Day 289: Blaze Destroys Moscow Mall

    Photo: TASS [via The Moscow Times]

    The Facts

    • On Friday, a huge blaze broke out at one of Russia's largest malls in Moscow shortly after dawn, later spreading to over 18K square meters. Local officials said at least one person was killed. While a criminal investigation has been launched, there's been no suggestion of links to Ukraine so far.

    • However, Ukrainian attacks within Russian territory continued to be reported on Thursday; an explosion heard in the border region of Belgorod caused a fire at an undisclosed location. An explosion was also heard over Crimea, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a drone was shot down before reaching its intended target.


    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 an 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 52% chance that Russia will control any formerly Ukrainian territories other than LPR, DPR, or Crimea on January 1, 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

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