Day 291: Russian Attacks Turn Bakhmut into Burnt Ruins, Says Zelensky

Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelensky has alleged that Russian attacks have turned the city of Bakhmut into "burnt ruins" in a bid to conquer Donetsk. "Bakhmut, Soledar, Maryinka, Kreminna.

Day 291: Russian Attacks Turn Bakhmut into Burnt Ruins, Says Zelensky
Image credit: Reuters

Facts

  • Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelensky has alleged that Russian attacks have turned the city of Bakhmut into "burnt ruins" in a bid to conquer Donetsk. "Bakhmut, Soledar, Maryinka, Kreminna. For a long time, there is no living place left on the land of these areas that have not been damaged by shells and fire," he said in his nightly address on Saturday.
  • He also claimed that more than 1.5M Ukrainians were without electricity in Odesa after Russian kamikaze drones battered the southern Ukrainian city's electricity generating system.
  • Meanwhile, a Ukrainian missile attack on Melitopol, in the Zaporizhzhia region recently annexed by Russia, destroyed a recreation center. The strike – supposedly carried out using the US-supplied M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System – reportedly killed two and critically injured at least ten others on Saturday night.
  • Earlier, the US warned that Iran is now Russia's top military backer and that their defence partnership could produce lethal drones. "People in Ukraine today are actually dying as a result of Iran's actions," US national security council spokesman John Kirby said.
  • Arguing that "the supply of drones to Russia is evidence of the role Iran plays in destabilising global security," the Australian government on Saturday called on countries to "exert their influence on Russia to end its illegal, immoral war."
  • Elsewhere, jailed Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski, Russia's now-defunct human rights organization Memorial, and the Ukrainian Centre for Civil Liberties – recipients of this year's Nobel Peace Prize – denounced Putin for his "insane war" and "criminal invasion of Ukraine." Memorial's Jan Rachinsky described the war as a "monstrous burden," but rejected the idea of "national guilt."

Sources: Abc, Reuters, BBC News, Foreign Minister, and Al Jazeera.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by PBS. 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 an election a "coup". This unprovoked attack is the latest chapter in Putin's Orwellian attempt to rewrite history.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by NSA. 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.