Ukraine’s independence day is on Wednesday 24 August: peaceful mass gatherings and celebratory events are common in urban areas to mark independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. This year, however, independence day events across the country (particularly in Kyiv and Kharkiv) have been banned after President Zelensky warned yesterday that the Russian military is now expected to launch long-range missile strikes against civilian infrastructure in a bid to spread fear and maximise civilian casualties.
Zelensky spoke yesterday afternoon of his government’s fears that the Kremlin could try to conduct something “particularly ugly, particularly vicious”, in order to “humiliate Ukrainians, devalue our capabilities and spread fear”. His government has highlighted the threat to administrative centres, military facilities, critical civilian infrastructure and residential centres.
This morning, the US government repeated the warning. A security alert from the US embassy in Kyiv has urged remaining US citizens to evacuate the country immediately, using privately available ground transportation options.
COMMENT: There remains good availability of ground support assets for clients seeking to enter or evacuate Ukraine at short notice; NGS is working closely with local partners to initiate evacuation as required. NGS recommends you stay away from all critical national infrastructure (military, transportation, energy, communication hubs) as these are a focus for conflict / attack, and avoid travel when possible.