Ukrainian authorities discussed the threat from “provocations” during heightened tensions caused by the buildup of Russian forces around the borders of Ukraine and insisted that cities under threat will be protected.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, was asked at a press briefing in the city of Kharkiv about possible provocations that Russia might blame on Ukraine, so-called false flag operations.
“We are currently considering any issues. Every day we receive information from our services,” he said.
“We have heard so far about the Chernobyl [nuclear] station, we have heard about the territory of the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and about other facilities both in our territory and in the occupied Crimea, and in the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” he said.
The Chernobyl area near the border with Belarus is an exclusion zone after the disaster at its nuclear plant in 1986. Much of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are under the control of pro-Russian separatists and have been since 2014.
“If we are talking about a provocation that the Russian Federation will try to make, we are well aware of what we are talking about,” Danilov said.
“We do not know where this or that provocation may take place, in what form it will be realized,” he said.
“The Russian Federation has started a war in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and is now beginning to tell nonsense that we will allegedly reclaim the Donetsk and Luhansk regions militarily. I would like to emphasize once again that we cannot do that because we are responsible for the civilian population,” Danilov said.
“I just do not understand why the Russians need that ‘trouble’ called our country? Believe me, we will not give anything to anyone,” he said. “They are aware of the position of our citizens that we will fight for our [land.] … We have never attacked anyone in the history of our country. But we will not give ours to anyone.”
Danilov said the city of Kharkiv will be protected in case of an invasion.
Speaking on the evacuation of government institutions, Danilov said. “To date, there are no reasons to take out or evacuate documents. If there are such reasons, the relevant institutions will immediately work in the appropriate direction.”
“Now no one is moving anywhere, because we do not see any reasons for it today,” he added.