That’s right. After 6 months of war between Ukraine and Russia, the U.S. Embassy is now alarmed by the prospect of a possible Russian air assault on Kiev, Lviv and other large Ukrainian cities. Here is the “Security Alert“:
Ukraine Event: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. Russian strikes in Ukraine pose a continued threat to civilians and civilian infrastructure. The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to depart Ukraine now using privately available ground transportation options if it is safe to do so.
See additional safety information from a previous Security Alert below:
If you hear a loud explosion or if sirens are activated, immediately seek cover.
If in a home or a building, go to the lowest level of the structure with the fewest exterior walls, windows, and openings; close any doors and sit near an interior wall, away from any windows or openings. If you are outdoors, immediately seek cover in a hardened structure; if that is not possible, lie down and cover your head with your hands. Be aware that even if the incoming missile or drone is intercepted, falling debris represents a significant risk. After the attack, stay away from any debris, and monitor major news outlets for official guidance.
The security situation throughout Ukraine is highly volatile and conditions may deteriorate without warning. U.S. citizens should remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.
It is not clear what has sparked this heightened level of panic. Have Ukrainian and U.S. intelligence intercepted communications that the Russians are prepping airstrikes in response to the assassination of the Russian woman last week by alleged Ukrainian operatives or in retaliation for the artillery shelling of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant? Perhaps.
There are other possibilities. Russia is using deception, i.e. signalling major air strikes west of the Dnieper, while diverting the force of the Russian attack to another mission. Such as? There are now reports from the Russian Minister of Defense that the attack on Nikolaev is underway from the east and the north:
As a result of an offensive in Kherson-Nikolaev direction near Aleksandrovka, the Allied Forces have eliminated units of 28th Mechanized Brigade of AFU and reached the administrative border of Nikolaev Region. 36 square kilometres of Kherson Region have been liberated.
Komsomolskoye has been liberated, advancing 3 kilometres into the enemy defence in this direction. Territory of 12 square kilometres of Nikolaev Region has been liberated.
In addition, 35th Marine Brigade and 46th Aeromobile Brigade of AFU suffered significant losses near Andreevka. The enemy is dislodged from Blagodatovka and neighbouring populated areas.
Or is the United States and Ukraine feeding the false narrative of an impending attack in order to further tarnish Russia’s international reputation? We will know for sure by the end of the week.
If Russia does fulfill the AmEmbassy Kiev’s dire warning of impending doom, this will mark a watershed moment in Putin’s so-called “Special Military Operation.” Hitting Kiev and Lviv in force after months of giving them the kid glove treatment means the gloves are off and the Russian military is going to ratchet up the pain factor on all of Ukraine, not just the military units.