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Ukraine preparing for major escalation by Russia, top Ukrainian security official tells Sky News | World News

Ukraine is preparing for a major escalation from Russia, possibly even in the next two to three weeks, a senior Ukrainian presidential security official has said.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Sky News that the heaviest fighting is yet to come and said the next few months will be decisive in determining the course of the war.

He urged Western allies to send more weapons, including Royal Air Force Typhoon jets from Britain and fighter jets from other partners.

“Russia is preparing for maximum escalation,” Danilov said in an interview Tuesday at his headquarters in Kyiv.

“He gathers everything possible, conducts drills and drills.”

He did not rule out that President Vladimir Putin would try to make another attack from the north, south and east, as happened on February 24, 2022 – maybe even timed to coincide with the anniversary.

“We understand that everything is on the table … I can say that we do not rule out any scenarios in the next two to three weeks.”

He said the Ukrainian military is preparing for every possibility and this time has received significantly more support from Western partners such as the UK than it did 12 months ago.

“Those countries that help us in our struggle have begun to provide us with maximum assistance.”

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Why won’t the US send fighter jets?

However, a Western official said there were no signs yet that Russia was planning anything specifically for Feb. 24.

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“We will continue to monitor this,” a Western official said at a press briefing.

“Traditionally they [Russia] tried to do something on dates. In this regard, Ukrainians also come from a similar culture, but I have not seen anything from either side to suggest that they really have any plans.”

Mr. Danilov said he expects about half of the more than 320,000 soldiers mobilized by Russia last September will be deployed in the second wave whenever it arrives.

Oleksiy Danilov talking about Sky News
Oleksiy Danilov talking about the sky

The first half of the personnel has already been transferred to Ukraine to replenish Russian positions after Moscow’s invasion force suffered significant losses.

Ukraine has also paid a high price in terms of killed and wounded soldiers and civilians.

Ukrainian servicemen during the Russian attack on Ukraine in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, January 27, 2023.  REUTERS/Yan Dobronosov
Ukrainian military against the background of the Russian attack in Bakhmut, Donetsk region

“More Bloody Days Are Coming”

However, a senior security official predicted more bloody days ahead.

“Of course. We went through a long difficult period, but I understand that the main battles are still ahead, and they will take place this year, for two to three months. These will be the defining months in the war,” Danilov said. .

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This is why the Ukrainians desperately need their Western partners to send more deadly weapons, and faster.

They captured the tanks – belatedly – and are now on the hunt for fast jets.

“It would be great if they were [RAF] Typhoon jets. F-16s are good too,” Danilov said.

“Any help would be nice.”

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What is the situation on the ground in Ukraine?

It’s not just Russian troops rearming and preparing to attack.

“We have our own plans, and we understand them,” Danilov said, “but they are secret.

“They are not hidden from our main partners: the UK, the US and other countries that help us. We will follow our plan.”

The ultimate goal is to reclaim all the territory captured by Russian forces – not only from February 24, 2022, but also since Russia launched its first invasion of Ukraine back in 2014, seizing the Crimean peninsula and supporting the so-called separatists in the east of Donbass .

“We will definitely win, because we will have all the world’s support,” Danilov said.

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