Ukraine war: European leaders praise Ukrainian independence as Zelenskyy says country 'reborn'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena attending a commemoration ceremony in Kyiv, 24 August 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena attending a commemoration ceremony in Kyiv, 24 August 2022 Copyright AFP PHOTO / UKRANIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE
By Euronews with AP, AFP, Reuters
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European leaders have sent messages of solidarity on Ukraine's independence day, while President Zelenskyy vowed to fight "to the end" for victory over Russia.

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European leaders have been sending messages of solidarity to Ukraine on the country's independence day.

It's 31 years since Ukraine broke free from Russian dominance under the former Soviet Union — and exactly six months since Vladimir Putin's forces rolled across the border in a full-scale invasion.

Anniversary events have been restricted amid security warnings of further Russian attacks.

Moscow forces on Wednesday launched a rocket attack on a train station in central Ukraine on the embattled country's Independence Day, killing at least 15 people and wounding about 50.

The lethal attack took place in Chaplyne, a town of about 3,500 people in the Dnipropetrovsk region, Zelenskyy told the UN Security Council via video. 

Ahead of the holiday, Kyiv authorities banned large gatherings in the capital through Thursday for fear of missile strikes.

Residents of the capital, which has been largely spared in recent months, woke up Wednesday to air raid sirens, but no immediate strikes followed. As the day wore on, Russian bombardments were reported in the country's east, west and central areas, with the most serious attack apparently at the train station.

Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson marked the holiday with a visit to Kyiv — his third since the war broke out — and other world leaders pledged unwavering support for Ukraine, locked in a battle that was widely expected to be a lightning conquest by Moscow but has turned into a grinding war of attrition. 

The US announced a major new military aid package totalling nearly $3 billion (€3.01bn) to help Ukrainian forces fight for years to come.

Review the developments around Ukraine's Independence Day in our blog below:

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