KYIV, Ukraine: The Ukrainians celebrated the Defender Day and the Protection of Our Most Holy Lady on Monday (October 14), Ukrinform reported.
Ukraine’s Defender Day was officially established on October 14, 2014 by a presidential decree “in order to honor the courage and heroism of the defenders of Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity, military traditions and victories of the Ukrainian people, foster the further strengthening of patriotic spirit in society and support the initiative of the Ukrainian public.”
The urgent need for such a national holiday that would replace the Soviet Defender of the Fatherland Day, which was marked on February 23, was particularly acute after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the beginning of hostilities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, when the trends of decommunization – refusal from Soviet symbols and holidays – strengthened in Ukrainian society as a reaction to Russia’s armed aggression.
The Defender Day is a public holiday in Ukraine.
On this day, Ukraine also marks Protection of Our Most Holy Lady, the Day of the Ukrainian Cossacks, as well as the anniversary of the creation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).
From ancient times, Our Most Holy Lady was a patron of the Ukrainian Cossacks and all Ukrainian armed groups.
Meanwhile, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and First Lady Olena Zelenska came to Wall of Remembrance of those fallen for Ukraine near the St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery in Kyiv.
“The Head of State and his wife laid flowers and put icon lamps near the Wall of Remembrance with the inscribed names of servicepersons and law enforcement officials who died in the struggle for the unity of Ukraine and observed a moment of silence to honor their memory,” the press service of the Head of State reports.
As noted, the president will make a working visit to Donetsk region today. In particular, Zelensky plans to visit the Joint Forces Operation Headquarters and meet with the JFO servicepersons.