A man has been arrested in Kyiv for allegedly setting off fireworks to celebrate the 2023 New Year. The charge? Vandalism. And he faces up to five years in prison.
The Kyiv Police Facebook page published a report on the incident, which happened in the lower district of the national capital, known as Podil.
“Despite repeated warnings from law enforcement, a local resident ignored the ban on the use of pyrotechnics during martial law,” the social media post read. “He now faces up to five years in prison.”
According to the police station on social networks, there were several calls indicating that many citizens of the “Podilskyi district, unknown people were throwing fireworks”.
Police eventually discovered that fireworks had been launched from a lawn on Konstantinivska Street into an apartment building.
“During the search operations, law enforcement, with the strong support of the No. 1 Regiment, identified the alleged suspect and carried out an emergency search in his apartment,” Kyiv police said.
A 47-year-old man named Kievanina has been arrested for violating an order implemented nearly 9 years earlier and enforced again in 2022. It’s called a ‘hooliganism’ charge for the act of disturb the peace.
Ukraine banned the use of fireworks in some areas like Kyiv, Lviv and Dnipro after Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. After Russia’s most recent invasion in February 2022, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has issued a directive to his Cabinet of Ministers to regulate the use of fireworks under martial law.
This law, which has number 7,438 in the books, authorizes “the use of pyrotechnics only for the needs of the Ukrainian armed forces, national police and emergency services”, according to gordonua.com.
Just last week, the sale and use of fireworks in Kyiv Oblast was banned.
Russia mustered troops along Ukraine’s northern and western borders in late January 2022, while also conducting military operations with neighboring Belarus. Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24, 2022 and there were heavy casualties on both sides. This includes more than 45,000 Ukrainian civilians, foreign fighters, Ukrainian servicemen and around 106,000 Russians, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.
Since the beginning of the war, Russia has failed to catch up with Kyiv, Lviv and Odessa, but it has occupied many regions in the eastern part of Ukraine.
Three months ago, Russia annexed four Ukrainian regions – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson – claiming that the citizens of these regions had voted overwhelmingly in favor. Zelensky said he described the situations in Donetsk and Luhansk as “difficult”.
Newsweek contacted the Kyiv Police Department for comment.