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Ukraine’s capital stops Independence Day celebrations, fearing Russian attack

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Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital has reacted to intelligence from a U.S. official by placing a ban on public festivities to mark its independence from Soviet rule this week, quoting heightened threats of attack of Russia to strike Ukrainian infrastructure in the coming days.

Ukraine said Russia fired rockets into several towns north and west of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, captured by Russian forces shortly after invading Ukraine in February.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned that Moscow could try “something particularly ugly” in the build-up to Wednesday’s 31st independence anniversary, which also marks half a year Russia invaded Ukraine.

Authorities in Kyiv decided to ban public events related to the independence anniversary from Monday until Thursday dreading fresh rocket attacks. The capital is far from the front lines and has only rarely been hit by Russian missiles since Ukraine repelled a ground offensive to seize the capital in March.

Other jurisdictions also moved to restrict public gatherings. In Kharkiv, 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, after the northeastern city had come under constant and deadly longer-range artillery and rocket fire.

While the regional governor of the port of Mykolaiv near Russian-held territory to the south, Vitaliy Kim said that precautionary measures were been put in place for residents to work from home on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Residents have been urged not to gather in large groups.

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