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Kyiv celebrates Independence Day with giant military parade (PHOTOS)

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Ukrainian serviceman kisses a woman before the beginning of a military parade on Khreshchatyk Street to celebrate 25 years of Ukraine's independence on Aug. 24.

A military parade in Kyiv took place on Aug. 24 to celebrate the 25th Independence Day, markign the day in 1991 when Ukraine declared its independence from the dying Soviet Union.Besides breaking from Kremlin rule, Ukraine has embarked on a long and difficult path to sweep away its totalitarian past and embrace a European, democratic future even as Russia continues to wage war against the nation's territorial integrity and sovereignty. Besides stealing the Crimean peninsula in 2014 after a military invasion, the Kremlin launched a war against the eastern Donbas region. The conflict has killed more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, and erased 400 kilometers of Ukraine's eastern border, which is under Russian control and used by President Vladimir Putin to send troops and arms to separatist forces in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

Read coverage of the parade here

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