President Biden on Thursday issued a statement marking Ukraine Independence Day, saying that “Americans all across the country stand united with the people of Ukraine.”
Noting that Ukraine first celebrated August 24 as its Independence Day in 2014, following Russia’s invasion of Crimea, Biden stated that “brave Ukrainian women and men are defending Ukraine from assaults on fundamental principles essential to every nation on the planet—sovereignty and territorial integrity. They are showing the world once more that freedom is worth fighting for.”
He further promised that the United States would “continue our work, together with partners all around the world, to support Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Russia’s aggression, to uphold the foundational principles of the UN Charter, and to help the Ukrainian people build the secure, prosperous, and independent future they deserve.”
On social media, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a video message to the people of Ukraine, marking Independence Day as “a holiday of free people, a holiday of strong people, a holiday of people with dignity.”
He went on to honor the wounded, the lost and “those who have waited and will witness the return of Ukraine.”
The day before, Zelensky met with a bipartisan group of U.S. Congress members that included Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), after which the Ukrainian President posted, “I thank President Joseph Biden, both parties and chambers of the Congress, and the American people for standing with Ukraine. U.S. support for Ukraine’s F-16s coalition is vital.”
Last week, the United States gave Denmark and the Netherlands the go-ahead to send F-16s to Ukraine, for which Zelensky has long been asking, and to begin training Ukrainian pilots on the U.S.-made fighter jets amid their war against Russian invasion, which also marked 18 months on Thursday.