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Exxon Carries on Drilling Off Essequibo Despite Venezuela's Objections

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Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

-Ukraine said this week that it had destroyed a Russian warship off the coast of occupied Crimea, sinking the vessel with navy drones. This comes amid a number of developments related to the war in Ukraine this week, including a Ukrainian strike on a Russian border town, Belgorod, near a shopping center, in which seven people were killed on Thursday. The flashpoint, frontline city in Ukraine is now Avdiivka, near occupied Donetsk, which the Russians have turned their attention to. The Russians have yet to make any decisive breakthrough.

-Estonian intelligence warning that Russia is preparing for a military confrontation with the West in the next decade–analysis derived from the fact that Russia is planning to double its military troops at its borders with Finland and the Baltics.

-In Guyana, we view Venezuela’s deploying more troops to the border as tensions over Maduro’s claim on the oil-rich Essequibo area rise. Venezuela is building up its troop presence on Ankoko Island, a disputed territory on the border area with Guyana. The build-up is likely more of a smokescreen for Maduro, who has launched an all-out war with the opposition in Caracas in the face of presidential elections that are planned for this year. The buildup itself is unimpressive in terms of scale.

-On Thursday, U.S. Centcom said its forces had seized a weapons shipment from Iran en route to Yemen’s Houthis, who continue…

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