Wikipedia defines land grabbing as the contentious issue of large-scale land acquisitions: the buying or leasing of large pieces of land by domestic and transnational companies, governments, and individuals. Russia appears to be taking this concept a step further by using military force.
Prior to Russia’s invasion, Ukraine has not been all that visible in the West, certainly not in the context of the country’s vast natural resources. Ukraine is one of the world’s largest sources of a wide range of agricultural products, industrial metals and fossil fuels.
Investors might want to take these facts into consideration in assessing how the current hostilities might end. If Russia is, in fact, engaged in a giant land grab, the slaughter and/or displacement of millions of Ukraine’s citizens and the flattening of cities, becomes irrelevant to its objectives. Controlling a large part of Ukraine and its resources, particularly in the East, would further strengthen Russia’s ability to dictate to the West. See our blog of February 4, 2022, “I’ve Got the World on a String.”
All comments and suggestions are welcome.
Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA