Day 85 Roundup: Azovstal Plant Surrenders, Brings Mariupol Under Russian Control; UN Warns of Food Shortages

    Photo: Russian Defense Ministry [via AP News]

    The Facts

    • Russia's Defense Ministry said on Thurs. that a further 771 Ukrainian troops who'd been holed up in the Azovstal steelworks plant in Mariupol have laid down arms and surrendered in the last 24hrs, bringing the total to 1,730 since Monday. The city is now under Russian control, according to local officials.

    • On Wed. evening, Russia's foreign ministry said 51 wounded soldiers were receiving medical treatment in Russian-controlled Novoazovsk in Donetsk, while the remainder were being held at a former prison colony in Olenivka, also in Donetsk. It's not clear how many fighters remain in the Azovstal plant.

    The Spin

    Anti-Russia narrative

    This invasion is an egregious violation of international law. Putin's ultimate aim is to restore the Soviet empire, even if it takes massive bloodshed and false pretexts such as calling the 2014 Ukrainian revolution after a fraudulent election a "coup". This unprovoked attack is the latest chapter in Putin's Orwellian attempt to rewrite history.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    NATO and the US have ignored Russia's security concerns by breaking its promise not to expand eastward in return for German reunification. These concerns are legitimate and taking them seriously would have avoided the Ukraine tragedy.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 20% chance that Ukraine will have de facto control of at least 90% of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts by January 1, 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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