Source: Hot Air
Americans in Ukraine are being encouraged to leave Ukraine now before Ukrainian independence day on Wednesday. The U.S. government is warning that Russia is stepping up efforts to launch attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure and government facilities ahead of the day. Wednesday marks 31 years since Ukraine broke ties with the Soviet Union. It also marks the six month point since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. President Zelensky is also sending out warnings of possible attacks, including missile strikes around August 24.
People in Ukraine should pay attention to air raid alarms, especially on August 23 and 24. At this point in the war, Ukrainians must be at a point of simply living with those alarms and tuning them out instead of paying attention to them. Familiarity breeds complacency in such a stressful atmosphere.
“The US Embassy urges US citizens to depart Ukraine now using privately available ground transportation options if it is safe to do so,” a security alert on the embassy’s website said. “The security situation throughout Ukraine is highly volatile and conditions may deteriorate without warning.”
“We must all be aware that this week Russia could try to do something particularly ugly, something particularly vicious,” Zelensky said in a video message at the weekend.
Ukraine’s government warned citizens to be “especially careful” on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“There is an increased threat of missile attacks and other provocations — both inside the country and outside,” said Andrii Yusov, a spokesperson for the Defense Intelligence service of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense.
“The air raid alarm is a serious signal, that everyone should take into account. Especially on August 23 and 24 — these are not just words, you have to be especially careful,” Yusov added.
“They are crazy about dates and symbols, so it would be quite logical to be on guard and be prepared for the fact that Independence Day will also be attacked. Ukraine is ready for this,” he continued.
Putin does like favorable optics for his warmongering. It would be a source of pride in his mind to pull off a devastating attack on Ukraine’s independence day. Kyiv’s city military administration has banned all big gatherings this week. This includes rallies and meetings to recognize the day. The order was imposed so that security forces can be able to respond in a timely manner to missile or bomb attacks from Russian troops. Military facilities, defense industry facilities, critical infrastructure, and surrounding residential areas are on high alert.
Tensions are heightened due to the murder of Darya Dugina. Russia blames Ukrainian special services and Ukrainian officials deny it.
The State Department said that last week it met with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov. He was told to warn Russia against escalating the war on Ukraine. The ambassador was also told to “cease all military operations at or near Ukraine’s nuclear facilities and to return full control of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant to Ukraine,” Yeah, that will do it.
The town of Nikopol across the river from the occupied plant suffered shelling on Ukraine’s Day of the National Flag on Tuesday, a local official said.
Yevhen Yevtushenko, the head of Nikopol district military administration, warned locals to avoid mass gatherings, open areas and infrastructure facilities through Thursday.
Zelensky banned all events in Kyiv and Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, out of concern of a “particularly ugly” attack – likely a missile attack– that Putin may be planning.
“We must all be aware that this week Russia could try to do something particularly ugly, something particularly vicious,” Zelensky said in a video message.
“One of the key tasks of the enemy is to humiliate us, Ukrainians, to devalue our capabilities, our heroes, to spread despair, fear, to spread conflicts … 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,” he said.
Will Putin go ahead and launch a “particularly ugly” attack during the perfect storm of anniversaries in Ukraine? Independence Day and the six month anniversary of Putin’s invasion come together on the 24th. Ukrainian flag day is the 23rd. Is all that too much for Putin to ignore? We’ll know soon. In the meantime, let’s hope the Americans inside of Ukraine heed the warnings and leave until the anniversaries pass.