Day 349: Fighting Intensifies in East as Russia Prepares for Possible Offensive

Image copyright: Reuters [via BBC]

The Facts

  • Ukrainian governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai, said on Tuesday that tens of thousands of Russian reinforcements are being sent to eastern Ukraine as Russia reportedly prepares for an offensive planned for later this month. However, the UK's Ministry of Defense said that any plans for a new offensive may be "unlikely" to be successful given a lack of munitions and manpower.

  • A new offensive would come as Russian forces continue their push to capture the Donetsk city of Bakhmut, which has seen heavy fighting in recent months. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that Russian forces were making good progress, but Ukraine maintains that the city has not yet been encircled.


The Spin

Anti-Russia narrative

In attempting to take Bakhmut, Russian forces have used scorched earth tactics and turned the once-popular tourist destination into a hell-on-earth. The Kremlin is so hungry for any success that it's willing to go to any length to take the city — even if it's been turned to rubble.

Pro-Russia narrative

If Russian forces take control of Bakhmut, it would be a devastating loss for Ukraine. Not only has Ukraine lost hundreds of troops in trying to retain the city, but this operation would also enable Russia to continue its advance into key areas of Donetsk, including Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.

Nerd narrative

There is a 40% chance that at least 100,000 Russian soldiers will be killed in the Russo-Ukrainian war before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


Establishment split

CRITICAL

PRO

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