Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, told Sky News that the hardest fighting was yet to come and said the next few months would be crucial in deciding the course of the war, Report informs.

He urged western allies to send more weapons, including Royal Air Force Typhoon jets from the UK and fighter aircraft from other partners.

“Russia is preparing for maximum escalation,” Mr Danilov said in an interview on Tuesday at his headquarters in the capital Kyiv.

“It is gathering everything possible, doing drills and training.”

He did not rule out the possibility that President Vladimir Putin attempts another attack from the north, south and east, as happened on 24 February 2022 – maybe even to coincide with the anniversary.

“The ultimate goal is to retake all territory captured by Russian forces – not just since 24 February 2022 but since Russia launched its first invasion of Ukraine back in 2014, capturing the Crimean peninsula and backing so-called separatists in the eastern Donbas region.