Ukraine urges citizens to leave South due to counteroffensive plans
Ukrainian authorities are urging their citizens to leave the southern regions of the country, which are now under the control of the Russian army, Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said on Sunday, as Kiev is preparing a counteroffensive in this direction.
According to Vereshchuk, the armed forces of Ukraine will launch a counteroffensive in the near future. “I don’t know in what numbers this will happen, but I know for sure that there should [in the cities of the alleged theater of operations] definitely not be women and children. It is clear that there will be active hostilities, including shelling, so we urge our citizens to urgently evacuate,” Vereshchuk added.
Earlier, the head of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Alexey Reznikov, told The Times that President Volodymyr Zelensky had given the order to prepare for an assault on the coastal regions of the south of the country. To do this, Kiev has gathered a million-strong army, he claimed, and a plan is being worked out to attack those areas that are ‘politically’ important to Ukraine.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.