Western leaders salute Ukraine on its Independence Day

LONDON: European leaders pledge unwavering support for Ukraine as the war-torn country marks Independence Day on Wednesday, coinciding with the six-month milestone of Russiaof the invasion.
The leaders paid tribute to the sacrifice and courage of the Ukrainian people, expressed their determination to continue supplying Ukraine with weapons and criticized Moscow for its attack on the neighboring Eastern European country. .
In Britain, tributes of flowers and music showed solidarity as Ukraine celebrated its 1991 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union. The UK Department of Defense tweeted a video of the Scots Guards Band performing the winning song of the Ukraine Eurovision Song Contest, “Stefania”.
An arch of sunflowers – Ukraine’s national flower – decorates the British Prime Minister’s office on Downing Street. Prime Minister Boris Johnsonwho is about to leave office, urges allies to continue providing Ukraine with all the military, humanitarian, economic and diplomatic support they need.
“We will never recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea or any other Ukrainian territory,” Johnson said in a video address Tuesday at an international summit on Russia’s occupation of the peninsula. Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a video posted on Twitter that “our hearts go out to those who pay the price of the Russian war terror with their lives day after day, the wounded and wounded.”
“We mourn those who have lost friends or family members, who have had to flee, have been taken from their beloved homeland or by the occupiers of Russia, who have lost their belongings to the bombs, Russian missiles and artillery,” the prime minister said.
Scholz had harsh words for Russia, reprimanding the Kremlin for “backward imperialism” and stressing that Ukraine “will drive away the shadow of war because it is strong and brave, because This country has friends in Europe and around the world.”
Pope Francis marked the half-year anniversary of the invasion by decrying the “madness” of war, warning of the risk of nuclear “catastrophe” from fighting and lamenting that innocent people in both party has to pay.
The Pope warned of the risk of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine, related to the shelling of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhhia Nuclear Power Plant. He also lashed out at those who profited from war, especially weapons manufacturers.
Pope Francis has stepped up his accusations of war, though rarely blaming Russia or the President Vladimir Putin evidence that the Vatican is trying to keep an open dialogue with Moscow.

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