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REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

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Watch: Ukraine celebrates Independence Day with military parade

Ukraine celebrated 27 years of independence from the Soviet Union on Friday.

The nation celebrated its Independence Day with one of the country's largest military parades in recent years.

Around 4,500 servicemen took part in the parade in Kyiv, with representatives from allies such as the US and UK also attending.

Thousands of spectators attended and caught a glimpse of the Ukrainian military weaponry on display.

Approximately 250 pieces of military hardware were on show, nearly quadrupling the number exhibited at last years parade.

Army jets and helicopters flew over Kyiv's streets while tanks moved through the thoroughfares.

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Jets fly over the streets at the Ukrainian Independence Day Military Parade.REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko spoke at the event and said: "There is nothing we desire more than peace. Nobody strives for peace more than we, the Ukrainians."

Poroshenko argued for the role Ukraine plays in defending European borders.

"Russia's war against Ukraine is part of the Kremlin's plan to ruin the EU and NATO," he said.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine have plummeted since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

In eastern Ukraine, more than 10,000 people have been killed since the Kremlin-backed revolt erupted in Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Russia denies sending troops to area.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman ahead of Independence Day celebrations.

Bolton met with Poroshenko later in the afternoon.

REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
US National Security Adviser John Bolton giving a press conference after meeting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

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