Official Celebration of Ukrainian Independence Day in Kyiv
The official ceremony to celebrate Ukrainian Independence Day took place this morning in the center of Kyiv
August 24th marks the official celebration of Independence Day in the center of Ukraine’s capital. Official events began at the Alley of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred. There, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and first lady Olena Zelenska lit memorial lamps. A national minute of silence was observed for all those who fought and died for the independence of Ukraine.
After the moment of silence, President Zelensky and his wife walked toward the Maidan. A bell tolled 100 times in memory of those who gave their lives for Ukraine’s independence during the Revolution of Dignity.
A March of Dignity replaced the traditional military parade. Nevertheless, representatives of the Armed Forces passed along Kyiv’s central street to raise the national flag.
The President handed over state awards to military personnel, volunteers and doctors. After a performance of the national anthem, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Ukrainian people. In his speech, he compared the temporarily occupied territories of the Donbas and annexed Crimea with children, who were forcibly taken away by a neighbor.
“Imagine your neighbor took away two of your kids. The first child was kidnapped. He was given a new birth certificate and then the kidnappers say — we did not take away your child. He wanted to live with us. So what if we pointed a gun at him? It is his wish and who told you it is your child? Every day the hearts of each of us ache and all the victories are incomplete because our family is incomplete. But the day will dawn when we will come together because the voice of your own blood will win. Dear Ukrainians, we are all different, but we are united as one. We have to be united because only then we are strong,” Zelensky said.
Following President Zelensky’s speech, partitions of the armed forces marched towards European Square, marking the conclusion to the official ceremony. Celebrations carry on through the day and into the evening as Ukrainians around the country, and the world, marks this special day.