Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

US warns of Russian attacks on infrastructure as Ukrainian Independence Day nears

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The U.S. State Department warned Ukraine that Russia is looking to ramp up attacks on the country’s infrastructure and government buildings on Monday.

The warning comes as Ukraine is set to celebrate its Independence Day on Wednesday, the same day that Russia’s invasion will reach the six-month mark. The U.S. intelligence community released findings that Russian forces will begin targeting civilian infrastructure and government buildings more frequently, according to the Associated Press. 

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv called on any Americans still in Ukraine to leave immediately.

“If you hear a loud explosion or if sirens are activated, immediately seek cover,” the State Department wrote. “If in a home or a building, go to the lowest level of the structure with the fewest exterior walls, windows, and openings; close any doors and sit near an interior wall, away from any windows or openings.”

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stands at the podium during a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, in Kyiv, Ukraine, July 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stands at the podium during a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, in Kyiv, Ukraine, July 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)
(AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned in a Saturday speech that Russia could do something “particularly nasty” this week.

“We should be aware that this week Russia may try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel. Such is our enemy. But in any other week during these six months, Russia did the same thing all the time – disgusting and cruel,” Zelenskyy said during a video address.

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“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 added.

Zelenskyy also addressed concerns that Russia may destroy the Ukrainian nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia, which it first seized in the opening weeks of the invasion.

A Russian serviceman stands guard the territory outside the second reactor of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in Energodar on May 1, 2022. - The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in southeastern Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and among the 10 largest in the world.   *EDITOR'S NOTE: This picture was taken during a media trip organized by the Russian army.* (ANDREY BORODULIN/AFP via Getty Images)

A Russian serviceman stands guard the territory outside the second reactor of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in Energodar on May 1, 2022. – The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in southeastern Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and among the 10 largest in the world.   *EDITOR’S NOTE: This picture was taken during a media trip organized by the Russian army.* (ANDREY BORODULIN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by ANDREY BORODULIN/AFP via Getty Images)

U.N. experts have warned that such a move could end in catastrophe for the region, potentially leading to a “Chernobyl on steroids.”

Russia is also more likely to ramp up its aggression following a Saturday car bombing in Moscow that killed the daughter of Alexander Dugin, a Russian philosopher and close political ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Daria Dugina, 29, was traveling home from a festival where her father had delivered a speech when the SUV she was driving exploded. Dugin was supposed to be in the vehicle but chose to ride in another at the last minute.

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The Russian FSB says Ukrainian special services were behind the attack, accusing one Natalia Vovk, a Ukrainian citizen, of placing and detonating the device. Ukrainian security officials have pushed back on the accusation, however, stating that the explosion was a Russian inside job.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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