Day 211 Roundup: Russia and Ukraine Exchange Prisoners, Protests Erupt in Russia

Photo: nytimes

The Facts

  • On Wednesday, Russia and Ukraine carried out the largest prisoner swap since the war began - almost 300 people were exchanged, including 10 foreigners and the commanders who led the Ukrainian defense of Mariupol earlier this year. The swap, which was organized with the help of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, saw 215 Ukrainian fighters released by Russia and 55 pro-Russia fighters released by Ukraine.

  • Elsewhere, at the UN, US Pres. Biden condemned Russia. He claimed that Moscow has “shamelessly violated the core tenets” of the international body with its war in Ukraine, and that nuclear threats against Europe showed “reckless disregard” for Russia’s responsibilities as a signer of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The Spin

Pro-establishment 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 is a 15% chance that Ukraine will receive a security guarantee from another country before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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