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Brussels marks Ukraine’s independence day on 24 August
The Belgian capital is staging a raft of activities to celebrate war-torn Ukraine’s independence day on 24 August.
It’s a date with symbolic resonance as it commemorates the country breaking free from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Today, six months after Russian president Vladimir Putin launched his attack on Ukraine, Brussels and the European Union expressed their support.
A church service at the Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula on Wednesday morning was followed by a raising of the Ukrainian flag in a ceremony attended by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. The Manneken Pis also donned a national Ukrainian costume for the day.
A picnic and concert is being organised by Ukrainian organisations at the Grand Hospice in the city-centre from 12.00 to 17.30. Nakhati NGO and Promote Ukraine are staging an event in Ixelles featuring art and performances.
As night falls, the Grand Place and EU buildings will be illuminated with the colours of Ukraine.
On Tuesday evening, the Berlaymont building was already lit up in blue and yellow. Posting the image on Twitter, Von der Leyen said: “On 24 August, the world celebrates Ukraine Independence Day. So tonight, the @EU_Commission proudly wears yellow and blue to show our support to Ukraine. We proudly stand with our Ukrainian friends in their fight for a free, independent and European future.”
Photo: Ursula von der Leyen Twitter account