Zelensky is confident of victory as he marks Ukraine’s Statehood Day

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday that he was confident of victory in the face of Russia’s invasion as he honoured a new holiday marking the country’s statehood.

It was a troubled morning with missile terror, but Ukraine would not give up, Zelensky announced in Kiev on Thursday.

He congratulated citizens on the first-ever Ukrainian Statehood Day, which is celebrated alongside Independence Day on Aug. 24.

“Ukraine is an independent, free and indivisible state and it will be so forever,’’ Zelensky said.

He published an emotional video about the country’s struggle against the Russian occupiers.

The country was fighting for its freedom, he said.

Earlier, pro-Russian eastern Ukrainian separatist leader Denis Pushilin said it was time to take the cities of Kharkiv, Odesa and Kiev as well.

In the war, which has entered its sixth month, Zelensky said Ukraine has so far lost control of about 20 per cent of its territory.

He called for more heavy weapons from the West to stop Russian attacks and liberate occupied territories.

With the new holiday, which Zelensky had set last year, Ukraine was also countering Russia’s claim that it was not a real state at all, but an artificial entity.

Zelensky had repeatedly and resolutely rejected this.

Last year, for example, he declared that Orthodox Christianity was spread from Kiev more than 1,000 years ago.

In Kiev, Grand Prince Volodymyr (Vladimir) declared Christianity the form of government on July 28, 988.

In the past, Russians and Ukrainians had celebrated it together.

The Russian parliament also elevated the day to a national day of commemoration in 2010.

The anniversary of Christianisation was already a legal commemoration day in Ukraine, but not a day off. (NAN)

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