Six months to the day since Russia began its invasion, a defiant Ukraine is marking Independence Day.

At Kitchener City Hall, the Ukrainian flag was raised during the noon hour Wednesday.

Aug. 24 commemorates Ukraine’s 1991 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union.

An organizer for the flag raising says the show of solidarity is key for those finding a new home in Waterloo region.

“As you know, Kitchener and Waterloo region invited many newcomers and it’s important for them especially,” said organizer Tanya Chuchkevych. “They see not only welcome, but they see the city cares about them – not only Ukrainians, but any culture, any newcomers, any people who run from war.”

The lights along King Street in Uptown Waterloo will also be turned blue and yellow on Wednesday night.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed his country today, saying during the past six months, Ukraine has changed history, changed the world and changed its people.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement on Wednesday commemorating Ukrainian Independence Day.

"While its territory lies thousands of kilometres from us, Canadians share a strong connection to Ukraine and Ukrainians. Strengthened by our people-to-people ties and Canada’s Ukrainian community, this is such an important day for people in both of our countries, and it comes at a time when Ukrainians are fighting for their freedom," the statement read in part.