Ukraine girds for Independence Day attacks on war’s six-month mark


  • Zelenskiy warns of possible ‘brutal attacks’ by Russia
  • August 24 holiday marks six months since invasion
  • UN nuclear body could visit a factory in Ukraine in days

Kiev, Aug. 24 (Reuters) – Ukrainians mark 31 years since they broke away from the Russian-dominated Soviet Union on Wednesday in what is sure to be a day of resistance to the Kremlin’s six-month-old war to reclaim the country. subjects .

Ukraine’s Independence Day falls on the six-month anniversary of the Russian invasion on February 24 and will be marked by subdued celebrations under the threat of attacks from land, air and sea.

Public gatherings are banned in the capital Kiev and a curfew is in effect in the eastern city of Kharkiv, which has endured months of shelling.

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The government placed the carcasses of burnt-out Russian tanks and armored vehicles as war trophies in the center of Kiev in a show of resistance. read more

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned of the possibility of “abhorrent Russian provocations” late on Tuesday and authorities urged people to take airstrike warnings seriously.

“We are fighting against the most terrible threat to our state and also at a time when we have reached the greatest level of national unity,” Zelenskiy said in an evening speech.

Earlier on Tuesday, he told representatives of about 60 states and international organizations attending a virtual summit in Crimea that Kiev would expel Russian troops from the peninsula by any means necessary, without consulting other countries beforehand. read more

The war has killed thousands of civilians, forced more than a third of the 41 million Ukrainians from their homes, left cities in ruins and shaken global markets. It is largely silent with no immediate prospect of peace talks.

In addition to the Crimea it annexed in 2014, Russia has expanded its control to areas in the south, including the Black Sea and Sea of ​​Azov coasts, and parts of the eastern Donbas region, including Luhansk and Donetsk provinces.

According to the Ukrainian armed forces, nearly 9,000 soldiers have been killed in the war so far.

Russia has not disclosed its losses, but US intelligence estimates that 15,000 were killed in what Moscow calls a “special military operation” to “denazify” Ukraine. Kiev says the invasion is an unprovoked act of imperialist aggression.

Ukraine broke from the Soviet Union in August 1991 after the failed coup in Moscow, and an overwhelming majority of Ukrainians voted in a referendum to declare independence.


Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the UN nuclear watchdog hopes to gain access to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine within days. read more

Both sides have accused the other of firing rockets and artillery fired dangerously close to the factory, the largest in Europe, raising fears of a nuclear catastrophe.

“I continue to consult very actively and intensively with all parties,” Grossi said in a statement on Tuesday. “If the ongoing negotiations are successful, the mission is expected to take place in the coming days.”

Pro-Moscow forces took over the factory shortly after the invasion began, but it is still managed by Ukrainian technicians. The United Nations has called for the demilitarization of the area.

Russia on Tuesday accused Ukraine of shelling the factory with artillery and attacking it with guided munitions and a drone, a denial by Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya.

“Nobody at least conscious can imagine Ukraine attacking a nuclear power plant with a huge risk of nuclear disaster and on its own territory,” Kyslytsya said at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in New York, convened by Russia.

The United States, which has sent $10.6 billion in security aid to Ukraine, will announce a new package worth about $3 billion on Wednesday, a US official said. read more

Advanced US missile systems appear to have helped Ukraine in recent months to strike deep behind the front lines, taking out ammunition depots and command posts.

In the latest mysterious fire at a Russian military facility, Russian officials said the ammunition stored in southern Russia, near the border with Ukraine, burned spontaneously on Tuesday.

Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of the Belgorod region, blamed the hot weather for the fire and was ridiculed by Ukraine.

“In a few months we will find out if Russian ammunition can explode due to the cold,” Ukraine’s defense ministry said in a tweet.

“The five main causes of sudden explosions in Russia are: winter, spring, summer, autumn and smoking.”

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Reporting by Reuters agencies; writing by Grant McCool and Stephen Coates; Edited by Cynthia Osterman and Lincoln Feast.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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