Queen issues heartfelt statement signed 'Elizabeth R' on bloody Ukraine independence day

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Wednesday marked 31 years since Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union. In a rare address through the British embassy in Kyiv, Her Majesty gave the Ukrainian people her “warmest greetings”. The news comes following warnings of Moscow stepping up attacks in the country – at least 15 people were killed and 50 injured in an independence day attack on a railway station.

In a series of tweets, the UK in Ukraine Twitter account said: “On their 31st anniversary of Independence, Her Majesty The Queen congratulates Ukrainians.

“In her address to the President of Ukraine she said: ‘It gives me great pleasure to send Your Excellency and the people of Ukraine my warmest greetings on the celebration of your Independence Day.

“‘In this most challenging year, I hope that today will be a time for the Ukrainian people, both in Ukraine and around the world, to celebrate their culture, history and identity. May we look to better times in the future. Elizabeth R.'”

The Queen has previously shown her support for Ukrainian citizens by donating to a charitable appeal.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) thanked the Queen in March for making a “generous donation” towards the appeal which was set up to help civilians affected by the conflict.

The news comes following a bloody attack on a Ukrainian train station which has killed 15 people and injured 50 more.

More to follow.

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