Making money off war - - Russian aggression toward Ukraine

This is going to be very short as i have been meaning to start the discussion but haven’t had time. With today’s dip I would like to get it going. Sorry if it sucks it’s my first DD.

$RSX is an ETF that tracks 31 Russian companies. At this time it is currently weighted with 16% of Russian financial institutions. If Russia invades Ukraine proper the United States has already threatened heavy financial sanctions (like Iran). Russian financial institutions will have a hard time dealing with the USD and any American financial institutions. It would be likely most European countries would follow suit.

Russia also makes a significant portion of their income from natural gas. Multiple major gas pipelines feeding Europe travel straight through Ukraine. There’s no guarantee these could be affected but I wouldn’t put it past Ukraine insurgents trying to cause significant damage to them. 39% of $RSX is weighted in Russian energy companies. This brings us to over half of the index that will be severly impacted by a full scale invasion.

Russia has been amassing a significant amount of troops and armor along Ukraine’s eastern border for a while now. You may be thinking this is just a show of force. That may be correct, but they couldn’t invade if they wanted to anyway right now. The ground isn’t frozen enough for their heavy tanks to be fully effective. If a full invasion happens it won’t be until late January or early February. They didn’t annex Crimea until late February.

I welcome the discussion on the possible decline of $RSX.


Number 1 fuck Russia.

Now that that’s out of the way, I like where your head is at with the financial institution side of things here, but I think the gas supply portion would be less likely impacted and if it were would be a much longer term effect. Being as gas is weighted so heavily in the etf, I wouldn’t put too much confidence in that being a factor just yet.

But overall I agree with the DD and the bearish stance. Good job


Maybe the play is to short individual Russia banks rather than the whole etf? 8% of RSX alone is in “Sberbank of Russia” (trading under SBRCY on OTC). Largest bank in Russia and Eastern Europe, 3rd largest in Europe (according to wikipedia Sberbank - Wikipedia). Quote from Secretary of State on the sanctions says “Those costs will include financial sanctions, and it’s been reported those sanctions will include key financial institutions” (, so it would make sense that the US would target Russia’s largest bank first with sanctions. It’s also down 9.4% today, so maybe market is pricing in Ukraine getting invaded already?


Confirmation, last time my fam was working a problem was Xmas 2019… see Solemani. Problem being worked now.


I was just sent this from CISA in response to increased cyberattacks against Ukrainian firms. I’m still at work and haven’t examined this deeply yet, but someone more familiar with the issue and cybersecurity stocks please feel free to interpret how this may affect markets.

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SBRCY down 20% since Thursday, not sure if there is still more downside from here. Been gaping down every morning since last Wednesday.

big companies have been preparing themselves for a few years, I don’t see anything in that CISA notification that hasn’t been pushed super hard internally where I work (I work in Denmark, but for a large company based in the US). Basically my work for the last 3 years or so has been 80% dedicated to security and getting everything up to compliance standards including legacy systems. It is my impression that other large organizations have been doing the same for a few years since security breaches started ramping up.

That said even without certain threats looming, as long as the amount of security breaches are rising as quickly as they are I think growth in the cyber security sector is going to grow along with it.

From an OPS perspective security takes a crap ton of knowledge (and constantly keeping it up) and most companies won’t have the expertise or the resources to do it inhouse, especially when you get out of the large enterprise space. This is where a lot of cybersecurity companies come in, they offer services that will essentially take care of specific areas for you.

Anyways all of this was just to say that most companies who are in the space stand to grow because there are no real alternatives. Most of these things were deemed as being not necessary 10 years ago, but suddenly it’s moving into the area where it’s absolutely vital even for small to medium sized companies.

There are a ton of companies in the space and they usually all specialize in one or a few things.

Things that companies will absolutely need going forward are:

Endpoint protection - This could be something like Imperva ($IMPV) or Cloudflare ($NET). These services are in front of all of the things you have exposed to the internet. They will monitor all incoming traffic and monitor for things like DDoS attacks and also do layer 7 traffic inspection (commonly referred to as a web Application firewall, or WAF). There are other companies in the space, but these are the ones I know of.

