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Ukraine bracing for ‘massive’ missile strikes, Kyiv defense official says

Ukraine is bracing for three or four “massive” missile strikes from Russia, a top defense official in Kyiv said, while the Ukrainian president’s office suggested Moscow may wait for more frigid weather in order to “deal the most sensitive blow.”

Even as he gave the warning about imminent attacks, Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, said Kyiv’s forces are able to shoot down up to 90 percent of Russian missiles, thanks to supplies of Western air-defense weapons. Danilov made the comments in an online interview on Friday.

Ukraine is still recovering from the latest Russian missile attack on the nation’s energy infrastructure on November 23, which plunged a significant part of the country, including Kyiv, into darkness.

Despite efforts to restore power supplies, Ukraine’s biggest private electricity producer, DTEK, warned on Saturday about emergency power cuts in the capital as well as such major cities such as Odesa and Dnipro.

Danilov also said that the amount of Russian missile weapons is rapidly decreasing, and Moscow is forced to “look for additional supplies around the world.”

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, believes that Russia is changing the tactics of its missile strikes on Ukraine.

Russian forces “are waiting for an increase in frosts … so that the temperature at night drops to 8-10 degrees below zero, and at this moment they want to deal the most sensitive blow to Ukraine,” Podolyak said in an online interview Friday night.

Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that Russia may be trying to generate another wave of refugees with the aim “to pressure Western officials to offer pre-emptive concessions because the Russian military has been unable to achieve strategic success.”




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