Day 261 Roundup: Ukraine Reclaims Dozens of Towns in Kherson Following Russian Withdrawal

    Photo: The Washington Post [via The Washington Post]

    The Facts

    • Ukraine has reclaimed dozens of towns and settlements in the southern Kherson region following the withdrawal of Russian troops from the west bank of the Dnipro River.

    • Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy said as many as 41 towns and settlements had been recaptured, but the figure couldn't be independently confirmed. He said: "Today we have good news from the south. There are now dozens of Ukrainian flags flying where they rightfully belong as a result of the ongoing defensive operation. 41 towns and villages have been liberated."

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Ukraine is demonstrating that, with continued Western military aid, it is able to drive Russian forces out of its territories. This bolsters the argument that support needs to be maintained until a total Russian defeat is achieved.

    Narrative B

    Retaking parts of Kherson is one thing, recapturing the rest of the region alongside Luhansk, Donetsk and Crimea is another. Ukraine's gains should be used to leverage Kyiv's negotiating position to bring a swift end to this conflict — it should not be treated as a justification to drag out the war.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 3% chance that Ukraine will officially recognize a former Ukrainian territory as independent before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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