Russian 'Strikes Against Ukraine's Civilian Infrastructure' Imminent—U.S.

Russia looks likely to step up its air strikes against Ukraine's civilian infrastructure imminently, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv has warned.

"The Department of State has information that Russia is stepping up efforts to launch strikes against Ukraine's civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days. Russian strikes in Ukraine pose a continued threat to civilians and civilian infrastructure," the embassy said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to depart Ukraine now using privately available ground transportation options if it is safe to do so," it added.

Ukraine has previously said Russia plans a "massive" attack on Wednesday, August 24, when Ukraine celebrates its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Ukraine war Chemihiv
Volunteers clear the rubble of a house destroyed in the shelling in the city of Chernihiv on August 20, 2022, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Russia's withdrawal from Chernihiv in April, after a month-long assault, left behind a devastated city that will need massive foreign aid, and many years of work, to restore. Sergei Chuzakov/Getty

Tensions have flared after Russia blamed Ukraine for the murder of the daughter of Alexander Dugin, a right-wing ideologue believed to be one of Putin's closest political strategists and allies. Ukraine has denied the claims and has blamed it on in-fighting between groups in Russia.

In the event of an explosion, the U.S. Embassy advised people in homes to go to the lowest level of the building with the fewest exterior walls, windows and openings, and close any doors and sit near an interior wall, away from windows and openings.

It also urged people to stay away from debris and monitor major news outlets for official guidance.

"The security situation throughout Ukraine is highly volatile and conditions may deteriorate without warning. U.S. citizens should remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness," the statement added.

The Countries Pulling Their Weight in Ukraine
The Countries Pulling Their Weight in Ukraine Aid Statista

This chart, provided by Statista, shows governments committing the most bilateral aid to Ukraine as a percentage share of their own GDP.

Newsweek has contacted the embassy and Pentagon for more comment.

The war in Ukraine has been raging for almost six months since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia had invaded its neighbor on February 24. The Russian army initially tried to take the capital Kyiv but was met with fierce resistance from Ukrainian forces. Since then, Russia has taken some strategically important cities in the south, as well as large sections of the Donbas in the east, where the fighting continues.

Supplied with Western weapons, Ukraine has been able to slow down Russian progress and form some counter-offensives in regions, including the occupied city Kherson.

Ukrainian forces used HIMARS rocket systems to halt Russia repairs of the Antonovsky Bridge, a key Russian supply route from Kherson to the Crimean Peninsula. The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is a U.S.-made high-tech precision missile with a range of around 40 miles.

Russian news agency TASS reported that at least 15 people were injured during the shelling, which took place during the day. The bridge has come under fire at least eight times since July 19 as Ukraine fights to retake the strategically important south-eastern region.

The U.S. last week warned Russia's ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov against Moscow stepping up its operations and called on Russia to stop military operations near Zaporizhzhia, Europe's largest nuclear power plant, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department told The Telegraph Monday.

Antonov visited the State Department in Washington, D.C. on August 18 for the talks with the U.S.