Ukraine instructed residents of Russian-annexed Crimea on Monday (5 September) to make bomb shelters and store supplies in preparation for a major counteroffensive by Kyiv to drive Russian troops from occupied Ukrainian territory.
For weeks, Ukraine has been warning residents living in the occupied south that they must be prepared and should evacuate before it launches its counter-offensive. Despite this, Monday’s warning was noteworthy because it was directed to Crimea residents, which Russia annexed back in 2014. This is in contrast with the areas that Russia captured during its invasion of Ukraine in 2012.
Although the Black Sea peninsula is believed to be beyond reach of Ukrainian weapons, recent explosions at Russian military bases in Crimea have raised doubts. The incidents were not attributed to Kyiv.
Mykhailo Polyak, Ukrainian presidential adviser, said: “We ask residents of occupied territory, including the Crimean Peninsula, to follow (Ukrainian] officials’ recommendations during deoccupation measures.
“In particular, in order to prepare a bomb shelter stock up on enough water and charge powerbanks.” He wrote that everything would be Ukraine on Twitter.
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