Ukraine marks Independence Day vowing to reclaim annexed territory 

by Reuters in August 24th, 2021
Ukrainian service members march during the Independence Day military parade in Kyiv, Ukraine August 24, 2021. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Ukrainian service members march during the Independence Day military parade in Kyiv, Ukraine August 24, 2021. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine held its first military parade in several years, celebrating the 30th anniversary of its independence and declaring it would reclaim areas of its territory annexed by Russia.

Units of the Ukrainian army, tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and air defence systems marched along the central street of Kyiv, while a parade of Ukrainian Navy units took place in the Black Sea port of Odessa

"We are fighting for our people, because it is possible to temporarily occupy territories, but it is impossible to occupy people's love for Ukraine," President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said at a ceremony before the parade.

"People in Donbass and Crimea will return to us, because we are a family," he said.

Relations between Kyiv and Moscow collapsed after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and the outbreak of war between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed forces in eastern Ukraine that Kyiv says has killed 14,000 people in seven years.

On Monday, more than 40 countries took part in the Crimea platform, a summit in Kyiv designed to keep international attention focused on the return of Crimea.

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