Holiday was set on October 14, 2014, by the decree of President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in order to honor the courage and heroism of the defenders of the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Defender of Ukraine Day is a state holiday in Ukraine celebrated annually on October 14 (this is thus a day off in Ukraine). It's first celebration was in 2015.
On 14 October 2014, a decree by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko created the new holiday. 14 October is also the Day of the Ukrainian Cossacks.
Chairman of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance Volodymyr Viatrovych motivated the choice of the date for October 14 on the Ukrainian historical tradition of honoring the Ukrainian army on the day of the Intercession of the Theotokos.
On October 12, 2015 the National Bank of Ukraine put into circulation 50 000 pieces of 5 hryvnia coins with an inscription "Day of Defender of Ukraine".
President congratulated Armed Forces commanders on the Day of Defender of Ukraine: We have something to celebrate
The President had a meeting with commanders of military units in Ivan Cherniakhovsky National University of Defense of Ukraine. The Head of State congratulated the attendees on the Day of Defender of Ukraine, which the country will celebrate on October 14.
“I am honored to be the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of such Armed Forces. We have demonstrated to the entire world that the Ukrainian troops are capable of defending the state. We are building the national security and defense system right and the leading role in it is given to heroes, patriots and professionals,” the President said.
The Head of State noted that the situation in the country had radically changed since February, when the previous such meeting had been held. “We have an absolutely different army and situation on the frontline where there is no more shooting. It became possible due to the joint and coordinate efforts of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and political-diplomatic efforts of the supreme authorities of the country,” the President emphasized.
The Head of State is confident that the enhancement of defense capacity begins not only with the formation of the new army and provision of modern equipment, but also with the formation of national identity and patriotism. “Before invasion, the enemy was blurring our consciousness with flattering verbiage about brotherly peoples and common historical roots,” Petro Poroshenko said.
“It is a holiday of everyone who loves Ukraine. A holiday of those who felt responsibility and involvement in the matter of defending the Homeland from Russian aggressors, occupants, mercenaries,” the President said.
On behalf of the Ukrainian nation, the President expressed heartfelt gratitude to every warrior and commander for their high professionalism, valor, heroism and morale demonstrated in the course of the protection of state sovereignty, freedom and territorial integrity.
The President noted special role of medium-rank commanders of the Armed Forces. “When we say that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are one of the most combat capable in Europe, it is based on the military experience and trust of Ukrainian soldiers in their commanders,” the President said. Another important component of success, according to him, is trust of Ukrainians.
The President will demand further reformation of the army. “But when we compare present situation with that of the past year, we see huge differences. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, we can be proud of changes in the AFU. However, there is much to be done. I am aware of every problem and we are solving them 24/7,” Petro Poroshenko assured.
Addressing the attendees, the President stressed: “You must be ready to rebuff the aggressor at any time. We realize that hostilities can be resumed at any moment. I do not trust Putin and his puppets. We have to defend Ukraine in case anyone decides to test our strength,” Petro Poroshenko noted.