Ukraine celebrates 30th independence day with large military parades


Ukraine has celebrated the 30th anniversary of its independence from the Soviet Union with military parades.

“We are a young country with 1,000 years of history,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his speech at Independence Square in Kiev on Tuesday.

Afterwards, some 5,000 soldiers marched past the country’s leaders and international guests. Among other things, tanks, artillery and the latest missile technology were presented at the parade. Combat drones were also on display.

Helicopters, fighter planes and the largest aircraft in the world, the Mriya (Dream), also flew over the centre of the capital.

Polish and Slovakian fighter pilots and helicopters also flew over the city centre.

The solemn parade was also attended by delegations of soldiers from other neighbouring countries as well as NATO countries such as Denmark, Canada and the US.

Several coast guard speedboats passed the city centre on the Dnieper river.

In the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa, there was a fleet parade with more than 20 ships.

Before the start of the parade in Kiev, a minute’s silence was held for the soldiers killed in the war in eastern Ukraine.

According to official figures, there have been around 50 deaths among government troops since the beginning of this year alone.

They have been fighting Russian-backed separatists in the Donbass region since 2014. According to UN estimates, more than 13,000 people, including civilians, have been killed since then. A peace plan is on hold.

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