- Borislav Ivanov
Russia to step up strikes on civilians in retaliation
The warning from the US embassy comes only one day before Ukraine celebrates 31 years of independence.
The US State Department has issued a security warning, saying that Moscow is "stepping up" its efforts to unleash attacks against Ukraine's civilian infrastructure and government buildings in the following days.
The alert, published on Tuesday, is the US embassy in Kyiv's first explicit security advisory in recent months. It does not specify which locations it believes Russia intends to attack, but it advises US nationals to evacuate Ukraine if it is safe to do so.
US embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. Credit: Panama7; istockphoto
The warning came only one day before Ukraine celebrates 31 years of independence. Ukraine's parliament decided to secede from the Soviet Union on August 24, 1991. It will also be six months since Russia started its full-fledged incursion. Given the anticipated enhanced danger, some Kyiv eateries have closed early this week.
Ukraine's Ministry of Defense has warned Ukrainians to be extra cautious on Independence Day, citing the potential of Russian missile strikes and "provocations."
The Ukrainian government has halted festivities due to growing security fears. Rather than the typical march along Kyiv's main thoroughfare, Ukrainian authorities have lined the runway with captured and damaged Russian military equipment.
Kyiv, Ukraine. Independence Square. Credit: holgs; istockphoto
Ukraine has been anticipating an escalation in Russian missile assaults after a car bomb killed the daughter of ultranationalist Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin on Saturday night.
Following the incident, which Russian security agencies pinned on Ukraine, a number of influential pro-Putin personalities urged for retaliation against Ukraine. Ukraine denies involvement in the strike.
Darya Dugina, Tsargrad TV. Credit: Reuters
Moments before disaster
On Sunday night, Ukraine's armed forces issued a warning that Russia has blocked the airspace in the Russian border areas of Lipetsk, Voronezh, and other regions between August 22 and 25.
Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, stated on Saturday that “Russia may try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel” this week as the country celebrates independence.