Russia’s Largest Port Comes Under Fire

Featured, Peter Zeihan, Ukraine

The Ukrainians and Russians had a hectic weekend, so let’s get caught up.

On Friday, the Ukrainians used a naval drone (a motorboat loaded with a crap ton of explosives) to hit a Russian vessel in the port of Novorossiysk. These naval drones have been successful so far; just look at the Kerch Strait Bridge. However, a naval drone hitting Novorossiysk would signal a considerable range increase OR that a third party is involved.

So how does this play into commercial shipping? On Saturday, the Ukrainians hit a Russian tanker with one of these drones. And if that marks the beginning of a trend, this will be a big problem for many people. As the Black Sea becomes a no-go zone, Russia’s global position will suffer because everything they do is dependent on free movement…if that goes up in smoke, everything does.

I’ve been surprised up to this point that not everything has gone up in smoke, but it’s looking like those days might be over. The “restraint” that we’ve seen from both sides has practically gone away overnight, and there will be huge whiplash effects. The oil industry, in particular, will face significant disruptions; most of that falling on China and the rest of East Asia.

A lot still needs to happen, but the Russians could be losing their strategic position in the water, their ability to penetrate global economies, and their ability to project power across the wider world…not to mention a complete reordering of international energy. So yeah, things are heating up.

Peter Zeihan is a world expert in geopolitics: the study of how place impacts financial, economic, cultural, political, and military developments.

He presents customized executive briefings to a wide array of audiences including financial professionals, Fortune 500 firms, energy investors, and a mix of industrial, power, agricultural, and consulting associations and corporations.

Mr. Zeihan has been featured in, and cited by, numerous newspapers and broadcasts including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, AP, Bloomberg, CNN, ABC, The New York Times, Fox News, and MarketWatch.

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