A two-day curfew has been announced in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv as fears grow that Russia might attack during the country’s Independence Day anniversary.
The curfew will start on Tuesday (August 23) at 1900 local time and end at 0700 on Thursday (August 25), said Oleh Synehubov, head of Kharkiv Regional Military Administration.
“This is based on the information we have received from our Special Forces and the military about potential provocations. So, our government has made a decision to ban any mass events or celebrations,” said Synehubov.
Kharkiv has come under frequent and deadly longer-range artillery and rocket fire since Russia launched what it calls a “special military operation” to demilitarize its smaller neighbour and protect Russian-speaking communities on Feb. 24.
Elsewhere in Ukraine, the capital Kyiv has banned public celebrations from Monday to Thursday, restricting festivities to commemorate Ukraine’s independence from Soviet rule.
In the port of Mykolaiv near Russian-held territory to the south, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said authorities planned a precautionary order for residents to work from home on Tuesday and Wednesday and urged people not to gather in large groups.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned that Moscow could try “something particularly ugly” in the run-up to Wednesday’s 31st independence anniversary, which also marks half a year since Russia invaded.