Vulnerability management / scanning - Qualys ($QLYS), Rapid7 ($RPD). They might do other stuff, but I mainly know them from their vulnerability scanning. They offer cloud services where you install an agent on all your servers and these agents will report to their cloud service and scan for all published vulnerabilities or known vulnerable configurations for applications. It gives IT professionals a fighting chance at keeping up with all the vulnerabilities that are being published (like the recent Log4j one for example)

That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. There are identity providers like Okta ($OKTA) helping companies provide MFA for their client or internal solutions and there are identity management systems like CyberArk ($CYBR). Proofpoint(not publicly traded) for e-mail and data loss prevention etc.

There are competitors for all of these companies, I essentially just listed the ones I have had personal interaction with because I use them at work.

TLDR: I think the cyber security sector is going to grow massively over the next 10 years. 10 years ago we used nothing of the things I listed above, all of it has been implemented in the last 4 years. We are a large company that is extremely sensitive about our security, so I imagine that there are a lot of companies that are slower moving than us, but everyone will need to do so eventually (especially true for companies dealing with the EU as well because of GDPR).


Any take on the defence industry from this? LMT has been steadily climbing and is already back to pre earnings level.

Just putting this out there as article has peaked my interesting in making a play on this.

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What about Russian gas-companies like Gazprom? They have been on the decline for a while now and it feels like noone wants to invest in them now if shit hits tha fan and we get a war. If this whole thing blows over and nothing happens, maybe its woth checking out since Germany and the rest of europe is still depending on russian gas after shutting down most of their nuclear plants.

With the US pulling non essential non essential personnel and other NATO countries doing the same I think the writing is on the wall now. Russia shows no signs of a pullback and only increasing their military presence in the area. The bear case is still on for RSX, the only question is how low this will go. We won’t find out until sanctions hit their economy.

As for questions on US defense industry that’s better suited for someone more versed in that area.

The institue for the study of War has been publishing regular updates to the situation unfolding in Ukraine.

This is an incredibly valuable resource for anyone wanting to understand what is happening.

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We saw a violent sell off today and RSX wasn’t spared. Puts we’re up hundreds of percent, i sold my entire position and overrode my greed. Thanks to this server for teaching me that.

I see no reason why this index can’t fall further. Nordstream 2 is over if they invade it will affect the biggest holdings of the index. Sanctions and being banned from SWIFT will affect the 2nd biggest holdings.

Watch for cheap entries on puts, don’t play FD’s on this!


Please use the link I posted two replies up as a very good resource for some of the best unclassified information regarding this conflict that is available! They updated their link:

Congress has since failed to pass legislation sanctioning Russia at the time of this writing and RSX is at a 30 day high closing at 25.5 today.

Russia is still amassing troops within Belarus, Crimea, and Ukraine’s eastern border (according to open source reporting from POTUS statements it’s 150,000+), they are showing no sign of actually withdrawing, while continuing their disinformation campaign that they are. The videos they have posted putting tanks on rail cars is obvious propaganda, and the “IED” video they released is about as comical as it gets. This is textbook old school Russia tactics to bolster their citizens confidence and willingness for military conflict as well as create confusion for their enemies. Watch for the coming days for more false flag attacks against Russian citizens residing in Ukraine or on the border within Russia. Cyber attacks will probably continue and ramp up before the actual invasion.

Today was a good opportunity to take puts, I went with 2/25 expiration at 22 strike as I think 2/18 might be too risky.


This briefing is still ongoing but has been fairly insightful as to US policy goals. Save for later.

Last night was the night Russia finally went for it as we all saw. The fund reacted just as thought and gapped down upon opening as we’ve seen previously with this news. BBarna had an amazing idea to play off the individual stocks within the fund as well so props to him!

I don’t see an end to this conflict anytime soon and the world is going to hurt Russia as hard as it can without military action. We could see further gap down in the coming days to weeks.

Glad everyone made a bunch, there were multiple entries and exits these past few weeks. My apologies for not updating this as often as I should of.

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