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Ukraine: Global reactions 6 months after Russia invaded

Ukraine: Global reactions 6 months after Russia invaded
Ukraine: Global reactions 6 months after Russia invaded Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022
By Reuters
Published on Updated
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- Ukraine marked 31 years of independence on Wednesday, six months to the day after Russia invaded. Following are related comments from world leaders and other prominent figures.

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKIY

"A new nation appeared in the world on Feb. 24... 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...

"We will not sit down at the negotiating table (with Russia) out of fear, with a gun pointed at our heads. For us, the most terrible iron is not missiles, aircraft and tanks, but shackles. Not trenches, but fetters...

"What for us is the end of the war? We used to say: peace. Now we say: victory."

UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER DMYTRO KULEBA

"If we don't have independence, we don't have anything."

U.S. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN

"Today is not only a celebration of the past, but a resounding affirmation that Ukraine proudly remains – and will remain – a sovereign and independent nation.

"The United States of America is committed to supporting the people of Ukraine as they continue the fight to defend their sovereignty.

"I know this independence day is bittersweet for many Ukrainians... But six months of relentless attacks have only strengthened Ukrainians' pride in themselves, in their country, and in their 31 years of independence."

FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON

"This August 24 was supposed to be a day of festivities, joy, pride. It is a day of pride. But instead of all the legitimate festivities, it is the dead and the combatants that we think of today. The courage, the resilience of your people.

"..."Defending the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine is defending the stability of our world."

NATO SECRETARY GENERAL JENS STOLTENBERG

"Russia's war in Ukraine is the greatest crisis for Europe's security since World War Two. The Ukrainian armed forces and the whole Ukrainian people are showing tremendous courage and determination. And, under President Zelenskiy's leadership, you are an inspiration to the world.

"You can continue to count on NATO's support."

GERMAN CHANCELLOR OLAF SCHOLZ

"Today would normally be filled with joyful concerts, picnics and parades, held under a blue Ukrainian summer sky ... But the dark shadow of Russia's brutal war of aggression remains a heavy burden ...

"Our borders and our hearts remain open for all those who are forced to flee the terror imposed on them by Russia ...

"Germany stands firmly by Ukraine's side in this hour of danger - today and for as long as Ukraine needs our support. Your yellow and blue flag and that of the EU, with yellow stars on a blue background, are cut from the same cloth."

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON

"However long it takes, the United Kingdom will stand with Ukraine and provide every possible military, economic and humanitarian support."

EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT URSULA VON DER LEYEN

"We can never match your sacrifices you are making every day. But we can - and we will - stand by your side...

"Together with you we will rebuild your cities, brick by brick, and replant your gardens and fields, seed by seed. Thanks to your sacrifice, your children will grow up in a Ukraine that is just and free. There is a lot to do, but we can do it together. Europe is with you today and in the long run."

EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT CHARLES MICHEL

"Today is not a day to wish you a happy independence celebration. Because you are suffering, you are fighting. And you are fighting to defend your homeland ... (but) also fighting to defend our common European values and principles. And that's why your family members are our family members. That's why your future is our common future."

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