The US State Department on Monday warned of a possible attack by Russia on Ukraine ahead of its independence celebrations on August 24, 2022.
As Russia’s invasion reaches the six-month mark on Wednesday, the U.S. intelligence community has noted that Russian forces will begin targeting civilian infrastructure and government buildings more frequently.
U.S. Embassy in Kyiv urged U.S. citizens to leave Ukraine
On Tuesday, upon citing intel that Russia is raging up its aggression on Ukraine, the US Embassy in Kyiv urged U.S. citizens to leave the country.
In an alert, the embassy wrote: “The Department of State has information that Russia is stepping up efforts to launch strikes against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days…The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to depart Ukraine now using privately available ground transportation options if it is safe to do so.”
The embassy warned that “the security situation throughout Ukraine is highly volatile and conditions may deteriorate without warning. U.S. citizens should remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.”
The State Department also cautioned that cover should immediately be sought upon hearing any loud explosions or sirens, and people should move to the lowest level of any building they are in. Other precautionary measures were also issued.
Ukraine President Zelenskyy warned of a possible Russian attack
In a speech on Saturday, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned of possible attacks, noting that Russia could do something “particularly nasty” this week.
In a video address, Zelenskyy said, “We should be aware that this week Russia may try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel. Such is our enemy,” though this is not drastically different from what Russia has actually been doing for the past six months.
Zelenskyy said of Russia that it is “the same thing all the time…disgusting and cruel.”
“One of the key tasks of the enemy is to humiliate us…to devalue our capabilities, our heroes, to spread despair, fear, to spread conflicts,” the Ukrainian President said. “Therefore, it is important never, for a single moment, to give in to this enemy pressure, not to wind oneself up, not to show weakness.”
During the Monday address, Zelenskyy urged Ukrainians abroad to be there with the Ukrainian flag on August 24th and to spread the truth about the crimes of the occupiers.
“Dear Ukrainians, especially these days, when we celebrate the day of our flag and the day of our independence, if you are somewhere abroad, please remember…Ukraine there, be there with the Ukrainian flag and spread the truth about the crimes of the occupiers,” he said.
President Zelenskyy further identified concerns that Russia may destroy the Ukrainian nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia, which it first seized in the opening weeks of the invasion.
Bombing of Putin’s ally’s daughter may ramp up Ukraine’s attack on independence
The car bomb killing of the daughter of Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin, who is known as “Putin’s brain,” near Moscow on Saturday evening is more likely to ramp up Russia’s attack during the independence day celebration.
Daria Dugina, 29, was traveling home from a festival where her father had delivered a speech when the car she was driving exploded. Putin’s ally, Alexander Dugin, was supposed to be in the vehicle but chose to take another ride at the last minute.
According to the Russian FSB, Ukrainian special services were behind the attack, accusing one Natalia Vovk, a Ukrainian citizen, of placing and detonating the device.
Ukrainian security officials, however, have pushed back on the accusation, stating that the explosion was a Russian inside job.
However, United Nations experts have warned that the pronounced strike on Ukraine could end in catastrophe for the region, potentially leading to a “Chernobyl on steroids.”