Ukraine’s Independence Day celebrations won’t have the usual fanfare: NPR

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Ukrainians visit an avenue where destroyed Russian military vehicles were displayed in Kyiv, Ukraine.

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Ukrainians visit an avenue where destroyed Russian military vehicles were displayed in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Andrew Kravchenko/AP

Ukraine’s Independence Day celebrations won’t have the usual fanfare as Russia persists with its invasion.

August 24 marks the day the Ukrainian parliament swore to secede from the Soviet Union in 1991. This year’s date will also mark six months since the start of the war.

Perhaps the most striking change from past festivities concerns the parade.

Thousands of people marched along the path as more flatbed trucks brought in their cargo.

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Thousands of people marched along the path as more flatbed trucks brought in their cargo.

Andrew Kravchenko/AP

Instead of Soviet-style events – a ritual that President Volodymyr Zelensky had called wasteful — The Ukrainian army lines the road with the burnt carcasses of Russian military equipment.

“I think it’s appropriate, even if it’s sad,” Mykhailo Virchenko told NPR as he and his wife, Lubov, walked past the facility on Sunday.

Children played on the cannons, while friends took selfies in front of armored personnel carriers.

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“We hope we can celebrate independence without weapons in the future. Maybe with flowers and dances instead,” Lubov said.

Thousands of people marched along the path as more flatbed trucks brought in their cargo. Children played on the cannons, while friends took selfies in front of armored personnel carriers.

These are some of the engravings seen on Russian military equipment. On the left, “for Mariupol”. is carved out of metal. On the right, “for Mykolaiv” is written in black marker.

Julien Hayda


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Julien Hayda

Exposed to the elements, rust coats armor where people have carved graffiti like “revenge for Mariupol” or “for Mykolaiv”, Ukrainian towns that Russia has attacked since February.

Ukrainian officials are warning civilians against gatherings in major cities ahead of the holidays.

“Russia can try to do something particularly mean, something particularly cruel”, Zelenskyy said during his address on Saturday evening.

Instead of Soviet-style events to celebrate Independence Day – a ritual that President Volodymyr Zelensky had called wasteful — The Ukrainian army lines the road with the burnt carcasses of Russian military equipment.

Andrew Kravchenko/AP


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Andrew Kravchenko/AP


Instead of Soviet-style events to celebrate Independence Day – a ritual that President Volodymyr Zelensky had called wasteful — The Ukrainian army lines the road with the burnt carcasses of Russian military equipment.

Andrew Kravchenko/AP

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Zelenskyy’s office, said Russia would do everything it could to make the Ukrainian people unhappy.

“You will remember they said they would march through downtown Kyiv within three days of the invasion. Here we are six months later, having demonstrated how weak Russia is compared to the Ukraine. So they will want their compensation,” Podolyak said.

Ukrainian Ministry of Culture confirmed there would be no public celebration to mark the holiday. Current martial law prohibits large public gatherings.

People look at destroyed Russian military equipment on Khreshchatyk Street in Kyiv.

Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images


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Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images


People look at destroyed Russian military equipment on Khreshchatyk Street in Kyiv.

Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images

“I think we can only celebrate once we win,” Kyiv resident Valentyn Paska told NPR. “I’m just going to work that day.”

Instead, the military will hold private flag-raising ceremonies and some monuments in the capital will be illuminated in blue and yellow, the colors of the flag.

Attracting the attention of a large number of pedestrians and amateur photographers in downtown Kyiv, a large column of burned and captured Russian tanks and infantry carriers was displayed.

Andrew Kravchenko/AP


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Andrew Kravchenko/AP


Attracting the attention of a large number of pedestrians and amateur photographers in downtown Kyiv, a large column of burned and captured Russian tanks and infantry carriers was displayed.

Andrew Kravchenko/AP


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