•  President Zelenskyy warned Ukrainians that Russia might do something "vicious" on or around Independence Day.
  • A report says Russia appears to be amassing missiles in Belarus in preparation for an attack.
  • Russia is also fearful of Ukrainian attacks following a series of strikes in the occupied peninsula of Crimea.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned citizens that Russia might be planning a major attack ahead of Ukraine's upcoming Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday, reports say.

The country is preparing to celebrate 31 years of freedom from Soviet rule on August 24.

"We must all be aware that this week Russia could try to do something particularly ugly, something particularly vicious," Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address on Saturday, per Reuters.

He urged Ukrainians not to allow Russia to "spread despondency and fear" ahead of the holiday, which also marks six months since Russia began its unprovoked invasion.

A report from an independent military intelligence group suggested that Russia might be amassing missiles in Belarus in preparation for a major attack on Ukraine.

The group, Belarusian Hajun, wrote on Telegram that it had observed a buildup of weapons in the Zyabrovka air base in Belarus by monitoring satellite images.

Satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies indicated that there are 10 to 14 S-400 Triumph air defense systems, 3 KASTA-2E2, and 48Y6 Podlyot radars, and 2 Pantsir air defense systems in the airfield, the group said.

The group also noted that not a single missile had been fired from Belarus to Ukraine since the last massive shelling on July 28.

An S-400 missile is launched at the Ashuluk military base in southern Russia during an exercise, September 22, 2020 Foto: DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian military intelligence has also warned that Russia might display captured Ukrainian soldiers in iron cages during a "show trial" in occupied Mariupol on Independence Day.

Meanwhile, Russia is also fearing attacks from Ukraine following a series of strikes on Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Ukrainian officials have avoided claiming public responsibility for all of the attacks but have often implied it. 

More than half of Russia's Black Sea fleet's naval jets are now out of action following the attacks, Western officials told journalists, according to the BBC.

The military intelligence service of Ukraine said that the explosions at airfields in Crimea had led Russian forces to begin moving their combat aircraft back to Russia and deep into the peninsula.

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