August 31, 2022

The Essence of Freedom


The Essence of Freedom

“Independence Day will have a different meaning this year. Us Ukrainians love our freedom. We can say what we believe. My friends in Russia say they have a democracy. What kind of democracy is it if you cannot call a war a war?” 

                                   – A Russian living in Ukraine, Tatyana Antonova

On August 24, Ukraine celebrated Independence Day, marking Ukraine's exit from the Soviet Union in 1991. Like most independence days, it is a time to feel gratitude for the nation's freedom and to be unabashedly patriotic. These feelings still hold true for Ukraine, but this year, when they are neck-deep in a war with the very country that they celebrate their freedom from, Independence Day can take on a new meaning

Independence Day is more than a holiday this year, as now independence has become a threatened reality. For some Ukrainians, who witnessed Ukraine separate itself from the Soviet Union and are now seeing the ongoing war, August 24 now represents the very essence of freedom itself; a rallying cry to continue the fight for their land. Others recognize that now is the time for Ukraine to truly earn its independence from Russia.

No matter which view is taken, Ukraine has surely proven itself as a country that truly cares about its freedom and writing its own destiny on the world stage.

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