Zelenskyy warns of possible ‘violent’ attack as Kyiv marks 31 years of independence

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By Euronews
Kyiv will exhibit destroyed Russian military equipment to mark its Independence Day.
Kyiv will exhibit destroyed Russian military equipment to mark its Independence Day.   -  Copyright  AFP

As Ukraine prepares to celebrate its Independence Day on Wednesday, the country’s president has warned that Moscow could do "something particularly violent" during the following week.

On 24 August, Kyiv will be celebrating 31 years of independence of Ukraine from the former Soviet Union -- a date that also coincides with six months since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion.

In his late-night address on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that Russia might take the opportunity to launch a brutal attack.

"We should be aware that Russia may try to do something particularly disgusting and particularly violent next week. That's our enemy. But Russia has done something disgusting and violent every week during the last six months, constantly," Zelenskyy said.

On Wednesday, Kyiv will be exhibiting destroyed Russian military equipment to mark the day, a contrast to the country’s usual military parades.

Zelenskyy added that this year is "really special” and that he "can literally feel in the air of Crimea that the occupation there is temporary and that Ukraine is returning.”

His message follows an alleged drone attack on the headquarters of Moscow's Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol and other explosions that have rocked the Russian-controlled peninsula. 

However, the Russian-appointed governor claims the drone was shot down, while the Russian military has blamed unquenched cigarettes and negligence for other incidents.