Ukraine flexes its muscles
Ukraine held an army parade yesterday to celebrate 17 years of independence from the USSR. The display of military might follows Russia`s invasion of Georgia, a mutual pro-western ally... (with photo-report)
Some 3,500 soldiers, tanks, armoured personal carriers and anti-aircraft systems rumbled down Kyiv`s main street. A flyby of fighter jets and helicopters followed. It was the first military parade held by Kiev since 2001, planned some months ago.
Addressing an audience, Kyiv`s pro-western president, Victor Yushchenko, expressed solidarity with Georgia and said Kyiv must also increase its own defences.
"We are well aware of the threats that are emerging more and more acutely in our region. We condemn acts of aggression," he said.
Kyiv`s relations with Moscow deteriorated after a pro-democracy revolution propelled to power a pro-western leadership which seeks speedy membership of the European Union and Nato.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev answered Ukraine by calling for both countries to "preserve" close ties.
Pictures added by UNIAN