Day 202 Roundup: Russian Officials Call on Putin to Resign; Kharkiv Again Without Electricity

Photo: Institute for the Study of War [via BBC]

The Facts

  • In the wake of a hasty Russian withdrawal, as Ukraine's counteroffensive in Kharkiv continues, as many as 49 municipal deputies in Russia have signed a petition calling on Pres. Vladimir Putin to resign. The petition, tweeted by a St. Petersburg municipal deputy, Ksenia Tortstrom, makes no mention of the war in Ukraine but says Putin's actions "harm the future of Russia and its citizens."

  • As Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his latest address claimed the counterattack has now retaken 2.3K sq mi (6K sq km), Vitaly Ganchev, a Russian-appointed official in Kharkiv, claimed Ukrainian troops in the region outnumbered Russia's by eight to one.

The Spin

Narrative A

The stunning advance of Ukraine's armed forces in Kharkiv – including the recapturing of Izium, Kupianst, and other logistically important cities – is a masterstroke of military planning. Ukraine may have just turned the whole complexion of the war.

Narrative B

Kyiv still faces hurdles in winning this war. While Ukraine's surprise counterattack in the north-east should be celebrated, going on the offensive could be costly. It takes a greater toll on ammunition, equipment, and troops, and extending supply lines as Ukrainians advance puts them at greater risk of being attacked or cut-off.

Nerd narrative

There's a 23% chance of a coup or regime change in Russia during 2022, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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