By John Dillon August 24 marks two significant milestones for embattled Ukraine and its allies around the world. The date is the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union and six months to the day that Russia invaded the sovereign country. The war that followed has left tens of thousands dead, many of them women and children – innocent victims of an indiscriminate bombing campaign that has targeted civilian areas, including train stations, hospitals and public markets. Gov. Phil Scott is expected to issue a proclamation next week to celebrate Ukraine’s Independence Day and to show Vermont’s solidarity for her continuing struggle. In March, Scott proposed, and the legislature quickly approved, a special appropriation of $644,826 for aid to Ukraine. The amount represented one dollar for every Vermonter and $1,749 equaling the total amount collected by the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery for the sale of Russian-sourced products since the start of the February invasion. In Montpelier, supporters of Ukraine have held twice-weekly vigils in front of the federal building. The noontime gatherings on Tuesdays and Thursdays include members of the Ukrainian diaspora now living in Vermont as well as friends and neighbors who continue to be horrified by the war and Russia’s refusal to acknowledge Ukraine’s right to live freely as an independent country.