(EFE).- Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenski Monday said the country was bracing for a new major offensive amid a British warning that Russia could use phosphorus bombs in the besieged city of Mariupol as fighting intensifies.
The Ukrainian army said the Russian forces had completed their preparations for a large-scale military operation in the east after a massive troop build-up in the regions bordering the war-ravaged country.
“Next week will be no less important than this one than the previous ones. It will be just as tense,” Zelensky said.
“Russian troops will move to even larger operations in the east of our state. They can use even more missiles against us, more air bombs. But we are preparing for their actions,” he said.
The Ukrainian army also indicated that the Russian forces were almost ready for a major offensive in eastern Ukraine.
“Measures are being taken to regroup, increase the command and control system and logistics. The occupiers are moving battalion tactical groups from the eastern and central military districts,” the Ukrainian army high command said in a Facebook post.
In another post, the Ukrainian army said Russian forces continued their offensive in the eastern Donetsk region and the city of Mariupol.
The Russian forces are trying to seize critical areas in their ongoing military campaign to capture the strategic coastal city of Mariupol near the Azov and the Black Sea.
The Ukraine military said the Russians used artillery and aerial strikes to storm the Azovstal plant, one of the largest metallurgic units in Europe, and the Mariupol seaport.
The US-based Institute for the Study of War also said the Russian forces “made territorial gains in Mariupol in the past 24 hours” and continued reinforcing operations along the Izyum-Slovyansk axis.
The British defense ministry warned that as fighting intensifies for the besieged Mariupol city, the Russian forces might use phosphorus bombs to gain control of the coastal area.
“The Russian forces prior use of phosphorus munitions in the Donetsk Oblast raises the possibility of their future employment in Mariupol as fighting for the city intensifies,” the ministry said.
The Ukrainian army warned that the Russian armed forces might resort to provocations in the Transnistria region of Moldova.
In the Slobodskaya direction, separate military units continued to partially block the city of Kharkiv amid artillery shelling of certain parts of the city.
Maxar Technologies satellite imagery captured hundreds of Russian vehicles in Kharkiv Oblast redeploying to support Russian operations near Izyum, said the ISW.
Meanwhile, Russian troops allegedly attacked another railway station in eastern Ukraine. But there were no casualties.
“Another train station in the east of the country was attacked last night by Russian troops,” Oleksandr Kamyshin, CEO of the state-owned railway operator Ukrzaliznytsia, said on his Telegram channel.
Kamyshin did not specify the city or the place where the incident occurred.
“Five locomotives, tracks and catenary were damaged. We will restore it,” he said.
Last week, two Russian missiles hit the Kramatorsk train station in the Donbas area, claiming at least 57 lives and wounding more than 100.
The attack on the Kramatorsk railway station took place when 4,000 civilians waited there to flee the area. EFE
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