Ukrainians on Wednesday mark 31 years since they broke free from the Russia-dominated Soviet Union in what is certain to be a day of subdued, but defiant celebrations overshadowed by fears of new Russian missile attacks.
Ukraine’s Independence Day, which falls six months since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion, has this year taken on hallowed significance for Ukrainians determined not to fall back under Moscow’s yoke.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned late on Tuesday of the possibility of “repugnant Russian provocations” and “brutal strikes” by Moscow to cast a pall over what he said was an important day for all Ukrainians.
Officials have banned public gatherings in the capital Kyiv and imposed a hard curfew in the eastern city of Kharkiv, which has weathered months of shelling on the front lines. Many government officials have been ordered to work from home.