The U.S. embassy in Kyiv warned of an increased possibility of Russian military strikes on Ukraine in the coming days around Ukrainian independence day.
In an alert on its website, the embassy again urged U.S. citizens to leave Ukraine if they could.
“The Department of State has information that Russia is stepping up efforts to launch strikes against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days,” the embassy said.
“The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to depart Ukraine now using privately available ground transportation options if it is safe to do so,” the alert added, repeating the advice of previous security warnings.
Kyiv has banned public celebrations in the capital on the anniversary of independence from Soviet rule on Wednesday, citing a heightened threat of attack.
Near frontlines in the country’s south, Ukraine said Russia fired rockets into several towns north and west of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, captured by Russian forces shortly after they invaded Ukraine in February.
Artillery and rocket fire near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear reactor complex on the south bank of the Dnipro River led to calls for the area to be demilitarised.
Ukrainians living near the plant voiced fears that shells could hit one of the plant’s six reactors, with potentially disastrous consequences.
“Of course, we are worried. … It’s like sitting on a powder keg,” said Alexander Lifirenko, a resident of the nearby town of Enerhodar, now under the control of pro-Moscow forces.
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