News Politics: Nearly 9,000 soldiers have died, according to Ukraine’s military chief, since Russia invaded the country almost six months ago. At a veterans’ celebration on Monday, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi gave the first official count of Ukraine’s military casualties since April. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, is said to have resulted in more than 5,500 civilian deaths, according to the UN. At least 972 Ukrainian children have been confirmed killed or injured in acts of violence, according to the U.N. Children’s Agency, but the actual number is likely much higher. According to a statement by UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell, the use of explosive weaponry has been the main cause of child casualties.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned of potential Russian actions against Ukraine as the country prepares to mark Independence Day.
Wednesday marks six months since the start of the war. It is also Ukraine’s Independence Day, marking 31 years since the country gained independence from Soviet rule.
Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, canceled public Independence Day celebrations. Reuters news agency said a government document shows authorities in Kyiv banned public events related to the anniversary from Monday through Thursday.In other developments Monday, Ukraine reported fresh Russian aerial attacks near the site of a major nuclear power plant.