(CTN News) – Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, has banned public celebrations this week to mark the country’s independence from Soviet rule, citing a heightened threat of Russian attacks.
The United Nations said nearly 5,600 civilians, including many children, have been killed in the conflict.
Near the frontlines in the south of the country, Ukraine reported that Russian forces fired rockets into several towns north and west of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
Demilitarization of the area near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear reactor complex, on the south bank of the Dnipro River, has been called for due to artillery and rocket fire.
There are fears that shells could hit one of the six reactors at the plant, which could lead to disastrous consequences for Ukrainians living nearby.
Alexander Lifirenko, a resident of Enerhodar, a nearby town now under the control of pro-Moscow forces, said, “Of course, we are worried.
In the run-up to Wednesday’s 31st independence anniversary, which also marks half a year since the Russian invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Moscow may try “something particularly ugly.”
Despite being far from the front lines, Kyiv has rarely been hit by Russian missiles since Ukrainian troops repelled a Russian ground offensive in March.
Due to the possibility of renewed rocket attacks, Kyiv authorities have banned public events related to the anniversary from Monday until Thursday.
Public gatherings are also restricted in other jurisdictions. Kharkiv’s Mayor Ihor Terekhov announced an extension to an overnight curfew to run from 4 p.m. to 7 a.m. effective from Tuesday to Thursday.
A precautionary order is being issued for residents of Mykolaiv near Russian-held territory to the south on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to regional governor Vitaliy Kim.
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