Day 105 Roundup: Russia Claims 97% Control of Donbas; Zelenskyy Says Ukraine Must Achieve 'Full De-Occupation'

    Photo: AP Photos [via The Washington Times]

    The Facts

    • Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tues. claimed Moscow's forces controlled 97% of the territory in Luhansk and Donetsk – collectively the Donbas – as Russia reportedly closed in on its goal of controlling the region.

    • Shoigu also claimed Russian forces had "completely liberated" residential areas in the Luhansk city of Severodonetsk and fighting was reserved to the outskirts. Ukrainian officials, including Pres. Zelenskyy, said the country's defense of the city continued and that fierce street combat raged on.


    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 3% chance that NATO will declare a No-Fly Zone anywhere in Ukraine before 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

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