Ukraine marks Independence Day as war with Russia continues

Ukraine on Wednesday marked the 31st anniversary of its independence from the Soviet Union as the war with Russia entered its seventh month.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry in a statement said the parliament voted in 1991 for the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine, inheriting the statehood for the Ukrainian People’s Republic, which existed from 1917 to 1921, when it went under the control of the Soviet Union.

"We broke away from the Soviet past and proceeded with determining our own destiny," the statement said.

Emphasizing the nation's achievements in its millennia-long history, the ministry said the country anchored itself on the path to EU membership by receiving candidate status and "increasing the pace of European transformations."

It stressed that during the past six months of the war, Ukraine set an "example of heroism, unity and self-sacrifice" in the name of freedom and with the aim to defend its independence.

The ministry thanked "partners and friends" for imposing sanctions on Russia, providing military, humanitarian, and financial support to the nation, and hosting the millions of refugees who had to flee the war-torn country.

"To overcome the biggest challenge to mankind since World War II, it is vital to keep supporting Ukraine," it said.

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