Russia stages pretext for attack after reports of multiple shelling incidents, – NATO

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said the alliance is concerned that Russia is “trying to stage a pretext for an armed attack against Ukraine”. He noted this after a meeting of NATO defense ministers with their counterparts in Ukraine and Georgia, The Guardian reported.

“We are concerned that Russia is trying to stage a pretext for an armed attack against Ukraine. There is still no clarity, no certainty about Russia’s intentions,” Stoltenberg assured.

Russia has amassed the biggest force we have seen for decades, he said.

What we are seeing now is a new normal for European security, where Russia contests fundamental principles for European security and where they are willing to use force as they have done in Ukraine and Georgia,” NATO Secretary-General said.

They have enough troops, enough capabilities to launch a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine with very little or no warning time and that is what makes the situation so dangerous. But it remains to be seen what they actually do… To have so many combat troops around Ukraine, it’s not a normal exercise,” Stoltenberg said.

As reported earlier today, Russian occupation forces targeted a lyceum in the village of Vrubivka in the Luhansk region (territory is controlled by Kyiv). During the class, 30 students were forced to hide in a school basement. In addition, 70 apartments in high-rise buildings and 96 private houses are left without gas supply, as the hostile forces fired with 122-mm mortars, prohibited by the Minsk agreements.

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In addition, Russian occupation troops fired Stanytsia Luhanska, a Kyiv-controlled settlement in the Luhansk region, with heavy artillery weapons. The local infrastructure was also damaged, half of the settlement suffers from the power outage. The servicemen of the Joint Forces Operation promptly evacuated civilians to a shelter.

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“We must not be lulled into a false sense of security by Russia claiming that some troops are returning to their barracks, while in fact, Russian military build-up shows no signs of slowing,” UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss noted.