The Mercury News Weekend
Country braces for Russian attacks on war's anniversary
After months of brutal war in Ukraine, residents in Kyiv braced for new attacks timed to the one-year anniversary of the invasion today.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that Russia is plotting a symbolic “revenge” attack around the oneyear mark of the invasion, and on the streets of Kyiv, people expressed a mix of resilience and fear as the anniversary loomed.
“Hope is the last thing to die,” said Liudmyla Danilenko, 79, as she waited for a trolley to take her to work, adding that the war had caused her ceaseless anxiety.
Schools across Ukraine have been advised to switch to remote learning through Friday by the country's education minister, Serhiy Shkarlet, who said Russia's history of striking schools and other civilian gathering centers such as residential buildings and hospitals put classrooms at risk.
In the southern Ukrainian port city of Kherson, which Kyiv's forces retook in November, authorities advised residents to avoid unnecessary trips outside and asked humanitarian groups not to encourage large gatherings.
Here's what else to know:
• A Russian official in eastern Ukraine accused Kyiv of planning “provocations” starting Thursday. Vladimir Rogov, an official in the Russian army's occupation administration in Zaporizhzhia, claimed that Ukrainian forces were preparing “shelling or even terrorist attacks.”
• Russian forces pounded residential areas near the front lines, killing at least three people and leaving two buried in the rubble of a building, Ukrainian officials said.
• European Union ambassadors failed to reach an agreement on a new sanctions package against Moscow, edging closer to their self-imposed deadline of Friday. The talks are to resume Friday morning. Among the contentious issues are sanctions on the import of Russian diamonds and the export of European rubber to Russia.