Day 149 Roundup: Grain Export Deal Signed; Russia Accuses Ukraine of Firing on Nuclear Plant

Photo: AP Photos [via AP News]

The Facts

  • Russia and Ukraine signed a landmark UN-backed deal on Fri. to restart the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports. The signing ceremony took place in Istanbul and was attended by UN Sec. General António Guterres. Ukraine wouldn't sign an agreement with Russia directly, with the two sides instead signing "mirror" agreements with Turkey and the UN.

  • Meanwhile, as Ukrainian forces reportedly repelled assaults towards the Vuhlehirsʹka Tes power station near Bakhmut in Donetsk, the second largest in the country, Russia accused Ukraine of firing at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The plant – which is the largest in Europe – was captured by Russian forces in the first days of the invasion.


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 an 5% chance that there will be a serious radiation incident at any nuclear plant in Ukraine by 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


Establishment split

CRITICAL

PRO

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