Ukraine celebrates 18 years of independence

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With its most modern airplanes flying in formation overhead, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko deliverd a speech in Independence Square where he said that Ukraine needed strong institutions to ward of threats to its future prosperity.

"I choose a strong state, strength and dignity, to put in their place not only our local feudals but also foreign overlords who want to set down how we should live," said Yushchenko during his 25-minute address. He also added that, "I choose a full-fledged future for our country in the future of a united Europe."

He made no direct reference to Russia, but Ukraine's relationship with its northern neighbor has been contentious.

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