MOSCOW, October 28. /TASS/. The Ukrainian military has amassed military hardware and large groupings of troops near the communities of Orekhov and Gulyaipole in the Zaporozhye Region, Vladimir Rogov, chairman of the We Are Together with Russia movement, told TASS on Friday.
"The threat of an assault remains. Military hardware and militants of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky have been amassed along the combat engagement line, with particularly large groupings deployed in the vicinity of the communities of Orekhov and Gulyaipole," Rogov stated.
"There is a fundamental understanding of the situation and there is a readiness to repel them in case of combat actions aimed in our direction," he continued.
Rogov noted that the upcoming weeks would be pivotal for the region.
"The next two or three weeks would be the moment of truth, because Zelensky has set a task to launch [combat] activities in our direction and seize Kherson," he said.
Rogov also said that a possible attempt of Ukrainian troops to advance on the Zaporozhye front would turn into a counteroffensive assault on behalf of allied forces. "If there’s an attempt to gain ground on the part of the Zelensky regime, chances are high that this advancement will turn into our counteroffensive."
Rogov told TASS earlier that most of the large enterprises in the Kiev-controlled part of the Zaporozhye Region had been turned into the Ukrainian army’s strongholds. These include the Zaporozhstal and Zaporozhkoks factories and the workshops of the aluminum plant where Russia’s strikes had eliminated Foreign Legion militants.
Kiev has lost control of 72-73% of the Zaporozhye Region. The Ukrainian military controls the city of Zaporozhye where almost a half of the regional population lives.
Russia’s special military operation
The situation along the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian military back then, which damaged civilian infrastructure and caused civilian casualties.
On February 21, President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Russia signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Moscow recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as of the beginning of 2014.
Russian President Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics for assistance he had decided to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The DPR and the LPR launched an operation to liberate their territories under Kiev’s control.
From September 23 to September 27, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic as well as the Kherson Region and the Zaporozhye Region held a referendum where the majority of voters opted to join Russia.
On September 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the heads of the DPR and the LPR, the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions signed treaties on their accession to Russia. Later, the State Duma and the Federation Council (the lower and upper houses of Russia’s parliament) approved laws on ratifying these treaties, as well as federal constitutional laws on the accession of the four regions to Russia.