European leaders have pledged unwavering support for Ukraine as it celebrates Independence Day on Wednesday, coinciding with Russia’s six-month anniversary of the invasion.
The leaders praised the bravery and sacrifice of the Ukrainian people, reaffirmed their commitment to continuing to provide Ukraine with arms, and denounced Moscow for attacking the neighboring country in Eastern Europe.
In Britain, tributes of flowers and music showed solidarity as Ukraine celebrated its 1991 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union.
An arch of sunflowers – Ukraine’s national flower – decorated the British Prime Minister’s office on Downing Street.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson who is about to leave office, urged allies to continue providing Ukraine with all the military, humanitarian, economic and diplomatic support they need.
“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,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a video posted on social media.
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.