Day 131 Roundup: Russia Turns to Donetsk After Taking Control of Luhansk

    Photo: Reuters [via al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • After Russian forces this weekend took control of Lysychansk, the last holdout in Luhansk, the region's exiled governor Serhiy Gaidai said Russia's sights will now turn to neighboring Donetsk, namely the cities of Bakhmut and Sloviansk. Gaidai also stated that: "Bakhmut has already started being shelled very hard."

    • According to the Mayor of Sloviansk, Vadym Lyakh, the city came under heavy shelling from multiple launch rocket systems over the weekend. He also claimed that six people had died and 15 more were wounded in attacks on Sunday.


    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    As the war shifts to the strategically important region of 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's a 33% chance that the US government will designate Russia a "State Sponsor of Terrorism" by 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

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