventually Putin’s own generals may play a major role in ending this horrific war.
BOTTOM LINE: The nauseating videos of murdered civilians will have a major impact on global opinion; Russia’s claim of a hoax is pathetic. So the West will be sending more tanks, artillery, fighter aircraft, air defense systems, etc.
THE RUSSIANS CANNOT WIN on the ground, although their shelling and brutality can terrorize citizens. That has simply intensified the Ukrainian resolve and makes a truce unlikely any time soon. Why should Ukraine sue for peace? They’re winning the war, and once that becomes obvious in Moscow, Putin will be cornered.
A CORNERED PUTIN, facing a no-win guerrilla war, will be even less predictable and more murderous; at some point the push-back will come from his generals, the Russian public, the oligarchs, China, India, etc. Unfortunately, that push-back does not appear to be imminent, which means grain and fuel shortages — and very volatile markets — could persist for many more months.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies.
The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.
AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Investments LLC (AGFUS) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA and AGFUS are registered advisors in the U.S. AGFI is a registered as a portfolio manager across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.