Ukraine military chief warns Russia could renew assault on Kyiv

The head of Ukraine's military has said Russia could renew efforts to take Kyiv in an interview with The Economist. File Photo by Vladyslav Musienko/UPI
1 of 5 | The head of Ukraine's military has said Russia could renew efforts to take Kyiv in an interview with The Economist. File Photo by Vladyslav Musienko/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The head of Ukraine's military, General Valeriy Zaluzhny, has warned that Russia may be preparing for a renewed assault on the capital city of Kyiv after being repelled earlier this year.

"The Russians are preparing some 200,000 fresh troops. I have no doubt they will have another go at Kyiv," Zaluzhny told the Economist.


The British Ministry of Defense said it did not believe Russian military forces conducting exercises in Belarus were capable of launching a renewed assault into northern Ukraine.

"Belarus played a key enabling role in Russia's assault towards Kyiv from 24 February 2022. However, the exercising Belarusian troops and Russian units are currently unlikely to constitute a force capable of conducting a successful new assault into northern Ukraine," the ministry tweeted on Thursday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the European Council that the next six months of the war would be decisive.

"The next six months will be decisive in many respects in the confrontation that Russia started with their aggression. Aggression against Ukraine and against each of you, because Russia's final target is much farther than our border and Ukrainian sovereignty. The next six months will demand from us even greater efforts than were undertaken over the past period," Zelensky said.


A Russian airbase in Kursk was struck by an "unknown drone" on Wednesday, according to a Telegram post from senior presidential adviser Anton Gerashchenko.

The head of Kherson's military administration, Yaroslav Yanushevich, said two people were killed by shelling in the recently liberated city and electricity was down.

"At first opportunity, the power industry will begin to restore power grids," he said in a Telegram post on Thursday.

Homes were damaged and two people were injured by shelling on Thursday near the southern city of Nikopol, according to Dnipropetrovsk regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko.

The mayor of Kharkiv, Igor Terekhov, said Russian forces had targeted infrastructure in the city.

"Explosions in Kharkiv. The enemy is targeting infrastructure facilities. I am asking everyone to exercise utmost caution and stay in shelters if possible," he wrote in a Telegram post on Thursday.

In Poland a police commander was injured when a gift he received during a visit to Ukraine exploded at police headquarters in Warsaw. Polish authorities are seeking answers about the incident from their Ukrainian counterparts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would seek closer economic ties with African, Asian, and Latin American nations during a televised meeting with government officials on Thursday.


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