Turchynov: Russia may begin large-scale offensive in Donbas in July
In a comment to BBC, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov said that Russia could begin a large-scale offensive in the Donbas in July, after the World Cup.
Turchynov stated that this was evidenced by the increase in the number of attacks in the Donbas and the concentration of Russian troops on the border of Ukraine. "They use artillery, tanks and multiple rocket launcher systems prohibited by the Minsk agreements. The shelling on Ukrainian territory is carried out up to 10 kilometers inland, destroying civilian infrastructure and killing civilians," he stressed.
According to Turchynov, these factors demonstrate the preparation of Russia's large-scale provocations and offensive actions that may already begin in July after the World Cup.
Turchynov and other leaders of law enforcement agencies of Ukraine repeatedly warned in the past that the threat of a major escalation in the Donbas had not gone away.
In early April 2018, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said that Russia had amassed nineteen battalion tactical groups of the first and second echelons of more than 77,000 people on the border of Ukraine. The group is composed of about 1,000 tanks, 2,300 military vehicles, more than 1,100 artillery systems, and about 400 multiple rocket launcher systems.