Ukraine to celebrate 30 years of independence

Ukrainians will today celebrate the 30th anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union with a large military parade in Kiev.

Kraine

Photo: Brookings

Ukrainians will today celebrate the 30th anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union with a large military parade in Kiev.

On August 24th 1991, Ukrainian lawmakers assembled and declared independence from the Soviet Union in the wake of the communist coup attempt on Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Within days, the state of Ukraine was formed, and an independence referendum passed that December.

Thirty years of independence have left Ukraine a transformed state struggling to separate itself from its former Soviet ties, especially following the 2014 Russian invasion and illegal annexation of Crimea and Donbass. Current President Volodymr Zelenskyy has insisted that NATO commit to membership for Kiev, in the face of increased Russian aggression and threats against Kiev taking steps to secure its sovereignty. Ukrainian politicians now wonder if Kiev should rethink its 1994 nuclear disarmament in light of ongoing threats from Russia.

In the face of uncertainty over the security and sovereignty of their borders, Ukrainians today nevertheless celebrate thirty years of freedom, stability and independent rule, as President Zelenskyy looks for ways to guarantee thirty more with accession to NATO, weapons and intelligence guarantees from the United States, and economic backing from the European Union.

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