Day 200: Ukraine Claims 40 Settlements Have Been 'Liberated'; ZNPP's Last Operating Reactor Shut Down

Day 200: Ukraine Claims 40 Settlements Have Been 'Liberated'; ZNPP's Last Operating Reactor Shut Down
Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images [via CNN]

The Facts

  • As Russia continues to withdraw from the Kharkiv region after Ukraine made a rapid advance in its counteroffensive on Sat., Ukraine's Deputy Head of the Kharkiv region military administration announced that 40 settlements have been "liberated," noting, however, that this includes only places where Ukraine has seized full control, and there are more areas where Ukraine has raised its flag.

  • Russia's Defense Ministry hasn't acknowledged the retreat, but rather has said that its forces are leaving the area "temporarily" to redeploy to the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR). While Evgeniy Evtushenko, a member of the Russian parliament, has said that "Russian armed forces will return control of all Russian land in the Kharkiv region."

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Experts have made it clear – the situation at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant presents the risk of another Chernobyl. Nuclear disaster has, miraculously, been avoided so far, but continuing risks 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 serious damage at a local level. Both Russia and Ukraine are over stating the risk of nuclear catastrophe to galvanize domestic support for the invasion and play upon Western fears to incentivize providing military and public support respectively.

Establishment split



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