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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a press statement on Ukraine's 32nd Independence Day, Aug. 24, in which he praised Ukraine's strength and resilience in light of 18 months of "senseless aggression" by Russia.
"Russia will pay a high price" for bringing death and destruction to Ukraine, he said.
Ukrainian Independence Day is a testament to the country's "independence, sovereignty, and democracy," he added.
Blinken said that although it is a day of celebration, "we also mourn with you" for those who have been killed and "stand by you in the fight for your beloved country."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an address on the morning of Aug. 24, in which he thanked Ukrainians across society for their sacrifices and actions during the war.
"In a big war, there are no small deeds. No unnecessary ones. No unimportant ones," he said.