The 24th of August is Ukraine’s Independence Day – it is celebrated on the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine by the Supreme Council of the Ukrainian SSR in 1991. This year’s anniversary coincides with the end of the first six months of the brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Because of the threat of air attacks, the authorities in Kyiv decided to cancel the festive celebrations.
On August 24, 1991, Ukraine became an independent state, while on February 24, 2022, its citizens had to face a new, war-related reality.
“A new nation appeared in the world on February 24 at four in the morning. It was not born, but reborn. A nation that did not cry, did not scream, did not fear. The nation that did not flee, did not give up and did not forget. Six months ago, Russia declared war on us. On February 24, all of Ukraine heard explosions and gunshots, and on August 24, it was not heard any wishes on the occasion of Independence Day. Six months ago, we were told we had no chance, but today we are celebrating. Within six months, we changed our history. We changed the world and we changed ourselves. Now we really know who our brothers and friends are, and who are our random acquaintances. The whole world now knows who the Ukrainians are and what Ukraine is. Nobody will say that Russia is here anymore. We began to respect each other, we understood that no one will deprive us of independence. For us, Ukraine means all of Ukraine. All 25 regions without any concessions or compromises. These words ceased to exist for us on February 24, after the first missiles hit. Donbas is Ukraine, and Crimea is Ukraine. We will reclaim these lands, no matter how difficult the road may be. Happy Independence Day, Ukraine! Glory to Ukraine!” President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky said.