Wednesday is an important date for Ukrainians — for two reasons: It marks six months since the Russian invasion of their country; it also happens to be Independence Day, a national holiday that celebrates Ukraine’s independence from the former Soviet Union.
These photos show some of the ways the country has already begun to celebrate Independence Day. Most notably, an exhibition of captured Russian tanks and other armored vehicles is on display in one of the major thoroughfares of Kyiv. We see children playing atop the tanks; residents of Kyiv posing in front of the damaged Russian armor; and one man who has managed to find a perch on the end of a tank turret. The country’s flag makes frequent appearances: A child drapes herself in the Ukrainian blue and yellow; Ukrainian servicemen raise the flag at Odessa; and outside Ukraine, one of many commemorations held in solidarity with the Ukrainian people. This one was held in the Polish city of Kraków.
There have been warnings from the Ukrainian government and Western intelligence services that Russia may be planning some particularly violent attacks in Ukraine on the day itself; for that reason, Ukrainian officials have called off public celebrations. As these photos make clear, many have already found ways to celebrate.