Day 297: Putin Meets Commanders of 'Special Military Operation'

Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin spent Friday meeting with commanders of his "special military operation" in Ukraine at an undisclosed location in Russia.

Day 297: Putin Meets Commanders of 'Special Military Operation'
Image credit: The Independent 

Facts

  • Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin spent Friday meeting with commanders of his "special military operation" in Ukraine at an undisclosed location in Russia. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "The head of the state examined the staff’s work, was briefed about the special military operation’s progress, held a conference and separate meetings with commanders."
  • Putin reportedly told the meeting: "Esteemed comrades, let us listen to commanders from every sector of operations. I would like to listen to your proposals about our short-and mid-term actions." Defense minister Sergei Shoigu and Russia's top military commander in Ukraine, Gen. Sergei Surovikin, were among those pictured at the talks.
  • Meanwhile, the European Union adopted its ninth round of sanctions against Russia on Friday. The package will largely target Russia's military-industrial complex, affecting private companies and state entities that supply the Russian military with equipment, such as IT components and parts needed for weaponry.
  • On Saturday, blasts were reported in the Russian regions of Kursk and Belgorod, as well as in Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014. It was not immediately clear whether the blasts had been from successful Ukrainian attacks or whether they had been caused by the firing of Russian missile-defense systems.
  • Ukrainian attacks were also reported in Russian-controlled parts of the Luhansk region on Saturday, killing three civilians and injuring five others, and in the Donetsk region, with no reports of civilian casualties at this stage.
  • Meanwhile, in Russian attacks, Ukrainian officials said two missiles were shot down over Odesa on Saturday. Attacks were also recorded in Donetsk, where three civilians were reportedly injured in the last 24 hours, as well as in the region of Sumy.
  • Elsewhere, following Russia's latest attack on energy infrastructure on Friday in the city of Kryvyi Rih in Dnipropetrovsk, the death toll rose to four, with 13 injured. Four people were also reported injured following the attacks on the region of Kyiv.

Sources: Tass, Associated Press, Ukrinform, and Yahoo.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by PBS NewsHour. 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.
  • Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by National Security Archive. 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.

Predictions