STORY: In the Western city of Lviv, people gathered in Lychakivskyi cemetery to mark Ukrainian statehood and to commemorate Ukrainian soldiers that had fallen while fighting in the current war.
Lviv resident and ecologist Oksana Viitek told Reuters she hoped that the holiday could help keep up Ukrainian identity despite the war.
Physician Orest Chemeris echoed her remarks, adding how important statehood is for Ukraine.
"We value every single Ukrainian defender (solider) who risks his life and does everything possible and impossible for our common victory."
The holiday used to be referred to as the Baptism of Kyivan Rus and was rebranded in 2021 by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to mark 30 years of Ukraine's independence.