So y'all may have noticed that there's this little debate going on over who started the latest round of fighting in the Donbas.
One eyewitness says this. And another says that. And another one says something else.
But here the thing: The argument over who started the recent escalation in and around Avdiyivka misses a very important point -- and ignores a very important fact.
And that is that the only reason there is a war in the Donbas -- the only reason -- is because Russia wants there to be a war in the Donbas.
This is not a civil war. This is not a conflict where culpability is shared by both sides.
This is a manufactured war and Russia manufactured it.
This is aggression by Russia against a sovereign state and it's been going on for nearly three years.
And as a result, nearly 10,000 people have lost their lives.
That is where the focus should be.
Debating about who fired the first shots in Avdiyivka is not only ridiculous, it plays right into the hands of Vladimir Putin's propaganda machine.
Because this is exactly the debate the Kremlin wants us to have -- one that focuses on the minutiae and perpetuates the fiction that this is a domestic conflict between two Ukrainian factions.
And one that allows Moscow to express grave concern about the fighting in Ukraine and offer its services as a peacemaker when, in fact, it is the aggressor.
Putin's Kremlin is masterful at manipulating the environment and framing the debate in its favor.
Theyy did it in Georgia. They're doing it in Ukraine. They've been doing it for years. And we shouldn't keep falling for it.