Day 242: Russian Defense Sec. Calls Western Counterparts, Kherson Residents Told to Flee

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The Facts

  • On Sunday, US defense secretary Lloyd Austin spoke by phone with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu, marking their second call in three days. According to the Russian ministry of defense, they again discussed the situation in Ukraine, though no further details were provided. The Pentagon is reportedly expected to provide a brief readout later on Sunday.

  • Shoigu also reportedly held calls with his French, British and Turkish counterparts on Sunday, during which he alleged Ukraine was planning to use a "dirty bomb" — i.e. a device that scatters nuclear waste using explosions — as a provocation to escalate the conflict, with the help of the West. Ukraine and British officials have vehemently denied this.

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.

Establishment split



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