Here’s Why Russia Is Wetting Its Pants…

Written by Jason Simpkins
Posted May 19, 2023

Ever since they set foot on Ukrainian soil last year, Russian forces have been met with failure after failure after failure.

And despite the monumental effort by its sprawling propaganda apparatus to paint as rosy a picture as possible, there’s no masking Russia’s massive losses.

Depending on who you ask, Russia has suffered 100,000–200,000 casualties. And roughly a million people have fled the country to avoid being called into the killing fields.

The troops that remain are untrained, ill-equipped, and absent of will.

It’s a skeleton force both literally and figuratively. 

Strategically, the Russian army was forced to abandon its assault on Kyiv almost as soon as it started. 

From there, it was chased back across the Dnieper River as Ukraine reclaimed key the urban centers of Kharkiv and Kherson. 

Ukraine Territory Gains

That was back in November, before a lull in fighting over the winter. 

As winter gave way to spring, Russia launched a counter-offensive that fizzled out so fast even the country’s state-run media wasn’t sure it’d actually happened.

The most intense fighting centered on a city called Bakhmut. It doesn’t have much strategic value, but Russia was desperate for a win. 

It didn’t get one. 

The Wagner Group, a group of private mercenaries drawn from Russia’s prison population, attacked the city in waves, but the Ukrainian forces held on. 

This led to a very ugly rift in which the group’s commander, Yevgeny Prigozhin, accused the Russian government of sabotaging his unit. 

He accused the Kremlin of withholding information, weapons, and ammunition. And if Western intelligence is accurate, he may have offered to reveal Russian troop locations in exchange for a Ukrainian retreat. 

Leaked classified documents also suggested Prigozhin held phone calls and meetings with Ukrainian intelligence officers, discussing Russia's ammunition shortages and urging harder strikes against Russian troops.

The disunity is telling. 

And now Prigozhin’s position seems to be collapsing, as Ukrainian forces succeeded in pushing back Wagner’s front by about a mile an advance made possible by the acquisition of Storm Shadow missiles from the United Kingdom. 

These missiles are key, because they have a longer range than the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) provided by the United States last year. In fact, they have more than triple the range (155 miles), which lets them pierce deeper into Russian territory.

In addition to winning more breathing room for Bakhmut, the missiles could also clear the way for a pending Ukrainian counter-offensive. 

Indeed, Ukraine has long planned to pick up where it left off last fall and decisively expel Russian forces from its borders and in an ideal scenario, recapture Crimea.

Aiding in that effort will be several battalions of Leopard 2 tanks from Europe, as well as a group of Abrams tanks from the United States.

Everyone knows this assault is coming. It’s just a matter of when. 

But as it desperately clings to what little territory it has left, Russia is doing the only thing it can do the only thing that’s had any effect throughout the entirety of the war…

It’s launching volley after volley of missiles into Ukraine — forcing Ukraine to defend both military installations and civilian centers.

So far, though, it’s done a pretty good job thanks again to another key Western weapons export, the Patriot missile defense system.

The Patriot missile defense system (made by Raytheon) is a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defense system that counters tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and advanced aircraft.

Patriot Missile System

It was already deployed in 17 countries around the world before arriving in Ukraine in April. 

It’s already proven its value, as the system has provided unprecedented cover for the Ukrainian people, saving hundreds of lives. 

Ukrainian forces reported shooting down 18 Russian missiles and nine drones Monday night effectively neutralizing every single threat. It even intercepted six hypersonic Kinzhal missiles, which Russia claimed were unassailable.

[Note: For more information on hypersonic weapons, the company spearheading a U.S. response, and a huge potential profit opportunity, check out my full report here.]

“This night Russia attacked Ukraine from south, north, and east,” Ukrainian air defense forces wrote in a statement on Facebook. “From six aircraft MiG-31K, six hypersonic missiles X-47M2 ‘Kinzhal’ were launched, nine cruise missiles ‘Kalіbr’ — from ships off the Black Sea and three ground-based missiles (S-400, ‘Iskander-M’). All of them were shot down.”

That’s good news because the Russian attacks have continued unabated. The country has already conducted nine separate attacks this month, but so far, Ukraine has only been affected by the falling debris of intercepted munitions. 

Continued success in that capacity is absolutely crucial because it would take away the only tactic that Russia’s had any success with. 

And that should certainly alarm Vladimir Putin and what remains of his loyalist inner circle. 

The reality is that the Russian forces in Ukraine are battered and beleaguered. And if Ukraine is able to shield itself from Russia’s missile onslaught, it could fully unleash the firepower of Western tanks and munitions in a way that is definitive and decisive. 

Ukraine may or may not take back Crimea in the weeks ahead, but it could effectively restore its entire mainland outside of the peninsula. 

And that would be a shocking success for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and a humiliating and potentially un-recoverable defeat for Vladimir Putin.

Fight on,

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Jason Simpkins

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Jason Simpkins is Assistant Managing Editor of the Outsider Club and Investment Director of Wall Street's Proving Ground, a financial advisory focused on security companies and defense contractors. For more on Jason, check out his editor's page. 

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