President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Ukrainians will never recognize someone else's flag flying above them. He has used a commemoration of national independence to promise to take back areas occupied by Russian forces. And he says he will not agree to any proposal to freeze the current frontlines in order to calm Moscow.
Ukrainians mark their independence from the Soviet Union on Wednesday. At the same time, they are marking six months since the invasion began.
On Tuesday, they raised their flag to commemorate the freedoms they have enjoyed and want to reclaim.
Zelenskyy said, "The blue and yellow flag will wave again at home, where it has a right to be, in all the temporarily occupied cities and villages of Ukraine."
Zelenskyy also vowed to restore rule over territory the Russians annexed eight years ago. On Tuesday, he addressed leaders from more than 60 countries and international organizations gathered for an online forum to discuss the Crimean Peninsula. They promised not to abandon their allies.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, "Germany stands firmly by the side of Ukraine as long as Ukraine needs our support."
Like other delegates, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has heard Russian leaders threaten to use nuclear weapons. He says that is something he would never tolerate.
Russian forces have used the peninsula as a platform to launch missile strikes. But, over the past few weeks, their bases have come under attack. Ukrainians have not taken responsibility, but the strikes have dealt another blow to perceptions that the Russian forces are invincible.