The Great Game – Ukrainian Spring Offensive – 3 things investors should look out for
The wait is over – the Ukrainian Spring Offensive is here! We have discussed it for months and now all that remains is to see how it goes. What does this mean for investors and what should you look out for?
Lets begin with a quick rundown of the facts on the ground:
- The Russian regained the initiative last fall by shoring up their defenses behind the Dniepr and waiting for the Winter.
- Putin then hired a new General for the campaign – Gerasimov – who was clearly under pressure to start a new Russian offensive
- The offensive happened in Bakhmut, but was mainly driven by Progozhin’s Wagner forces.
- The Ukrainians incredibly are still holding on to Bakhmut, which has effectively killed the Wagner Group and the entire Russian Winter Offensive.
- Now, the Ukrainians have prepared new units with Western tanks and weapons and we’re all waiting for a Spring offensive
- The direction of the offensive is expected to be directly south towards Melitopol or the rubbles of Mariupol.
- We have seen reports of Ukrainians attacks east of the Dniepr close to Kherson and rumours of an attack on the Russian city of Belgorod. These are likely feints aimed at keeping Russian forces in those regions occupied and away from the main action.
We obviously don’t know how the spring offensive will go, but investors should be on the lookout for how Putin and the Russian military/economic machine responds. We see three potential moves, that would influence markets:
Weaponization of Black Sea shipping
When the war broke out last February, there was much concern over global food prices since Russia is a major exporter of crops and fertilizer. The fears were initially substantiated