Putin, Zelenskyy Hold Respective Press Conferences as Year Draws to a Close

    Putin, Zelenskyy Hold Respective Press Conferences as Year Draws to a Close
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    The Facts

    • Addressing his country's board of the Ministry of Defense, Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin accused the West, and the US in particular, of causing the war in Ukraine, specifically referencing Kyiv's bid to join NATO. He also referenced Moscow's 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula — arguing that there would have been a "bloodbath" if it hadn't done so and that Russia was the only guarantor of Ukraine's sovereignty.

    • Putin added that after the annexation the US failed to uphold the second Minsk agreement to end the separatist war in Ukraine. While Ukraine at the time claimed Russia never pulled its troops out of the region, Putin argued he had to "get involved in order to protect people so that they wouldn't all be exterminated there," adding that the US "outplayed" him because it enjoyed watching the conflict continue.

    The Spin

    Pro-Ukraine narrative

    Ukrainians have been risking their lives for almost two years now in a brilliant effort to deter Russian aggression. Just as General Washington and his men did during the American Revolution, Ukrainian forces understand that victory is in sight so long as they have patience and determination. This is not an isolated conflict unrelated to the lives of Westerners — it's a global effort to destroy the encroachment of the single most brutal, authoritarian regime in the world. The West can and should continue to put in the time and money required to, albeit slowly, defeat Putin once and for all.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    Whether their anti-Russia leaders admit it or not, Western populations are growing tired of sending their money to Ukraine — which was always the only thing keeping Kyiv afloat militarily. As opposition lawmakers in both the US and Europe refuse to send more aid money, alongside new reports putting Ukrainian fatalities in the hundreds of thousands, Kyiv is running out of reserves. Meanwhile, Moscow has almost tripled defense production, thus placing itself in a far better position should Ukraine foolishly decide to continue fighting at the behest of its Western masters.

    Metaculus Prediction

    Public figures in this story

    Establishment split



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