On the eve of Ukraine’s independence day and six months after the Russian invasion, nervousness in the country was growing Tuesday over the possibility that Moscow could focus on specific government and civilian targets during the holiday.
The United States reaffirmed those concerns when its embassy in kyiv issued a security alert saying it “has information that Russia is intensifying its efforts to launch attacks against Ukrainian civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days.”
Over the weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hinted at the threat when he said in one of his daily speeches that “we must be aware that this week Russia might try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel.”
The warnings came after Moscow claimed Ukrainian intelligence was responsible for the car bombing that killed the daughter of a prominent right-wing Russian political philosopher over the weekend. kyiv denied his involvement.
Darya Dugina, 29, who worked as a commentator on a Russian nationalist television station, died when the remote-controlled explosive device placed in her van exploded on Saturday night as she was driving outside Moscow.
The sense of fear that pervades the armed conflict is centered in part on the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, in Zaporizhia, in southeastern Ukraine, where continuous bombing and fighting have raised fears of a nuclear catastrophe.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned Monday night of a general nuclear threat, especially since Russia alluded to its huge nuclear arsenal at the start of the war.
Guterres called on Monday for an end to “nuclear saber rattling” and said the world is at a “time of greatest danger” and that all nuclear-armed countries must commit to “not being the first to use them.”
This did not prevent shelling near Zaporizhia early Tuesday. The region’s governor, Valentyn Reznichenko, said Russian forces fired on Marhanets and Nikopol, on the right bank of the Dnieper River, continuing weeks of incessant nightly attacks.
In the midst of death and destruction, a small glimmer of light slipped through. Professional football leagues were suspended in February, but the new league season will start in kyiv on Tuesday.
The Olympic Stadium will host the first clash, between Shakhtar Donetsk and Kharkiv’s Metalist 1925, two teams from eastern cities that are fighting for their very existence.
In the stands of the stadium, with capacity for 65,000 spectators, there will be no fans to watch the game that will start at 1:00 p.m., and the players will have to run to take shelter in air-raid shelters if the sirens sound.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.
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