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Russia preparing for next stage of offensive, Ukraine says


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Smoke rises after a missile attack, as Russia’s assault on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo by Reuters)

KYIV: Russia is preparing for the next phase of attack in UkraineA Ukrainian military official said after Moscow said its forces would step up military operations in “all operational areas”.
Russian rockets and missiles have hit cities in airstrikes that Kyiv says have killed dozens in recent days.
“It’s not only missile attack from the air and at sea,” Vadym Skibitskyi, spokesman for Ukraine’s military intelligence, said on Saturday. We can see shelling along the entire line of communication, along the entire front line. There is an active use of tactical aviation and attack helicopters.
“There is indeed a certain activation of the enemy along the entire front line … It is clear that preparations are currently underway for the next phase of the offensive.”
The Ukrainian military said it appeared Russia was regrouping for an attack on Sloviansk, an important symbolic city held by Ukraine in the eastern region of Donetsk.
Ukraine says at least 40 people have been killed in Russian shelling of urban areas over the past three days, as the fighting launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24 intensifies.
Regional Governor Oleh Synehubov said rockets hit the town of Chuhuiv in the Kharkiv region on Friday night, killing three people, including a 70-year-old woman, and injuring three others.
“Three people lost their lives, why? For what? Because Putin went crazy?” Raisa Shapoval, 83, a distraught resident sits in the rubble of her house.
To the south, more than 50 Russian Grad missile Governor Valentyn Reznichenko said the city of Nikopol on the Dnipro River, killing two people found in the rubble.
Moscow, calling the invasion a “special military operation” aimed at demilitarizing and “demilitarizing” its neighbour, says it uses high-precision weapons to degrade infrastructure. Ukraine’s military and protect its own security. It has repeatedly denied targeting civilians.
Kyiv and the West say the conflict is a gratuitous attempt to revive a country that broke free from Moscow rule with the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered military units to step up operations to thwart Ukrainian attacks on eastern Ukraine and other Russian-held areas, where he said Kyiv could attack civilian infrastructure or people, according to a statement from the ministry.
His remarks appeared to be a direct response to what Kyiv said was a string of successful airstrikes carried out on 30 Russian munitions and logistics centers, using multiple rocket launchers launched by Russia. Western offers recently.
Attacks are wreaking havoc on Russia’s supply lines and have dropped dramatically Russian attack Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman said on Friday.

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