Independence Day in Ukraine: the Netherlands flies the Ukrainian flag

On 24 August Ukraine celebrates its Independence Day. Since the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the large-scale invasion of the country in February 2022, however, Ukraine has been defending itself against Russian aggression. To mark this year’s occasion, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra and Ambassador Oleksandr Karasevych of Ukraine together hoisted the Ukrainian flag in The Hague. The foreign minister also gave a short address.

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Veronika Morska (12 years old), participant of The Voice Kids Ukraine, sings the Ukrainian National Anthem.

Independence Day in Ukraine

On 24 August 1991 the Ukrainian parliament declared the country’s independence from the Soviet Union. Later that year, on 1 December, more than 90% of Ukrainians voted for Ukraine’s independence and separation from Russia. Since then, Ukraine has celebrated its Independence Day every year on 24 August.

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Minister Hoekstra in conversation with US ambassador Shefali Razdan Duggal.

Ukraine: fighting for the freedom and security of Europe as a whole

Unfortunately, Ukraine’s independence is not a given. At present, the country is still battling hard to defend itself against Russian aggression. In doing so it is fighting not only for its own freedom and security, but also for that of Europe as a whole.

This year Ukraine is celebrating its 32nd Independence Day. To mark the occasion and highlight the Netherlands’ ongoing support for Ukraine, the provincial flags lining The Hague’s Hofvijver lake made way for the Ukrainian flag.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra and Ambassador Oleksandr Karasevych of Ukraine hoisted the flag together, accompanied by the Ukrainian national anthem, which rang out in many other European cities as well. Ambassadors from other countries also attended the Hofvijver ceremony, as did The Hague’s mayor Jan van Zanen and many Ukrainians living in the Netherlands as a result of the war.

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Minister Hoekstra speaks in The Hague on the occasion of Ukraine's 32nd Independence Day.

Wopke Hoekstra: the Netherlands will continue supporting Ukraine

In a short address to mark the occasion, Mr Hoekstra reiterated the Netherlands’ key message: we will continue supporting the Netherlands for as long as it takes, with military support, humanitarian aid, economic and financial support, and by hosting Ukrainian refugees.