Ukrainians are on edge this month with mounting concern that Russia may step up attacks against the war-torn nation on the one-year anniversary since the start of the conflict, Feb. 24, 2022.
“We are worried,” said Taras Leoltyan, a Ukrainian journalist. He spoke to ALL ISRAEL NEWS this week from a frigid sidewalk in Mykolaiv, where lines of citizens were filling their water jugs at public stations. The city has experienced power outages and lack of running water following months of shelling by Russian troops.
“In the newspapers they are writing - and I am hearing in my circles - that the Russians are going to step up attacks again, are going to renew their efforts,” Leoltyan said.
Last week, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told a French media outlet, “We think that, given that they [the Russians] live in symbolism, they will try something around February 24.”
Analysts have noted it is possible that Russia aims to take back territory that Moscow captured in its initial invasion of Ukraine but lost in counter offensives, which could include Mykolaiv.
Russia invaded the city on Feb. 26, 2022 and heavily attacked its infrastructure, bombing the university and several other buildings. Russian troops remained in the area for about a month, until they was repulsed by Ukrainian troops. Russia continued to attack the area from above until November, when the frontline was effectively pushed back.
“What happened here should never happen anywhere,” Leoltyan told ALL ISRAEL NEWS. “I would have thought that if there was a war it would have been isolated, not across the entire country and in places like Mykolaiv. I never thought that Russia would invade my entire country.”
Maayan Hoffman is a veteran American-Israeli journalist and strategic communications consultant. She is Deputy CEO - Strategy & Innovation for the Jerusalem Post, where she also served as news editor, head of strategy and senior health analyst.