Day 262: White House Hails 'Extraordinary Victory' for Ukraine in Kherson

    Photo: AP Photos [via AP News]

    The Facts

    • After Ukrainian troops were seen entering the city of Kherson to the jubilation of local residents on Friday, White House officials hailed the advance. US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said it "looks as though the Ukrainians have just won an extraordinary victory, where the one regional capital that Russia had seized in this war is now back under a Ukrainian flag."

    • However, Sullivan dismissed calls for Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy to enter into peace talks with the Kremlin, describing Ukraine as "the party of peace" while calling Russia "the party of war." He said Russia could end the war by simply withdrawing from Ukraine.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Ukraine is demonstrating that, with continued Western military aid, it's 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 2% chance that Ukraine will officially recognize a former Ukrainian territory as independent before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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