Day 217 Roundup: West Slams Referendum Results; Nord Stream Tensions Continue

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The Facts

  • After officials in Russian-controlled territories of Ukraine declared referendum results pointing to their intent to join Russia, US, EU, and Ukrainian officials slammed the process, which they alleged was illegitimate. The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, called the referendums a "sham" and said the US will table a Security Council resolution condemning them.

  • Thomas-Greenfield added that the resolution, which Russia can veto, would further obligate the country to withdraw its troops from Ukraine. Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said the referendums were conducted transparently and in line with international norms. According to pro-Russia officials in Ukraine, 99.23% of the Donetsk region voted in favor of joining Russia, as did 98.42% in Luhansk; 93.11% in Zaporizhzhia; and 87.05% in Kherson.

The Spin

Anti-Russia narrative

Marching voters to the ballot box behind a gun barrel, Vladimir Putin has got the results he pre-ordained with this "election." This sham referendum is illegitimate and will have no impact on Ukraine's attempts to reclaim its territory.

Pro-Russia narrative

These vital referendums were conducted transparently and by the standards of international norms. The people of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson freely decided to reunite with Russia. This is a momentous occasion.

Nerd narrative

There is a 5% chance that Ukraine will officially recognize a former Ukrainian territory as independent before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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