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Zelensky cancels Independence Day parade on August 24 citing costs

The president promised to allocate 300 million hryvnia to all the servicepersons instead

KIEV, July 9. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has cancelled the traditional military Independence Day parade on August 24 because of its expensiveness. In his video address on Facebook he said that "300 million hryvnia ($11.6 million - TASS) will be allocated as bonuses to the military" instead.

"I would like to share our new idea. Usually, we have the traditional military parade in Ukraine on August 24, the Independence Day, a pompous and expensive one. I believe that this year we should rather allot this money to our heroes, our military, and we have decided we should allocate around 300 million hryvnia as bonuses to all our military personnel, such as conscripts, cadets, sergeants, officers, all those eligible for military service who are serving in the zones where combined forces operate," Zelensky said.

At the same time, Zelensky noted that on August 24 Kiev would "honor heroes" and celebrate Independence Day. "But the format will be new," he highlighted.

Last year, Ukraine celebrated the 27th anniversary of independence with the largest military parade in the past few years, featuring 4,500 servicemen and representatives of different power structures, 250 units of machinery, as well as aviation. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry did not specify the costs of the parade. However, Director of the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Management of Policy Ruslan Bortnik cited the example of 2011, when Kiev spent $40 million, even though it was less pretentious than the 2018 parade.