Slough’s MP has emphasised the town’s solidarity with Ukraine as the war-torn country celebrates its Independence Day.

Ukraine today marks 32 years since it achieved independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

However, the celebrations come amid Russia’s continued invasion of the country and occupation of land in the south and east of Ukraine.

Labour MP Tan Dhesi commended the spirit of the Ukrainian people as the full-scale conflict continues well into its second year.

He said: “Currently fighting for their very existence, I appreciate there will be mixed feelings among Ukrainians, as they mark their Independence Day.

“While we in Slough and across the UK stand in solidarity with Ukraine in its resistance against Russian aggression, we reflect on the importance of sovereignty, independence and freedom - principles which the Ukrainian people are so courageously fighting for.”

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February last year, which Vladimir Putin called a “special military operation”.

Millions of Ukrainian citizens have fled the country since then, while numerous reports of war crimes perpetrated by Russian forces have come to light.

Putin is now wanted by the International Criminal Court, which issued an arrest warrant in March over accusations of forced deportation of children from Ukraine.

In his Independence Day address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said: “Today we celebrate the 32nd anniversary of our independence — the independence of Ukraine. This is a value for each of us.

“And this is what we are fighting for. And everyone is important in this fight. Because this is afight for something that is important to everyone. An independent Ukraine.”

Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have come to the UK as refugees under special visa schemes since the invasion began.

Slough residents who want to become a sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine programme can find out more on the council’s website.