Ukraine on Wednesday said the Russian armed forces are preparing to seize the capital Kyiv.
"According to available information, the enemy is preparing for a new attempt to take Kyiv," the press service of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a statement.
Kyiv, Ukraine’s most populous city, is said to be relatively quiet in recent days, though Russian artillery has pounded the outskirts of the capital.
Earlier this week, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko had urged the public to stay indoors or in shelters as the city steps up the defensive measures, adding that intense fights were ongoing outside Kyiv.
"The Kyiv municipality does everything to ensure reliable city services," he said. "We distribute the aid among the most vulnerable population and stockpile food, essentials and medications."
Russia's war on Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, has drawn international condemnation and led to severe financial sanctions on Moscow.
Taking note of the global outcry, many of the world’s major businesses have also limited or halted their Russian operations.
At least 474 civilians have been killed and 861 injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, and over 2.1 million people have fled to neighboring countries, according to UN estimates.
Russia is one of the world’s top oil producers, and also dominates the European energy market as its largest supplier of natural gas. The conflict and subsequent sanctions have sent crude oil prices higher as supply concerns grow.