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Ukraine: Commemorative events expected in Kyiv February 18-20

Demonstrations planned in Kyiv February 18-20 to commemorate 2014 Ukrainian Revolution (Revolution of Dignity); heightened security presence and transportation disruptions expected

16 Feb 11:46 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 2/16/2018, 12:00 AM until 2/22/2018, 11:59 PM (Europe/Kiev). COUNTRY/REGION Kyiv

Event

Demonstrations are scheduled in Kyiv from Sunday, February 18, through Tuesday, February 20, to commemorate the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution (Revolution of Dignity). Large crowds are expected to gather in Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), Shevchenko Park, and St. Sophia Square. According to the US Embassy in Kyiv, a separate march is expected to begin at Shevchenko Park at 12:00 (local time) on February 18 and conclude at St. Sophia Square.

A significantly heightened security presence - comprised of over 6000 extra police officers - and transportation disruptions (including street and metro closures) are expected in Kyiv, particularly near Maidan Nezalezhnosti and Instytutska Street. Vehicle traffic will be suspended on nearby Khreschatyk Street from the evening of Friday, February 16, to the morning of Thursday, February 22, among other adjacent street closures.

Context

The Euromaidan movement took place in February 2014 and resulted in the ouster of then-President Viktor Yanukovych. Some commemoration events in 2016 turned violent, with crowds targeting Russian businesses, such as banks and diplomatic missions. The deaths of those killed in the Euromaidan protests are annually commemorated in Kyiv on February 20.

Fighting between Ukrainian Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) forces and pro-Russian separatists continues to occur in the eastern Donbass region, despite an official ceasefire. Over 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict since early 2014.

Advice

Individuals in Ukraine, particularly in Kyiv, are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all demonstrations, and to adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.

Due to the ongoing fighting, a number of Western governments advise against travel to Donetsk and Luhansk provinces (Donbass), as well as areas along the Russian border and the Crimean Peninsula.

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