How to Gauge Russia’s Progress in Ukraine

First of all, absolutely do not listen to the media. Don’t even listen to a word they say. Not a single word. It is literally all lies.

So we’ve ruled the US media out. But how are we supposed to know how the war is going if we don’t know who we can trust? Well, there are some great accounts on social media you can follow–primarily people who live in Russia and Ukraine and are not affiliated with the Western media in any way, shape or form.

A great person to follow is Gonzalo Lira, who lives in Kharkov and has been doing a lot of great livestreams on his YouTube channel almost every day of the war.

There’s also the Russians With Attitude Twitter account, they’re great. This morning, they informed their followers about an important breakthrough made by the Russian army in Luhansk:

There are plenty of other great social media accounts that you can follow to get the truth.

But ultimately these people are not on the front lines, nor are they placed within government, and they do not have the full story.

That’s why my favorite source on this war is not a person, but the foreign exchange market.

Specifically, the Russian ruble/US dollar exchange rate. That, in my view, is the best gauge of Russian progress, not only in this war in Ukraine, but in its financial cold war with the West.

Early in the war, the ruble got massacred against the dollar, but now it is back to just about where it was before the war, recovering almost all of its losses.

If Russia was losing this war, the ruble would be getting crushed. It’s as simple as that.

The sanctions against Russia have definitely hurt, but not nearly as much as America’s government would have liked. And Russia has leverage of its own, in the form of its energy exports.

At the end of the day, the world needs Russian energy exports, and there ain’t a damn thing America can do about it. Russia is using that leverage to strengthen the standing of the ruble. By demanding payment for its exports in rubles, Russia is forcing countries to acquire rubles, which increases the value of the ruble.

The ruble is now effectively an oil/gas-backed currency.

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