Why Putin is Committed to His War

Senior Sovereign Analyst Hassan Malik explains what the historical roots of President Putin's ambitions signal about his intentions.

Loomis Sayles’ Senior Sovereign Analyst Hassan Malik, PhD, CFA® details comments from Putin and senior Kremlin officials’ speeches that may amount to the rationalization of his invasion of Ukraine. While perhaps far-fetched and certainly highly contested, Putin’s musings are familiar among Russian historians. Add to this Putin’s as yet unattained strategic military objectives, and we may unfortunately be looking at a protracted conflict. The video’s highlights include:

  • One such speech displayed a state-sponsored shaded map of Ukraine, suggesting that various regions of the country were gifted to Ukraine by Communist leaders Lenin, Stalin, and Khrushchev and various Russian czars.
  • Another Kremlin argument “soaked in historical passions” suggests that Ukraine is represented by a Nazi regime. Given that Ukraine President Zelensky is of Jewish descent, Malik explains that this untenable position may be designed to signal a regime change, particularly given old wounds from widespread devastation that the Soviet Union suffered during World War II.
  • One of the Kremlin’s military strategic objectives was the restoration of freshwater access from the Ukrainian mainland to the Crimean Peninsula. This goal, explaining Putin’s movement south, has been achieved to a significant degree in the month-old conflict.
  • Another of Putin’s military intents, seizure of the key southern Ukrainian ports of Mariupol and Odessa, has yet to be attained. This unfortunately may signal that, from a military strategic standpoint, the Kremlin is not ready to stop the clock on their destruction of Ukraine until these goals are met.

All investing involves risk, including the risk of loss. Investment risk exists with equity, fixed income, and alternative investments. There is no assurance that any investment will meet its performance objectives or that losses will be avoided.

This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. The analysis and opinion expressed represent the subjective views of Hassan Malik as of March 2022 and may change based on market and other conditions. There can be no assurance that developments will transpire as forecasted. Actual results may vary.

This material may not be redistributed, published, or reproduced, in whole or in part. Although Natixis Investment Managers believes the information provided in this material to be reliable, including that from third-party sources, it does not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of such information.