Ukraine’s defence minister has warned the country would be invaded by Russia at any time and said: “There will be a bloody massacre” if the neighbour comes to “take the country over”.
Serhiy Korolev’s stark warning comes as Ukraine continues to maintain a strategic blockade of the Russian territory of Crimea to enforce a controversial 2014 ceasefire deal. The Kremlin says the blockade is illegal and urged Kiev to lift it.
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“We have not yet had the full implementation of the Minsk agreements (to end the war) and according to our information, Russia has already started the sabotage and violation of the ceasefire,” Korolev said on Friday.
Korolev said Russia is planning to launch “massive actions” across the country, mainly in the areas where fighting between government troops and pro-Russian rebels has raged.
“If Russia invades Ukraine, there will be a bloody massacre,” he said, according to an Interfax news agency report.
“The conflict with Russia should be stopped. There will be no victors in the case of a war,” Korolev said. “We should win, but when we achieve this … they [the Kremlin] will start annihilating us with nanoseconds.”
Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 and annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine. The conflict in eastern Ukraine has killed nearly 10,000 people since April 2014. The Kremlin denies accusations it has any role in the war.