US warns of Russian strikes on Ukrainian government targets – News

The warning comes as Moscow said it would show no mercy over the murder of the daughter of a prominent ultranationalist



A man walks near a destroyed school in Kostyantynivka, Donetsk region. —Reuters

By AFP

Published: Tue, August 23, 2022, 8:05 PM

Washington warned on Tuesday that Russia could attack Ukrainian government facilities in the coming days as Moscow said it would show “no mercy” for an assassination it blamed on Ukraine.

World leaders also reaffirmed their support for the country on the eve of Independence Day celebrations and the sixth anniversary of the start of the war.

Leaders including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have warned Russia against further attempts to annex Ukrainian territory in the same way it did with Crimea.

“It has never been more important for all of us to stick together,” Johnson said in a video address to the Crimea Platform conference in Kyiv.

Polish President Andrzej Duda was present in person, warning against any “appeasement” of Russia.

“There is no return to the status quo in relations with Russia,” he said.

In his address, French President Emmanuel Macron promised that EU support for Ukraine would continue “for the long term”.

“There can be no weakness, no spirit of compromise, because this is about our freedom, for all, and peace everywhere,” he said.

Ukraine’s Western allies have supplied Kyiv with billions of dollars in military equipment and imposed ever-tighter sanctions on Russia.

Moscow has accused Western powers of escalating the war with its support for Ukraine.

As tensions rose in the capital, the US Embassy in Kyiv issued a security alert and reiterated its call for US nationals to leave Ukraine.

“The State Department has information that Russia is intensifying its efforts to launch strikes against civilian infrastructure and government facilities in Ukraine in the coming days,” he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other officials have also warned that Russia could step up attacks around Independence Day.

Celebrations will be muted this year and large gatherings have been banned in the capital Kyiv.

Concern is also mounting after Russia accused Ukrainian intelligence services of being behind the murder of the daughter of a prominent ultranationalist intellectual in Moscow on Saturday.

“We hope the investigation will be completed soon,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow.

“According to the results of this investigation, there can be no mercy for those who planned, ordered and carried out (the car bombing),” he said.

Ukraine has denied any involvement.

Despite growing concern, the new Ukrainian football season kicked off with a first match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Metalist 1925 Kharkiv.

In the emotional pre-match ceremony, players from both teams and the referees entered the pitch wrapped in Ukrainian flags and unfurled a banner reading “We have the same courage”.

Shakhtar players wore T-shirts with the inscription “Donetsk. Ukraine will win” on their game shirts, while players from the Kharkiv club wore similar T-shirts with the inscription “Kharkiv. Ukraine will win.

Metalist 1925 played the match wearing shirts with the Ukrainian Armed Forces emblem instead of the traditional sponsor logo.

After a minute’s silence in memory of Ukrainians killed during the Russian invasion, the symbolic first kick on the ball was made by a Ukrainian soldier.

The matches will take place without spectators for security reasons.

But passers-by outside the Kyiv stadium expressed their support.

Maksym Scherbyna, a Dynamo Kyiv fan, said the resumption of football was “very important”.

“We are showing that war cannot stop us,” said the 35-year-old.

Another fan, Denys Lazarenko, 41, said: “Our country really needs football. It unites people. »

About Tammy N. McFarlane

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