18
0

Ukraine’s President Warns of Russian Attack Before Independence Day

18
Reading Time: 2 minutes

President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday warned Ukrainians to be vigilant in the coming week as they prepare to celebrate their Independence Day, as fresh blasts hit Crimea and a missile wounded 12 civilians near a nuclear power plant.

In his nightly video address, Zelensky said Ukrainians must not allow Moscow to “spread despondency and fear” among them as they mark the 31st anniversary of independence from Soviet rule.

“We must all be aware that this week Russia could try to do something particularly ugly, something particularly vicious,” Zelensky said ahead of the anniversary on Aug. 24, which also marks six months since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began.

Also on Saturday, a Russian missile hit a residential area of a southern Ukrainian town not far from a nuclear power station, wounding 12 civilians, Russian and Ukrainian officials said

That strike at the Pivdennoukrainsk (South Ukraine) nuclear station and fresh shelling near the Zaporizhzhia station, Europe’s largest such facility, prompted new fears of a nuclear accident during the war, Ukrainian officials said.

Zelensky in his address also referred obliquely to a series of explosions in recent days in Crimea, the Ukrainian territory seized and annexed by Russia during a 2014 incursion.

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attacks, but analysts have said at least some have been made possible by new equipment used by Ukrainian forces.

“You can literally feel Crimea in the air this year, that the occupation there is only temporary and that Ukraine is coming back,” Zelensky said.

In the latest attack in Crimea, the Russian-appointed governor not recognised by the West said a drone had struck a building near the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet on Saturday morning.

“A drone flew onto the roof. It was flying low,” governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said on Telegram. “It was downed right over the Fleet headquarters. It fell on the roof and burned up. The attack failed.”

Razvozhayev said later the region’s anti-aircraft system had again been in operation and asked residents to stop filming and disseminating pictures of how it was working.

Ukrainian media reported explosions in nearby towns – including the resorts of Yevpatoriya, Olenivka and Zaozyornoye.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.