Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

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Ukraine’s Independence Day, which on Wednesday marks 31 years since the country broke with the Soviet Union, is set to be a somber affair as officials warn that Russia may carry out missile attacks against Ukrainian cities.

While previous years have been marked by celebrations and parades, Wednesday’s commemoration comes exactly six months after Russia’s invasion of the country began.

The head of Kyiv’s Military Administration, Maj. Gen. Mykola Zhyrnov, said events have been banned in the capital and other cities so that security forces can respond more efficiently to potential Russian attacks.

In lieu of a parade, wrecked and captured Russian military vehicles including tanks were placed on Khreshchatyk, Kyiv’s main street, as a testament to Moscow’s failed attempt to capture the capital in the early weeks of the war.

“The enemy planned to hold a ‘parade’ on Khreshchatyk in three days, but it didn’t work out. Our armed forces answered back,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian President’s office, wrote on Telegram Saturday, when the vehicles were placed on the road with a crane.

On the eve of Independence Day, crowds of people were seen in Khreshchatyk, inspecting the display. Some children crawled up the rusty metal carcass of a tank, while others posed for pictures by the mangled vehicles.

Liubov, who asked for her last name to not be published, said she turned up to show the “scrap metal parade” to her 8-year-old son, Illia.

As Illia climbed on a Russian combat vehicle, Liubov described the parade as “symbolic,” saying “a lot of people in Kyiv (have forgotten) about war, so I think this is a good reminder.”

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