Although Ukraine is celebrating Wednesday its 25th annual Independence Day, new concerns have surfaced regarding growing tensions between Russia and the former U.S.S.R republic.
Reuters reported that even with the annual holiday celebrated on Aug. 24 and the country's military parade, fresh tensions with Russia concerning Crimea were on politicians' minds.
Russia annexed Crimea in March of 2014. Ukraine and Russia called for a ceasefire deal back in February of 2015. The delicate nature of the ceasefire have led many to fear the recent tension between the two eastern European countries, however.
Despite the political conflicts, most are still finding ways to celebrate the historic holiday, and many have taken to posting patriotic and celebratory messages on Twitter.
Here are some quick facts about the holiday.
- Ukrainian internet portal sites that the holiday was first celebrated on July 16 as the first anniversary of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine, which was passed by Ukraine’s Parliament. However, the official “Act of Independence of Ukraine” was adopted on August 24.
- The holiday commemorates the date of Ukraine’s Independence from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1991. Ukraine was formerly a constituent republic of the U.S.S.R.
- Around 90-percent of Ukrainians voted for the country’s independence following the summer declaration in December of 1991, according to a BBC timeline.
- Ukraine celebrates a corresponding holiday on the eve of its Independence Day, August 23, called Day of the National Flag.
- Day of the National Flag was not established until 2004, according Ukraine Today, and it was created by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, according to Ukraine Today.
- In 2009, an annual flag-raising ceremony was established on August 23 by Ukraine’s third president Viktor Yushchenko.
- For Independence Day, many celebrate by attending free public markets and fairs, concerts and setting off fireworks. Celebrations might even continue after the August 24 date, according to Time and Date.