Hundreds of People Celebrate Ukrainian Independence Day in Prague and Brno

Crowds gather in Brno’s Moravske namesti to mark Ukrainian Independence Day. Photo credit: Marek Fiser via Facebook.

Prague, Aug 25 (CTK) – Hundreds of people, mainly Ukrainian nationals, celebrated the Independence Day of Ukraine in the centres of Prague and Brno yesterday, marking exactly four months since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24.

In Prague, people gathered in the upper part of Wenceslas Square and in Old Town Square. Dozens of people carried blue and yellow Ukrainian flags and banners with anti-Russian slogans, denouncing Russia as a terrorist state. Other slogans celebrated the fighting towns in Ukraine and the members of the Azov regiment.

Some signed a petition calling on the Czech parliament to declare Russia a terrorist state.

The Ukrainian anthem was played and several speeches were delivered in Ukrainian on Wenceslas Square. Some participants were wearing the national folk costumes to mark the independence anniversary.

With the help of Czech scouts, the participants created a human chain in Old Town Square, at the revived Virgin Mary column. An Orthodox mass was delivered at the base of the column by a Ukrainian priest.

In both squares, individuals appeared expressing disagreement with the celebrations. Police officers solved these cases with reprimands.

In Brno, the marking of the day began with a festival of Ukrainian food, crafts, and atmosphere. After 7pm, the festivities moved to Jakubske namesti for more concerts.

The Brno event was instigated by Brno City Councillor Marek Fiser, who said he had done so for two main reasons. 

“First, it is necessary to remind the urgency of our continuous help to Ukraine,” said Fisher. “Which is fighting not only for its independence, but for the future of Europe, and then it is also good to show some of our partner citizens that Ukrainians who escaped from Russian missiles are very fine people and are grateful for our help.”

Ukraine yesterday marked the 31st anniversary of its declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The USSR disintegrated in December of the same year. Instead of a traditional military parade, an exhibition of damaged Russian military equipment was exhibited in the centre of Kyiv.

The war in Ukraine has so far claimed tens of thousands of lives, according to estimates, and made millions of people flee their homes.

Vitaly Usaty, the Ukrainian embassy’s charge d’affaires, told journalists yesterday that Ukrainians can feel the strong support from Czech offices, business circles and citizens.

Czechs have sent more than CZK 4 billion in aid to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion, and they are still sending money to the war-torn country. The money collected is used for aid to the war victims and refugees in the Czech Republic as well as the purchases of arms for the Ukrainian military.

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