Ukraine’s Independence Day attack kills 25 people

August 26, 2022

Ukraine’s Independence Day attack kills 25 people

Wednesday has marked the 31st anniversary of Ukraine, and Russia has used the day to make a statement. A Russian attack killed 25 people in the eastern portion of the country on Ukraine’s Independence Day.

A missile strike targeted a train station in Chaplyne, a town with a population of 3,500 people. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had warned for days that Russia was planning something “cruel” to mark the split from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The day is usually a big celebration for Ukrainians. However, the Russian invasion that started six months ago changed everything. In a video address, Zelenskyy says the country is sharing Chaplyne’s pain.

Ukraine celebrates Independence Day amid fear and chaos

Russia was determined not to leave Ukraine to celebrate its Independence Day without inflicting some pain. However, Kyiv’s Maidan square was mostly in a festive mood for the occasion.

Thousands of Ukrainians came out to take pictures standing next to Russian tanks as a show of defiance in the face of a stronger and bigger rival.

In an address to the nation, Zelenskyy praised the spirit of his country for standing firm against Russian aggression. He said that in February that no one thought Ukraine had a chance to contain the Russian aggression. He wished Ukrainians a happy Independence Day.

Ukrainians all over the country honored those who made the ultimate sacrifice after Russia invaded its neighbor. First Lady Olena Zelenska accompanied her husband to the Memory Wall of Fallen Defenders of Ukraine to pay tribute.

As the country celebrated, it looked to a future where the war is still a reality.

Zelenskyy and allies look to the months ahead

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is leaving his post in the upcoming weeks, used Ukraine Independence Day to urge Western allies not to turn their back on the country.

This was Johnson’s third visit to Ukraine since the February invasion. A few other European leaders have announced their commitment to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Ukrainian people.

US President Joe Biden has announced a new package for Ukraine that is worth $3 billion. Many saw this as a signal that war against Russia could last years.

Moreover, Western allies seem to have decided that there will be no wavering when it comes to Ukraine. The war has different fronts and could pose a serious challenge to the alliance in the long run.

Zelenskyy says a major crisis was averted

The Ukraine Independence Day attack was not the only major crisis dominating the country around the celebrations. According to the Ukrainian leader, a radiation disaster was averted on Thursday at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Russia controls the area, but it is the last line in terms of electricity supply for Ukraine. Nearby fires almost caused a major tragedy.

Russia took control of the plant in March. However, it is still operated by Ukrainians. The international community wants the entire area to be demilitarized.

Moscow insists that safety measures were put in place. Allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin also claim that the Ukraine Independence Day attack had a very specific goal, to prevent arms from being delivered to Chaplyne.

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