Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine
“These will be defining months in the war,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Sky News in an interview broadcast Tuesday.
“I’m conscious the main fights are yet to come and they will happen this year, within two to three months,” he said.
“Russia is preparing for maximum escalation. It is gathering everything possible, doing drills and training. When it comes to an offensive from different directions, as of now, I can say that we are not excluding any scenario in the next two to three weeks.”
Ukrainian officials have warned for some time of a renewed Russian offensive and have asked for more powerful weaponry from Western allies to counter the threat.
Following Danilov’s comments, a Ukrainian military spokesperson said Wednesday that there are signs Russia is preparing for a renewed offensive in southern Ukraine.
“Not just on land, but on the sea and in air as well,” Natalia Humeniuk, head of the United Coordinating Press Center of Security and Defense Forces of the South of Ukraine, said on national television.
Ukrainian intelligence had noted changes to activity of Russian naval forces in the Black Sea, she added.
“It increases and decreases rapidly, and the missile carriers are moving back and forth,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Belarusian Defense Ministry on Tuesday said it would hold a further week of joint military drills with Russia.
“During the week, military representatives from the two countries will practice joint planning of the use of troops based on the prior experience of armed conflicts in recent years,” the ministry said in a statement.
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