Ukraine commemorates 31 years of independence

IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WHEC) — Wednesday is a national holiday in Ukraine, commemorating the country’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

People gathered at the Ukrainian Centennial Monument, which sits on the grounds of the Irondequoit Town Hall.

This marks the 31st anniversary of Ukrainian independence. Event organizers say Ukraine is not giving up hope, to keep the independence, blood, sweat and tears fought for. While previous years have been celebrated with parades, today is more somber as it comes exactly six months after Russia’s invasion of the country began. Organizers say it’s a celebration but people are still grieving.

“There was a recent poll and 97% of Ukrainian people said that Ukraine will win this war, and Ukraine will regain freedom and independence again,” Ukraine Federal Credit Union CEO, and event organizer Oleg Lebedko, said.

Another event organizer, Tamara Denysenko says she takes this time to thank the United States for continued support.

“If it wasn’t for the United States to support and continue support Ukraine’s mission for life liberty and the pursuit of happiness I don’t know how much longer we could continue,” Denysenko said.

President Biden also marked Ukraine’s independence day by reiterating the United States’ commitment to Ukraine with a new $2.98 billion dollar investment in security assistance.