RUSSIA is preparing for a "massive new attack" in just seven days, Ukraine's top spy chiefs have warned.

It comes as Vladimir Putin masses up to 500,000 soldiers amid fears he is planning a new onslaught on Ukraine to mark the first anniversary of the war.

Ukrainian defenders are bracing for a fresh assault that could include 1,800 tanks, 3,950 armoured vehicles, 400 fighter jets and 300 helicopters incoming from Russia.

Oleksiy Danilov, Ukraine's Secretary of the National Security Council, believes Putin could unleash the new offensive on either February 23 or 24.

But he insisted the country is "ready" and will be able to "cope".

He told the My-Ukraine TV channel: "You and I started saying that they are preparing and will try to make another attempt at a massive attack on February 23-24.

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"You need to be calm about this. We are ready for it.

"I think we already understand what attacks are, after receiving 115-120 rockets in one day.

"We will cope with this day as well. Yes, it will be difficult, but we will all get through."

It comes amid fears Russia could now use fighter jet raids to kill Ukrainian troops massing on the ground for a potential offensive.

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So far, Putin has failed to conquer the skies and has instead opted to roll out thousands of tanks.

But with Russia losing as many as 2,000 men for every 100 yards gained according to Nato intelligence, there are concerns Putin could turn his attention to air assaults.

It is believed the tyrant could aim to overwhelm Ukrainian skies with his multi-million pound aerial arsenal of fighter jets, bombers and attack helicopters worth.

A US official told The Times: "Russian land forces are quite thinned out, ragged and very demoralised, so the best indication is that they will try to switch to aerial combat."

It comes amid an increase in Russia's fighter jet activity, according to the UK's Ministry of Defence.

An intelligence update said: "Russian sortie rates have increased over the last week, following several weeks of quieter activity.

"Air activity is now roughly in line with the average daily rate seen since summer 2022."

Russia has warned it will "gain the world's attention" on the one-year anniversary of the Ukraine invasion.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this month Moscow plans to overshadow pro-Ukrainian events on the first year anniversary of the war on February 24.

Lavrov said Russian diplomats are working on something to make sure events in the West are "not the only ones to gain the world's attention".

He didn't provide any further details.

Russia is believed to be plotting an attack across two new fronts – pushing into eastern and southern Ukraine.

Kyiv believe the attack may happen on or around February 24.

Mad Vlad is desperate to achieve something after a bruising first year which has seen his forces thrown back.

Ukraine fear the next few weeks will crucial for the conflict as they continue to call for weapons from the West.


Defence minister Oleksii Reznikov believes Putin is gathering up to 500,00 soldiers from the new offensive.

He warned the Russians can carry out an offensive on two fronts, pushing into the south and into the east in the Donbas.

Vlad's initial assault last February saw his forces storm towards Kyiv before they were thrown by back the Ukrainians.

Ukraine then went on the counteroffensive, liberating huge swathes of the country from the disorganised Russians.

The conflict then slowed down over the winter.

And in recent weeks it has been reported the Russians were beginning to make gains.

Putin likely will be seeking some sort of major triumph or new operation to mark the anniversary – with his future now tied to the success or failure of the war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the UK's Defence Secretary has warned Russia could fire the starting gun on a major new ground offensive on the anniversary of Ukraine's invasion.

Ben Wallace predicted evil Putin will "step up" their campaign of murdering innocent civilians as he approaches the one-year mark of his barbaric, bloody campaign.

But he said it would be difficult for the Russian leader to spin the day as a success after claiming it would be a simple three-week special mission in the region, just a year ago.

However, he urged the West not to "underestimate" the strength of the Ukrainians, who are prepared and ready for a new phase of the war.

The Defence Secretary told The Sun on a visit to Rome: "I think you should expect Russians to step up their indiscriminate targeting of civilian areas. 

"They may try to do something on the ground, on the offensive.

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"I suspect he will lash out and kill more innocent people."

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