Needless Death and Misery

The war in Ukraine is in its sixth month, and there’s no end in sight. Here’s what we know…

Almost everything you heard about the war in Ukraine from U.S. media over the course of March, April and May was a lie.

You heard that Putin was losing the war. You heard that Russians had poor training and low morale and were deserting in droves. You heard that Ukrainians were destroying Russian armor in large numbers to blunt the Russian advance.

None of this was true. In fact, Russian troops have achieved major victories in Mariupol, Kherson, Severodonetsk, Lysychansk and other key targets that control rivers, ports and junctions in Ukraine.

U.S. Willing to Fight Russia to the Last Ukrainian

This article isn’t about strategy and I don’t want to get too deeply into the weeds, but Russia’s next targets are Slovyansk and Bakhmut, which will consolidate Russia’s control over the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

Russia has also deployed anti-drone laser systems that have neutralized Ukraine’s ability to target Russian positions with drones. The endgame is the takeover of Odessa, which would give Russia control of 100% of Ukraine’s coastlines along the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea.

A negotiated settlement that cedes Russian control over Crimea and the Russian-speaking parts of eastern Ukraine is probably the most realistic solution available to end the war. But the U.S. doesn’t want the war to end. Its plan is to wear Russia down through a protracted conflict, no matter how much the Ukrainian people suffer.

The battlefield situation aside, the story is even worse from the U.S. perspective…


Russia is not just winning the war on the ground. It’s winning the global financial and economic war launched by Biden and our European allies.

Russia’s revenues from oil and natural gas exports are at all-time highs. The Russian ruble is much stronger today than it was when the war began. China and India are buying all the Russian oil that Europe is refusing to buy.

Meanwhile, the economies of the U.S. and the EU are in or very near to recession. Inflation is out of control in the West. Commodity shortages will lead quickly to food shortages and more empty shelves in supermarkets.

Across the board, Biden’s economic sanctions have backfired and are hurting the U.S. and Europe far more than they are hurting Russia.

Not Pro-Russian, But Pro-Truth

I’ve been reporting honestly on the war since the beginning. My readers have not been misled by false reporting because I’ve been candid about the real impact of sanctions and Russia’s brutal but effective battlefield tactics.

It’s not that I’m pro-Russian — I’m not. I’m pro-truth. And I don’t defend the Russian invasion in any way (although I do understand it).

Even Bloomberg and The New York Times are now starting to admit that the war is a lost cause for Ukraine and the U.S. economy is suffering from sanctions aimed at Russia. But it’s a little late for legacy media to get their story straight.

What we know right now is the economic damage to the U.S. economy will get much worse before the economy gets better. Biden won’t stop the sanctions soon. That means the trashing of the U.S. economy will continue.

Meanwhile, Russia is “temporarily” shutting down the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline to Germany for repairs. Of course, the temporary shutdown may become permanent. It’s just more proof that U.S.-led sanctions only hurt the U.S. and Europe, not Russia.

Failed Sanctions Against Russia May Actually Lead to Other Wars

Here’s another potentially dangerous side effect of the failed sanctions campaign against Russia:

Economic sanctions may now facilitate war instead of preventing or stopping it. Why? Because U.S. sanctions on Russia are a complete failure. Nations considering invasions that might have been deterred because of sanctions threats may now feel emboldened and that they can proceed with confidence.

How this new dynamic plays out in hotspots like the Taiwan Strait remains to be seen. But it would be deeply ironic if sanctions actually encouraged China to move against Taiwan.

These are the sorts of issues that should be thoroughly thought through before action is taken. But our political leaders are incapable of thinking even one move ahead.

The U.S. has already committed about $56 billion to assist Ukraine, which will likely turn out to be a very poor investment. But American taxpayers might be fleeced even more…

Give Us More Money!

The prime minister of Ukraine has calmly asked an international conference for $750 billion of assistance to rebuild Ukraine after the war. Nice try. There are a few problems with this. First of all, there will be no Ukraine to rebuild, at least not in its current form.

Russia will take somewhere between a third and half the country and keep it. The parts that Russia is taking control of include the industrial nexus, the largest natural resource deposits and the most fertile land. Russia will be able to finance the reconstruction of their conquests using the very industrial capacity, mining and agricultural output they have captured.

Russia will also control the ports and major rivers and will be able to tax the remainder of Ukraine for access. The gradual result will be a prosperous part of Ukraine controlled by Russia and a desperately poor part of Ukraine left to the corrupt oligarchs under Zelenskyy.

You’re on the Hook to Rebuild Ukraine

When asked how Ukraine will finance the $750 billion demanded, the prime minister said they could use assets seized from Russian oligarchs. But that’s ridiculous. There may be $5 billion or $10 billion in yachts and townhouses, but nothing close to $750 billion.

The truth is that this money will be expected to come from the U.S. and the EU, either directly or indirectly through the World Bank and the IMF. In other words, you are going to pay for it one way or the other. Of course, most of the money would end up in the hands of corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs.

It’s unlikely much reconstruction will get done anyway because Ukraine has long been a money-laundering operation for the benefit of U.S. politicians including the Clintons, Bidens and Obamas.

That’s something to bear in mind when your taxes start going up to “help” Ukraine.


Jim Rickards
for The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning