Ukraine War: Kyiv braces for Russian attacks as country marks Independence Day

Ukraine today celebrates 31 years of independence amid warnings of Russian attacks over the National Day.

Yiv seceded from the Soviet Union on this day more than three decades ago, but celebrations will be muted because of the ongoing war with Russia.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s President, said it was likely Moscow would stage “repugnant…provocations” around the celebrations and urged people to react quickly to air raid sirens.

“Russian provocations and brutal beatings are possible,” he said in a statement.

“Please strictly follow the safety rules. Please observe the curfew. Listen for the air sirens. Listen for official announcements. And remember: We must all achieve victory together.”

“We are fighting the most terrible threat to our statehood and this at a time when we have reached the highest level of national unity,” he said on Tuesday evening, on the eve of the holiday.

For security reasons, the city of Kyiv has banned public celebrations. However, as a show of defiance, burnt-out Russian tanks were set up in the center of the capital.

This year’s Independence Day coincides with the six-month mark of a war that has killed thousands and forced millions to flee Ukraine.

At least 5,587 Ukrainian civilians have been killed and 7,890 others injured since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, according to the UN. The true death toll is likely to be much higher.

As Ukraine celebrated its Independence Day, Kiev residents woke up to air raid sirens.

A small number of residents gathered in Kyiv’s central square, where destroyed Russian tanks and mobile artillery were on display over the weekend and the national anthem is played every day at 7 a.m. local time.

“I can’t sleep at night because of what I see and hear about what’s being done in Ukraine,” said one pensioner, who identified herself only by her first name, Tetyana, her voice shaking with emotion.

“This is not a war. It is the destruction of the Ukrainian people.”

Wednesday’s holiday commemorates Ukraine’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

A car bomb attack outside Moscow on Saturday that killed the 29-year-old daughter of right-wing Russian political theorist Alexander Dugin fueled fears that Russia could step up attacks on Ukraine this week.

Russian officials have blamed Ukraine for the death of Darya Dugina, a Russian nationalist TV commentator. The car bomb exploded after attending a patriotic festival with her father, who was widely believed to have been the intended target.

The Ukrainian government has denied any involvement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24.

Moscow’s military has met unexpectedly fierce Ukrainian resistance, and the six months of fighting have turned life in Ukraine upside down and sent shockwaves through the global economy.

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/ukraine-war-kyiv-braced-for-russian-attacks-as-country-marks-independence-day-41933577.html Ukraine War: Kyiv braces for Russian attacks as country marks Independence Day

Fry Electronics Team

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