Day 48 Roundup: Putin Ally Captured, Chemical Weapons Allegedly Used in Mariupol

    Image copyright: AP/Evgeniy Maloletka [via The Telegraph]

    The Facts

    • Putin's closest ally in Ukraine and leader of the largest opposition party, Viktor Medvedchuk, was reportedly captured by law enforcement on Tues., after escaping house arrest days after the invasion began. Zelenskyy has proposed to release him in exchange for captured Ukrainians.

    • It comes amid an unsubtantiated allegation originating from the Azov Battalion that an unspecified chemical weapon was used in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol. Some observers expressed scepticism that the available evidence points towards a chemical weapons attack.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    It's hypocritical for the West to so widely denounce Russia for unverified claims of using white phosphorous as a chemical weapon, when no one wants to even investigate, let alone condemn, its documented recent use by Turkey against Kurds and Israel against Palestinians.

    Anti-Russia narrative

    This invasion is an egregious violation of international law. Putin's ultimate aim is to restore the Soviet empire, even if it takes massive bloodshed and false pretexts such as calling the 2014 Ukrainian revolution after a fraudulent election a "coup". This unprovoked attack is the latest chapter in Putin's Orwellian attempt to rewrite history.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    NATO and the US have ignored Russia's security concerns by breaking its promise not to expand eastward in return for German reunification. These concerns are legitimate and taking them seriously would have avoided the Ukraine tragedy.

    Metaculus Prediction

    Public figures in this story

    Establishment split



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