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Ukraine vows more self-reliance as war enters third year

2024-02-26 16:40:53       source:Politico

February 25, 2024

KYIV ­— Halyna, a Ukrainian woman in her 50s, stands on Sofia Square in the capital Saturday morning, surrounded by dozens of fellow Ukrainians honking, waving and protesting for the release of prisoners of war held in Russia.

Like many in the crowd she is wrapped in a flag of the State Border Service. Her son, a border guard from Mariupol, was summoned to service exactly two years ago on Feb. 24, 2022 as Russia started its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Since then, Russian President Vladimir Putin's forces have destroyed and occupied her native Mariupol and taken her son captive. She came to Sofia Square on the invasion anniversary in the hope that marking the occasion — on the occasion of visits to Kyiv by the country's Western partners — would help draw attention to the thousands of Ukrainian prisoners of war held in Russia. She also hoped that Kyiv's allies would finally unblock the latest aid packages for Ukraine and move from commitments to stronger actions.

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