Ukrainian veterans march in Kyiv on Independence Day

Kyiv was a sea of blue and yellow this morning (Aug 24th) as 20,000 Ukrainians, including soldiers and their families, took part in an unofficial Independence Day parade, Euronews reports.

A mixture of active soldiers in uniform, ex-combatants and volunteers marched despite the controversial decision of the new President Volodymyr Zelensky to cancel the military parade.

Thousands of spectators cheered the marchers, many wearing traditional embroidered shirts that have in recent years have become a patriotic symbol.

"This march (...) shows the strength and spirit of our people," Iryna Goraï told AFP, holding a picture of her son killed in Ukraine five years ago.

"We have come to show our unity, it is nice to see so many people from all over Ukraine. We feel that we are not alone," said Olena Iechtchenko, widow of an officer.

This unofficial parade was organised by veterans in response to Zelensky's decision to cancel this year's military parade amid the ongoing conflict with separatists that has left nearly 13,000 people dead since it began in 2014.

Image: Bulgarian News Agency

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