Day 364: Fresh Attacks and Air Raid Sirens Follow Leaders' Speeches

    Day 364: Fresh Attacks and Air Raid Sirens Follow Leaders' Speeches
    Last updated Feb 22, 2023
    Image credit: AFP / Getty Images [via Newsweek]


    • Hours after US Pres. Joe Biden and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin delivered contrasting speeches, Ukraine was again hit by a wave of missile attacks with air-raid sirens reported across the country on Wednesday.[1]
    • A Russian missile strike was recorded in the region of Kharkiv, reportedly injuring two civilians. Russian rockets and artillery were also recorded in the regions of Sumy, Luhansk, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia in the past day. One civilian was reported killed and one more injured in the Donetsk region.[2]
    • Air-raid warnings were also broadcast by Russian radio stations across 10 cities on Wednesday. However, the Russian Emergencies Ministry said the broadcasts had been a result of a "hacker attack" and that there was no imminent threat.[3]
    • While no attacks were recorded in Russia, a Ukrainian missile strike was reported in the Russian-held city of Mariupol in Donetsk where 11 explosions were heard. The Mariupol City Council said one of the sites struck was an ammunition storage point. A Ukrainian attack was also recorded in western Donetsk, reportedly killing one civilian.[4]
    • In his speech in Poland on Tuesday, Biden warned of "hard and bitter days ahead," but vowed that the US and its allies "will not waver" in supporting Ukraine. "NATO will not be divided, and we will not tire," he said. On Wednesday, he met with the leaders of the so-called Bucharest Nine, the easternmost members of NATO, before heading back to Washington, DC.[5]
    • Meanwhile, China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, travelled to Moscow on Wednesday where he met with Putin and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. In brief televised comments to reporters before a closed-door meeting, Putin said: "Russian-Chinese relations are developing as we planned in previous years. Everything is moving forward and developing."[6]
    • Elsewhere, Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov dismissed a CNN report which alleged that Russia conducted an intercontinental ballistic missile test on Monday. "You can’t believe everything that media outlets say, particularly if it concerns CNN, which has completely discredited itself in recent years as it serves the interests of certain groups and certain political elites," Ryabkov said. The article reportedly cited two anonymous US officials.[7]


    Pro-establishment narrative

    After Putin's falsehood-ridden speech, Biden pushed back by triumphantly declaring that Russia will never be victorious against Ukraine. As the one-year anniversary of the war approaches, that's exactly the message that the world — particularly Ukraine — needs to hear.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    As Putin rightly highlighted, Russia tried to engage the US and NATO on security guarantees before the conflict started — the efforts were ignored and followed by a further buildup of NATO presence on Russia's borders. The blame for this conflict lies with the West for flagrantly posing an unacceptable security risk that prompted a defensive military operation.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 5% chance that China will get involved in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict by 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split