AK: Defense League personnel take part in Ukrainian independence day parade

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Estonian and Ukrainian flags Source: Ministry of Defense

Estonian Defense League (Kaitseliit) personnel took part in the Ukrainian Independence Day parade in Kyiv Tuesday, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reports.

The Defense League contingent included the Guards Battalion's (Vahipataljon) flag group, and paraded along Khreschatyk street, one of the main thoroughfares in the Ukrainian capital, and were reviewed by that country's president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Lt. Mario Reinu of the Defense League told AK that: "We were able to enjoy the beautiful weather, the company, the resonance of the urban space. There were many spectators, many participants. Compared with Estonia, the scale is on another level, the scale is something else, but the emotions are definitely positive when you return home."

Ukraine was celebrating 30 years of independence just days after Estonia marked the same anniversary since its restoration of independence.

Ukraine's inter-war independence was very short-lived, comprising two separate, partly-recognized states lasting from early 1918 to 1920, which were subsumed into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic the following year.

Ukraine remained under Soviet occupation for the next 70 years.

The main focus of the day's events was the Kyiv parade, attended by thousands of spectators and reportedly the largest of its kind in the country's independent history.

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid noted on her social media account that it had been splendid to see the military parade in Kyiv that day and to see some familiar colors, namely those of the Defense League's northeastern district.

Ukraine's army has been extensively modernized since the ongoing insurgency war in the Donbass region started, in 2014, AK reported. 

President Zelensky said the country had a thousand-year history, and had not declared, but rather restored its statehood and independence. 

ERR's Anton Aleksejev also managed to find an Estonia street (X) in the Ukrainian capital, as part of his AK reportage.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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