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Ukraine's Independence Day 2019 in Pictures
24 August, 2019
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Participants of the March of Dignity celebratory event in honor of Ukraine's 28 years of independence. Kyiv, Ukraine, August 24 2019. Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske

The traditional military parade, the practice thoroughly upheld by Ukraine's ex-president Petro Poroshenko, was cancelled and an orchestrated, modern-twisted March of Dignity came to replace it on the Day of Ukrainian Independence on August 24 in Kyiv. However, not everybody was happy with the new president Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Independence Day decision and an alternative, March of Defenders, took place in the Kyiv city center shortly after the March of Dignity.

We went to both events and tell you how they unfolded.

The March of Dignity on Ukraine's Independence Day, August 24, 2019. Photo: Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske

The early morning's March of Dignity, which started at Kyiv's Independence Square and finished at the European Square, was joined by renowned Ukrainian medics, teachers, sports people, and diplomats. The original rendition of the national anthem of Ukraine, performed by Daryna Krasnovetska and the national orchestra, composer Myroslav Skoryk, singers Alina Pash and Tina Karol, as well as opera singers, took the center stage on this year's independence celebrations.

The March of Dignity on Ukraine's Independence Day, August 24, 2019. Photos: Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske

All but two Ukrainian presidents attended the official celebration of independence. Ousted Viktor Yanukovych and former leader of the country, Petro Poroshenko, were both missing from the March of Dignity event. The team of the latter explained the president's absence to Hromadske with Poroshenko's dissatisfaction with the cancellation of the military parade.

Albeit the fifth president joined the other presidents – Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma, and Viktor Yushchenko – near the Mariinsky Park after the march.

The March of Dignity on Ukraine's Independence Day, August 24, 2019. Photos: Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske

Zelenskyy spoke for 15 minutes about Ukraine's freedom and history. Read his full speech translated into English here.

READ MORE: President Zelenskyy’s Independence Day Speech

The March of Dignity on Ukraine's Independence Day, August 24, 2019. Photos: Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske

The March of Defenders started two hours after the Dignity March at the park near the Taras Shevchenko National University. Attendants greeted and thanked the war veterans and soldiers who came to the march.

The March of Defenders on Ukraine's Independence Day, August 24, 2019. Photos: Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske

The march was led by widows and mothers of the soldiers who died in the war against Russia-led separatists in the east of Ukraine. Chants "Thank you!" and "Glory to the Heroes!" could be heard from the crowds of the audience, many of which kneeled before the participants of the march.

The March of Defenders on Ukraine's Independence Day, August 24, 2019. Photos: Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske

According to the March's organizers, around 15,000 people attended the event.

The March of Defenders on Ukraine's Independence Day, August 24, 2019. Photos: Anastasia Vlasova / Hromadske