Day 57 Roundup: Putin Calls Off Attack on Mariupol Steel Plant, Biden Authorizes $800M More in Aid

    Photo: AP Photos/Sergei Grits [via The Times of Israel]

    The Facts

    • Russian Pres. Putin ordered his troops not to launch an attack on the remaining Ukrainian holdouts in the Azovstal steelworks plant in Mariupol on Thurs., opting instead for a blockade.

    • He said: "The completion of combat work to liberate Mariupol is a success," but added that it would be "impractical" to risk sending soldiers to the labyrinth of tunnels under the facility. The US State Dept. has called Russian claims of having "liberated" Mariupol "misinformation."

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    As the war shifts to the strategically important Donbas regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, the US and its allies need to continue to do everything in their power to arm Ukraine with all the weapons they need. Doing so is the only way to push Putin's forces back as was done in Kyiv.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    As stated by Putin, the whole purpose of the war was never to invade Kyiv, but to liberate the ethnically Russian people of Donetsk and Luhansk, who have been subjected to systematic killing by Ukrainian forces for not recognizing the 2014 coup in Kyiv. This tragedy would have been avoided if NATO had kept its promise not to expand eastward in return for German reunification.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 95% chance that Mariupol will be under Russian control by Jun. 1, 2022, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Public figures in this story

    Establishment split