In connection with mourning, announced in Ukraine on Wednesday for victims in the Russian TU-154 air crash in the Donetsk region, mass festive events on occasion of the 15th anniversary of Ukraine's independence was postponed from August 24 to August 26.

On August 24 Victor Yushchenko held an official Independence Day reception. Hundreds of people – among them foreign diplomats, officials, journalists and church leaders –attended the event at Kyiv’s Saint Sophia.

In his speech, the President said freedom and liberty had always been among the most cherished and precious values for European nations.

When speaking about Ukraine’s independence, he said: “Our path has been bumpy and challenging all these years but made us learn to be the nation. We have the most important thing for that today – freedom… freedom from fear, injustice and arbitrariness.”

Yushchenko added it was time we all build a “modern Ukrainian European country.”


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