Day 279 Roundup: Russia Using Winter as a Weapon of War, Says US

    Photo: AP

    The Facts

    • White House spokesperson John Kirby has alleged that, by targeting Ukraine's energy infrastructure, Russia is using winter as a weapon of war. "[Putin] is a guy who's used food as a weapon. He's used fear as a weapon. Now he's using the cold weather here to try to bring the Ukrainian people to their knees," he said.

    • Describing the Russian attacks on Ukraine's civilian infrastructure as "attempts to take revenge", the country's Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address on Monday that he would, "do everything to restore every object, every house, every enterprise destroyed by the occupiers." Russian missile strikes have damaged nearly 30% of Ukraine's power grid.

    The Spin

    Anti-Russia 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.

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