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The Missile – May 27

Russia Gains Ground in Bid to Encircle Troops Defending Ukraine’s East
Russian forces made fresh gains in fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region Friday, engaging in street battles in the city of Severodonetsk, as Moscow brought to bear its advantage in firepower on outgunned Ukrainian defenders.
Ukrainian troops have withdrawn from Lyman, the latest Donbas city to fall to Russian forces in the region in recent days, Ukrainian officials said. These Russian advances, if they continue, could encircle a large grouping of Ukrainian forces fighting in the easternmost part of Ukrainian-administered Donbas.
Ukrainian officials say they urgently need longer-range multiple-launch rocket systems, or MLRS batteries, of their own to hold the ground in Donbas. “The situation is threatening and will soon become catastrophic,” a senior Ukrainian official said Friday.

Johnson Urges Missiles for Ukraine to Hit ‘Crocodile’ Putin
Boris Johnson urged more military support for Ukraine as it battles Russian forces, including sending advanced weapons such as Multiple Launch Rocket Systems that can strike targets from a far longer distance.
That request has been met with some caution on whether it would bring allied nations closer to direct confrontation with Russia. While the MLRS would be more effective against Russian artillery, its deployment would add to the risk that missiles land over the border in Russia, whether intentionally or by accident.

Gas Prices Are Surging, Demand Is Slipping Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend
Gasoline demand, measured on a four-week rolling average through May 20, fell to 8.8 million barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Excluding 2020’s steep drop in demand during pandemic lockdowns, the last time average demand for this time of year was lower was in 2013.
The skittishness comes as gas prices continue to rise. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in the U.S. reached $4.60 on Thursday, a 51% increase from a year ago and a new all-time high. 

US Wage Increases Show Signs of Peaking in Welcome Sign for Fed
Economists are penciling in a moderation in annual earnings growth to 5.2% in May from April’s 5.5% in data out next week. Those figures are among the highest in records dating back to 2007.
“We’ve reached a level of wage inflation where employers are going to say, ‘I’ve done as much as I can,’” said Jonas Prising, chief executive officer of ManpowerGroup Inc., the Milwaukee-based staffing company that serves more than 100,000 clients worldwide. “‘My consumers and customers aren’t going to accept me passing these costs on any further, so we need to start to mitigate them.’”

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