Artillery price

Ukrainian schools hit by artillery, Russia accused of orchestrating false flag attacks

David Hughes and Josh Payne, PA

Media PA/dpa

LONDON – Russia has been accused by Britain of orchestrating “false flag” attacks in Ukraine as a pretext for an invasion.

The claims by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss came as tensions continued to mount between Russian-backed separatists and state forces in eastern Ukraine, shells hitting a kindergarten.

Truss said reports alleging “abnormal military activity” by Ukraine in the eastern Donbas region were a “blatant” attempt by the Kremlin to fabricate a reason for an invasion.

The Prime Minister claimed there had been a ‘false flag operation intended to discredit Ukrainians’ and ‘we are very concerned that this is something we will see more of over the next few days’.

Western allies fear that Russia will lead or support attacks in Ukraine that it will then wrongly blame on the government in kyiv in order to justify an invasion.

Although Russia claims to be bringing units back to the base after the end of military exercises, Britain and the United States have claimed that thousands of additional troops have been deployed, along with support assets such as hospitals. countryside and new bridges.

Johnson, speaking at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, said: “The picture continues to be very bleak.

“Today, as I’m sure you have already gathered, a kindergarten was bombed in what we take to be, well, we know, was a false flag operation intended to discredit Ukrainians, designed to create a pretext, a false provocation for Russian action.

“We’re very concerned that these are the kinds of things we’ll see more of over the next few days.”

Truss, who is in Ukraine, said she was very concerned about the firefights in the Donbass and the continued build-up of Russian troops.

Separatist authorities in the Lugansk region claimed there had been an increase in Ukrainian shelling along the tense line of contact, describing it as “full-scale provocation” and that they later retaliated.

The Kyiv government disputed this claim, saying the separatists shelled its forces but did not return fire.

A building at the Stanytsia Luhanska kindergarten was hit, injuring two civilians, according to the Ukrainian army.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said “the shelling of a kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska by pro-Russian forces is a big provocation”.

Truss, who warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin could mount a “false flag” operation to justify an invasion, said: “Reports of alleged abnormal military activities by Ukraine in Donbass are a blatant attempt of the Russian government to fabricate pretexts for the invasion.

“It’s straight out of the Kremlin playbook.”

Truss said she was “very concerned by reports today of an increase in Russian aggression: more than 7,000 additional troops near the Ukrainian border and an attack by pro-Russian troops on a garden of ‘children in Ukraine’.

She urged Russia to withdraw its troops as there was “still time for diplomacy and de-escalation”.

©2022 dpa GmbH. Distributed by Content Agency Tribune, LLC.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.