Fears grow over Russia planning a 'massive missile attack' on Ukrainian Independence Day: report
Ukrainian officials are concerned that Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning a "massive missile attack" to "congratulate" Ukraine as it celebrates its 21st Independence Day on Wednesday, August 24th. That date is also the six-month anniversary of Putin's genocidal invasion ( his "special military operation") – an alignment that he may exploit to inflict even more suffering.
Military leaders in Kyiv suspect that Putin is beefing up its combat forces in neighboring Belarus to gear up for a major potential strike.
Yuriy Ihnat, the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine's spokesperson, said during a briefing at the Media Center Ukraine on Wednesday (Ukrinform) that "we constantly observe the movement of [Russian] troops in the territory of Belarus, as well as the transportation of ammunition, Iskander and other types of missiles. This happens all the time. If an Il-76 flies from the Russian Federation to the territory of Belarus, then it is clear that it delivers weapons."
Inhat added that "this also has a political component: to threaten the West, threaten Ukraine. There has always been a certain threat from the territory of Belarus, and let me remind you that it was its territory that Russia used from the first days of the full-scale invasion and launched strikes from there with various weapons: airplanes, Iskander and Tochka-U missiles. Therefore, we must definitely be prepared for possible missile strikes."
Reporting by The Daily Beast indicates that Ukrainian commanders are taking the threat of a Russian blitz seriously.
“In the near future, there will be very tense situation at the entire front” with Belarus, Andrii Yusov, the Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, said. “In particular, now there are talks about Independence Day.”
The Beast noted that "Russia’s efforts to store missiles in Ziabrovka airfield, which is located about 15 miles from the Ukraine-Belarus border, has begun to worry Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces."
According to the Beast, Zaluzhnyi said in a Telegram post on Tuesday that “the location of missile systems along the state border shared with the Republic of Belarus, in particular at the Ziabrivka airfield, triggers concern."
Ziabrivka is controlled by the Russians.
Zaluzhnyi was not the only individual to sound the alarm about the possibility that Putin – aided by his ally, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko – is preparing to hit Ukraine on its national holiday.
“An analysis of the situation at the airfield proves that the likelihood of rocket attacks on Ukrainian territory not only remains, but it seems that the Russians are preparing for a massive missile attack on Ukraine in the coming weeks,” Belarusian Hajun, a military analysis organization, said in a Telegram post.
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