Ukraine signs of a new wave of Russian attacks

Ukraine: signs of a new wave of Russian attacks

Most of the ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet have returned to their bases, which indicates that a new attack is being prepared, spokeswoman for the Southern Command in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Natalya Humenyuk, told Ukrainian TV on Thursday. Most cruise missiles have recently been fired from ships in the Black or Caspian Seas and from strategic bombers.

According to Humenyuk, there are only ten ships left in the open sea, mostly submarines. Typically, there are significantly more. “They flex their muscles at sea for a while, demonstrating their presence and control over the situation, and then head to the bases, where they usually prepare to maneuver for a heavy missile strike,” she explained of her suspicions.

Reznikov: Much larger Russian mobilization

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said Moscow had already rallied troops again for the occasion. Moscow could “try something” on the anniversary of the first invasion, around February 24, Reznikov told the BBC. Moscow has mobilized around 500,000 troops for the possible offensive.

Resnikov therefore suspects that the number of Russian soldiers deployed may be much higher than officially declared by Russia. “Officially, 300,000 men are mentioned, but when we see the troops on the borders, we estimate that there are many more,” he told French broadcaster BFM. The mentioned number or Ukrainian data cannot be independently verified.

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Bitter fight with new signs

“The situation is getting more and more difficult”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had already warned on Wednesday night of an increase in Russian attacks on the eve of the anniversary of the Russian invasion. In the east, Russians intend to show achievements by that date, Zelenskyy said in his daily video message. “The situation is increasingly difficult,” he said, praising the resistance of the Armed Forces.

At the same time, three people were killed and 20 injured in a rocket attack in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine. “Eight residential buildings were damaged, one of which was completely destroyed,” police wrote on Facebook. The region’s governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, posted an image on Telegram showing a badly damaged four-story building.

Lavrov: They want to change front

Meanwhile, in a lengthy studio interview with Russia Today on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that he would change sides in response to a possible US delivery of Western long-range weapons to Ukraine. . According to Lavrov, the Ukrainian army will be pushed out of the border area with Russia. This should create a security corridor of sorts.

“EU stands firm as ever in Ukraine”

Although the situation is getting worse again, EU Commission President von der Leyen and 15 other high-ranking commissioners are preparing with the Ukrainian government for the EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv. “We are here together to show that the EU is more committed to Ukraine than ever before,” von der Leyen said on Twitter upon arrival.

According to the EU Commission, in addition to von der Leyen and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, vice presidents Margrethe Vestager, Valdis Dombrovskis, Vera Jourova and Margaritis Schinas will also be present. Among other things, the meeting will address legal options for punishing Russia’s war of aggression and Kiev’s desire to join the EU as soon as possible. Ukraine has been an official candidate for EU membership since last June.

The meeting was “a strong signal to partners and enemies alike,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in advance. The EU-Ukraine summit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy takes place on Friday. In addition to von der Leyen, the President of the Council of the EU, Charles Michel, will also participate. Zelenskyy promises new aid commitments at the meeting.

Training mission to be increased

Borrell tweeted on Thursday that they will continue to stand with Ukraine to win the war and rebuild the country. Apparently, the current EU training mission for the Ukrainian armed forces will be significantly expanded. A new target is to train 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers in EU countries, several EU officials have said. So far, the goal is to train around 15,000 soldiers.