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Russia threatens to bomb Zelensky in retaliation for Ukraine ‘attack’

Russian military leaders have threatened to hit “decision-making centers” in kyiv in retaliation for attacks they allege Ukraine has carried out within its borders.

The chilling warning came during a Wednesday briefing reported by Russian news agency Tass, when Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said: “We can see that the forces Ukrainian forces are trying to carry out subversive activities and attack facilities in Russia. If such activities continue, the Russian armed forces will carry out strikes against decision-making centers, including those in kyiv, which the Russian army has hitherto refrained from doing.”

His statement marks the first time the Russian military has accused Ukrainian forces of carrying out attacks on Russian soil, according to the Moscow Times.

There has previously been speculation that Ukrainian special forces may have attacked key sites in a Russian town near the Ukrainian border, such as an oil depot and a railway line. But Ukraine denied attacking the depot and did not accept responsibility for the destruction of the train tracks. No casualties were reported in either incident.

Muddling the waters further, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief this week warned of fears that Russia could stage terror attacks against itself in order to blame kyiv and build domestic support for the war on Ukraine.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, who is head of the intelligence department at the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, wrote: “Russian intelligence services are planning a series of terrorist attacks with mining and undermining residential buildings, hospitals and schools in Russian Colonies.”

Newsweek contacted Russian and Ukrainian government officials for comment and clarification.

A Russian soldier stands guard at the Luhansk power plant in the city of Shchastya, Ukraine, on April 13.
Getty Images

The latest threats to command centers in Kyiv – implying a threat to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky himself – come after Russia withdrew its ground troops from the capital to focus on a new offensive in the region of Donbass and in the territories to the east and south. from the country.

Satellite images and reports from the ground suggest that Russia has massed forces near Kharkiv, Donetsk and Lugansk.

The conflict has grown increasingly bloody since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the February 24 invasion. However, it remains unclear whether Ukraine carried out attacks inside Russian borders. This month, two incidents in the town of Belgorod – less than 25 miles from the Ukrainian border – sparked mystery, accusations and counter-accusations over whether Ukraine was responsible.

Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov blamed a massive fire at an oil depot on April 1 on airstrikes by two Ukrainian Air Force helicopters that entered Russian airspace at low altitude.

But, as reported Newsweek, Ukrainian Secretary of the Security Council, Oleksiy Danilov, denied responsibility, saying: “For some reason they say we did it, but according to our information, this does not correspond to reality.” A senior Ukrainian intelligence official said Newsweek with “99.9%” certainty that Russia had staged the attack.

Less than two weeks later, on April 12, Newsweek revealed that the governor of Belgorod had confirmed that a railway line leading to the border town had been damaged, although he did not reveal the cause.

Citizens reported hearing explosions, according to the Times of Moscow. Photographs shared on Twitter showed warped tracks, broken sleepers and twisted metal running along the tracks. Damage to the railway line, which lies north of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, could potentially disrupt Moscow’s ability to transport troops, weapons or military equipment to the front lines.

Six Russian regions bordering Ukraine have increased their terror threat level over the past week.


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