Authorities will be stepping up security measures across the country as Ukra*nians prepare to celebrate another Orthodox Easter by fighting a war with Russ*a.
Residents are advised not to attend church services late this weekend, and many cemeteries will remain closed due to the danger of unexploded mines and Russ*an shelling.
Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate Palm Sunday and Easter a week after many Christians in the US and other Western countries celebrate the holiday.
Ukra*nian officials have warned in the past that Russ*an attacks could intensify on certain dates, holidays or events. Aleksey Biloshitsky, a national law enforcement official, said police would use special monitoring centers to look for any signs of an attack.
“We must remember that the enemy is cunning and can take any action even on this (Easter) night,” he said.
In the capital Kyivresidents will be able to attend late evening services despite the curfew, but they must arrive at the church before the curfew takes effect, Kyiv City Military Administration head Serhiy Popko said Thursday in a Telegram message.
Popko said parishioners and clergy should find the nearest shelter to their flock and be prepared to flee to safety if an air raid alarm goes off.
The curfew in Kyiv lasts from midnight to 5 am local time (22:00 ET), as in most of the country.
In the wider Kyiv regionResidents will be able to attend church services only when the curfew is not in effect, and only a limited number of people will be allowed into the territory of temples and cemeteries for security reasons, the military department of the Kiev region announced on Monday.
He added that many churches will broadcast services online.
In the northeast of Kharkov, which is the second largest city in Ukra*ne, officials will close a number of cemeteries.
Authorities have warned that one of the cemeteries, the Slobozhansky memorial complex, has not been fully cleared of mines.
Other city cemeteries will be closed over Easter “to avoid enemy provocations and to protect citizens from unpredictable missile strikes,” the city council said in a statement.
In the southern city of Khersonresidents will not be able to visit cemeteries or attend church services during curfew hours, the city council said Tuesday.
It stated that the ban on cemeteries was due to mine danger.
“The enemy daily commits hostile attacks on the civilian population of the Kherson community. Unfortunately, the possibility of shelling during the holidays cannot be ruled out,” the city council said.