Day 97: Most of Severodonetsk Under Russian Control; At Least 5 Civilians Killed in Donetsk

    Photo: Getty Images [via The Guardian]

    The Facts

    • Russian forces have reportedly gained control of most of the Luhansk city of Severodonetsk, according to regional gov. Sergiy Gaidai, after fierce fighting. He said 90% of the city is destroyed, and there is now "no possibility to leave." An estimated 10k civilians are believed to remain in Severodonetsk, less than 10% of its pre-war population.

    • Meanwhile, Russian forces also reportedly struck a nitric acid tank at a chemical plant in the city on Tuesday. Gaidai has advised residents to stay in their shelters and "prepare protective face masks impregnated with soda solution."


    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The Azov Regiment, a minority in the larger make up of the Ukrainian military, has rightly dropped the Medieval German symbol that was adopted by the Nazis and was being used by Russian propagandists to exploit claims of far-right nationalism. Instead, they're opting for a golden trident, the Ukrainian national symbol worn by other regiments.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Despite mainstream media's minimization of the Azov Battalion, they clearly promote neo-Nazism and are receiving US and NATO weaponry to fight their proxy war with Russia. Just as the US funding of the Taliban to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan helped create Al-Qaeda, doesn't current support for Azov forces risk making the West complicit in creating the next terrorist organization?

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 52% chance that Vladimir Putin will be charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Court before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

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