President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned on Tuesday, 23 August, that his country must be prepared for brutal attacks by Russia on the occasion of Ukraine's independence day on 24 August.
"They will receive a response, a powerful response. I want to say that each day… this response will grow, it will get stronger and stronger," the president told a news conference.
A fresh barrage of attacks is anticipated after a car blast killed Daria Dugina, the daughter of political philosopher Aleksandr Dugin who is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian security services pinned her death on Ukraine, while Kyiv has denied any involvement.
The Ukrainian president also vowed to get Crimea back from Russian control, even going on to say that it would become part of the European Union, along with the rest of the country. "It all began with Crimea, and it will end with Crimea," asserted Zelenskyy.
Additionally, the US Embassy in Kyiv issued a security alert on Tuesday, reinforcing Zelenskyy's concerns and warning that, “The Department of State has information that Russia is stepping up efforts to launch strikes against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days.”
On Wednesday, the US is expected to announce a renewed security assistance package for Ukraine of about $3 billion to coincide with Ukraine's independence day.
(With inputs from Reuters and The Guardian.)