Russia Ukraine war: American intelligence agencies believe Russia is likely to increase its efforts to attack civilian infrastructure and government buildings in Ukraine with the war about to enter its seventh month and Ukraine preparing to mark its Independence Day holiday, the State Department and other U.S. officials said.
The U.S. government declassified an intelligence warning on Monday to ensure that the officials’ concerns about the threat reached a broad audience. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv then issued a security alert and once more urged American citizens to leave Ukraine.
“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,” the alert said.
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Both Ukrainian and American officials have been concerned about the possibility of intensified Russian missile attacks, potentially timed to Ukraine’s Independence Day on Wednesday and in response to a string of assaults on Russian military targets in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia illegally annexed in 2014.
Ukraine has also continued its campaign to isolate Russian troops in the south, saying on Monday that its forces had used precision missiles to halt Russian repairs on a key supply bridge in the occupied region of Kherson. They have hit the bridge on several previous occasions and the extent of the damage from the latest strike was unclear.
Across Ukraine, security is being tightened. Officers are fanning out on the streets. Big celebrations have been banned, and people have been urged to pay special attention to air-raid sirens
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“We should be aware that this week Russia may try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel,” President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said in his nightly address on Saturday.
And there is another worry: that Russia may use the milestone to start show trials. Videos have emerged of iron cages being built on the stage of the philharmonic theater in Mariupol, a battered city occupied by the Russians. The fear is that as Ukraine celebrates its decades of self-rule, the Russians will try Ukrainian prisoners of war there as terrorists.
“Our enemy is insidious,” said a statement from the Ukrainian National Police. “It can deliver painful blows precisely on the days of the most important national holiday — the Independence Day of Ukraine.”
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Mick Mulroy, a former C.I.A. officer, and Pentagon official said he expected Russia to aim for targets in Kyiv, potentially using the killing of Daria Dugina in a car bombing outside Moscow on Saturday to justify the strikes. Ms. Dugina, 29, was the daughter of Aleksandr Dugin, a political theorist who provided the intellectual framework for President Vladimir V. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The mood in Kyiv on Monday was largely somber. The city has rebounded since Russian forces withdrew from its outskirts a little more than a month into the war. The streets are full of people mingling with friends, going to work, and taking strolls in the sunshine. But with the war still raging in the country’s south and the east, the sense of normalcy is fragile.
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Pavlo Shetemet, a government clerk, said he planned to work from home on Independence Day and might head to the beach, as he did on Monday. He chatted with friends and watched children splashing around an emerald-green lagoon off the Dnipro River, not far from the center of town.
“A lot of people are talking about possible attacks,” said Mr. Shetemet. “Me, personally? I don’t think the Russians will do that on Independence Day. It’s too obvious. It’s too stupid.”
He stared out at the lagoon’s gentle waves. “It will be O.K., I think,” he said. “But it won’t be normal.”
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