Zelensky warns of Putin’s next brutal move on Ukraine’s August 24 Independence Day

Ukraine: Russia planning 'particularly cruel' action says Zelensky

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Russia is plotting a brutal attack on Ukraine of unspecified nature, President Volodymyr Zelensky warned, as his country is gearing up for its Independence Day on August 24. Ukraine will celebrate its 31st anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union on Wednesday. But President Zelensky believes Vladimir Putin could use the day as an opportunity to intimidate Ukrainians.

In a nightly address, President Zelensky said: “We must be aware that this week, Russia may do something particularly disgusting, something cruel.

“Such is the enemy of ours. But in any other week during these six months, Russian has done the same thing constantly, disgusting and cruel.

“One of the key tasks of the enemy is to humiliate us Ukrainians, to devaluate our capabilities, our heroes, to spread despair and fear, to spread conflicts.

“Hence, it’s essential never, for a single moment, to give in to this enemy’s pressure, not to wind yourself up and show weakness.”

President Zelensky’s warning comes as Ukraine is bracing itself for intensifying Russian missile attacks to coincide with its Independence Day.

Ukraine’s military has warned five Russian Kalibr cruise missiles have been fired from the Black Sea at the Odesa region. Ukrainian air defence shot down two of them and three hit agricultural targets.

On August 24, 1991, Ukraine’s Parliament vowed to separate from the Soviet Union. The date this year will also mark six months since the war began.

In another blow to Vladimir Putin, the daughter of an ultranationalist Russian ideologue and ally of Vladimir Putin was killed by a car bomb on the outskirts of Moscow on Saturday night. 

Former member of Russia’s Duma, Ilya Ponomarev, claims the attack came from the National Republican Army – an underground group working inside Russian and dedicated to toppling Putin’s regime – and is a sign of defiance from Russians as they are growing discontent with the Ukraine war.

“This attack opens a new page in Russian resistance to Putinism. New – but not the last,” Mr Ponomarev told February morning, a Russian-language opposition TV channel he launched in Kyiv earlier this year.

The Anti-Corruption Foundation executive director and long-time friend of Putin’s number one opponent Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Ashurkov, says rampant inflation and the lack of reason for the Ukraine war are causing discontent among Russians.

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When asked if there is any way Putin could be toppled, Mr Ashurkov told Times Radio: “You don’t see any visible signs but the discontent is growing and I see that this war has made Putin regime more fragile rather than more strong.”

According to the latest British intelligence update, Ukrainian separatist forces from the Luhansk region are refusing to take up arms in Donetsk, as the troops claim they have “fulfilled their duty” in the Luhansk’s People’s Republic (LPR).

“Russia is likely increasingly struggling to motivate the auxiliary forces it is using to augment its regular troops in the Donbas,” the report says, dealing a blow to Putin’s long-held ambition of conquering the coveted eastern region of Donbas.  

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