Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that Russia may ramp up its aggression this week following an attack on the family of a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Zelenskyy made the warning Saturday, adding that the Russian forces may try something “particularly nasty” this week due to Ukraine celebrating its Independence Day on Wednesday.
The warning also comes after the daughter of a top Putin ally was killed in a car bombing near Moscow on Saturday night local time. Daria Dugina, the daughter of pro-Putin political philosopher Alexander Dugin, was killed while leaving a music and culture festival when her SUV exploded.
Her father was among those who urged Putin to move forward with an invasion of Ukraine. Authorities say the bomb was intended for Dugin. He was attending the festival but was not in the vehicle when the bomb detonated.
“We should be aware that this week Russia may try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel. Such is our enemy. But in any other week during these six months, Russia did the same thing all the time – disgusting and cruel,” Zelenskyy said during a Saturday video address.
“One of the key tasks of the enemy is to humiliate us, Ukrainians, to devalue our capabilities, our heroes, to spread despair, fear, to spread conflicts … Therefore, it is important never, for a single moment, to give in to this enemy pressure, not to wind oneself up, not to show weakness,” he added.
Zelenskyy addressed concerns that Russia may destroy the Ukrainian nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia, which it first seized in the opening weeks of the invasion.
The U.N. sounded the alarm about such an attack last week, and some analysts have said destroying the facility “would be Chernobyl on steroids.”
No party has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing attack against Dugin.