Zelenskyy, Ukraine Congratulate US as Russia Snubs Independence Celebration

Zelenskyy, Ukraine Congratulate US as Russia Snubs Independence Celebration Zelenskyy, Ukraine Congratulate US as Russia Snubs Independence Celebration

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attends a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Sunday in Kyiv. (Nariman El-Mofty/AP)

By Charles Kim | Monday, 04 July 2022 08:51 PM EDT

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, and his government congratulated the United States on Monday for celebrating its independence while Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials there refused to acknowledge the holiday.

''Happy Independence Day to the people of [the United States] and [President Joe Biden],'' Zelenskyy said in a Twitter post Monday. ''I wish the friendly people of peace and prosperity. I appreciate the leadership assistance of the United States in Ukraine's defending of common values – Freedom, Democracy, and Independence.''

In addition to tweets from other governmental agencies, the Ukrainian military posted a tweet of its band singing ''The Star-Spangled Banner.''

''Happy 4th or July to all our American friends and thanks for standing with us in the darkest hour,'' the official government account posted Monday. ''Together, we will prevail.''

Russia, however, said through Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov that it would not be sending good wishes to President Biden and the nation this year because it ''can hardly be considered appropriate'' given the ''unfriendly policies'' of the U.S. in its support of Ukraine against the invading Russian military, Voice of America reported.

Since taking office as president, Putin has offered his congratulations to U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump regarding Independence Day.

In a Facebook post from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the agency expressed its gratitude for the support the United States have provided during the Cold War, and since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

''We are grateful to the United States for standing by Ukraine's side over more than 30 years, supporting Ukrainian people and dissidents in the time of totalitarian oppressing of communist soviet regime, and especially the last more than eight hardest years in Ukraine's modern history after the Russian invasion in 2014,'' the post read.

''Especially – for the last 131 days during the full scale of unprovoked, unjustified, unfair, cruel, military aggression and Russian war in your supporting of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.''

The United States is sending $770 million more in Ukraine Security Assistance funding, bringing the total of military financial assistance to $6.92 billion, which is part of an overall pledge of more than $40 billion to help that nation in the wake of Russia's Feb. 24 invasion, according to the State Department.

Ukrainians ''continue to fight for their country, and the United States continues to stand by them and their just cause,'' the July 1 State Department press release regarding the funding said. ''As the United States prepares to commemorate our independence, we remain committed to the independence, security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.''

Original Article