On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Ukraine as you celebrate the 23rd anniversary of your independence on August 24.
During my most recent visit to Ukraine, I was inspired by the remarkable strength of the Ukrainian people. I walked down Institutska Street and paid my respects to the heroes of the Euromaidan. I saw the barricades, the burned tires, and the bullet holes in the street lamps. But I also saw the flowers and the photographs of the people who gave their lives for Ukraine. I spoke to the men and women of Kyiv who told me of their commitment to a more prosperous, peaceful future for all Ukrainians.
Since your independence, and especially over the past tumultuous year, the people of the United States have stood proudly with the people of Ukraine as you seek a more peaceful, democratic, prosperous, and European future. Whether in Kyiv, Crimea, or Donetsk, the United States is firmly determined to support the right of all Ukrainian people to choose your own path