Ukraine war: Unease as country marks independence day six months after Russian ...

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Wednesday (24 August) marks 31 years since Ukrainians broke free from the Soviet Union – and exactly six months since the country was invaded by Russia (24 February).

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky has banned Independence Day celebrations in Kyiv out of fear of further Russian attacks. It is said that almost 9,000 militants have been killed in the war, and over a third of Ukraine's 41 million people have fled for safety from their homes.

"We don't care what army you have, we only care about our land. We will fight for it until the end," Zelensky declared in an emotional speech.

"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, scream or take fright. One that did not flee. Did not give up. And did not forget," he said.

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Many events are taking place across the UK as a show of solidarity:

London will be having an Independence Day Rally against the war in Ukraine.

Manchester will host a family fun day at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre to mark the occasion. They will also be lighting up buildings across the city centre, including the Central Library and the 40m Tower of Light.

The Museum of Liverpool will be showcasing several Ukrainian projects.

Over the weekend, Newcastle will have a Ukrainian Independence Day concert at The Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas Saint Nicholas Square.

The Association of Ukrainians in Coventry have organised a service at their Broad Street church, followed by a memorial event.

Hull will also give a Pray for Ukraine remembrance service at Hull Minster.

A vigil will take place in Birmingham's Victoria Square from 6pm.

Worcester will host a gathering for the public and Ukrainian families who have settled in the town at Bar 7 in Upton upon Severn.

The Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk will be holding an event of reflection.

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