Day 271 Roundup: Russian Forces Pound Ukrainian Strongholds; UN Urges End to Attacks on Zaporizhzhia Plant

Image copyright: AP Photo/LIBKOS [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • Nearly 400 strikes were launched in the eastern region by Russian forces against Ukrainian troops on Sunday, according to Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy. "The fiercest battles, as before, are in the Donetsk region," he said in a video address. He continued: "there have been almost 400 artillery attacks in the east since the start of the day."

  • According to Kyiv-based military analyst Oleh Zhdanov, Russian forces have been attempting to penetrate Ukrainian lines of defense in areas such as Bakhut and Avdiivka, but "to no avail." He added: "We fight back — they suffer huge losses."


The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Experts have made it clear – the situation at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant presents the threat of another Chernobyl. A nuclear disaster has, miraculously, been avoided so far, but the continuing risks and the safety and effectiveness of staff to control the reactors could have catastrophic consequences.

Establishment-critical narrative

Although Zaporizhzhia's cooling systems will be relatively vulnerable due to their contact with the outside world, the worst-case scenario would only cause severe damage at a local level. Both Russia and Ukraine are overstating the risk of nuclear catastrophe to galvanize domestic and international support.


Metaculus Prediction


Establishment split

CRITICAL

PRO

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