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Ukraine celebrates its Independence Day with hopes of peaceful celebration from Russia

President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a speech to Ukrainian citizens. He told them of the situation and encouraged them to endure in the face of someone else’s challenging behavior.



Fears of an escalation by Russia have Ukrainians on edge as Independence Day approaches, but in an address to the nation on Saturday, President Volodymyr Zelensky urged them to stand firm.

“For Kharkiv and Donbas, for Azovstal and Mykolaiv, for the filtration camps, for Bucha, Irpin, for all cities, we must all be strong enough to resist any enemy provocations—as much as it takes to make the occupiers answer for all their blows and terror.” Zelensky stressed the importance of maintaining morale and stamina to ensure a full Ukrainian victory.

On August 24, Ukraine will be approaching the 31st anniversary of their Independence Day, which also marks six months since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is “concentrating a large number of anti-aircraft missiles near the borders with Ukraine and in the occupied territories from the S-300 air defense system,” the Strategic Communications Directorate, Office of the Chief of Defense, Ukrainian Armed Forces posted on Thursday.

There is no doubt that S-300 missiles pose a serious threat to the territory of Ukraine. “It is also obvious that they are concentrated until August 24 when you consider that a number of echelons arrive by the 20th,” it said.

At the end of his speech, Zelensky alluded to the possibility that Russia would attempt “something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel” this week.

“One of the enemy’s primary goals is to make an example of us Ukrainians, to devalue our abilities and our heroes, to sow seeds of hopelessness and fear and sow the seeds of conflict… Therefore, the Ukrainian president stressed the importance of never caving to the pressure of the enemy, of keeping calm and not getting worked up, and of never demonstrating weakness.

Western officials have assessed the situation in Ukraine as being close to an operational standstill on both sides; Zelensky’s comments come as the Biden administration announced on Friday that it would be sending another $775 million dollars’ worth of military aid in Ukraine.

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