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Ukraine Marks Independence Anniversary

24 August 2005 (RFE/RL) - Ukraine marks the 14th anniversary of its independence today.

24 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Ukraine marked its 14th anniversary of independence today, foregoing the traditional military parade for the first time for what the new leadership wants to celebrate as a peaceful holiday.

Tens of thousands of Ukrainians gathered in Kyiv's main Independence Square, decorated with orange flags, as folk groups performed.

President Viktor Yushchenko attended public prayers at the St. Sofia Cathedral in the capital.

Addressing the crowd in Independence Square afterward, Yushchenko called Ukraine's independence the country's "greatest creation," and said that freedom is "the alfa and the omega of democracy."


It was on 24 August 1991 that the Ukrainian parliament proclaimed Ukraine independent of the Soviet Union.

The move came just three weeks after U.S. President George H.W. Bush addressed the parliament and made clear his reservations about Ukrainian statehood.

(compiled from agency reports)

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