On November 21, Ukraine marks the Day of Dignity and Freedom.
Six years ago on this day, on Kyiv's Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) the protest rally of Ukrainians against the government's decision to stop preparations for signing the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement was held. In protest of this decision several hundred Ukrainian students and young people gathered in the centre of Kyiv. The students' peaceful demonstrations on Independence Square were called Euromaidan to stress on European aspirations of the young generation. On November 24, 2013, the Independence Square gathered more than one hundred thousand supporters of the European integration. On November 29, when the demonstrators called for the resignation of the government and early parliamentary election took place, the government used force against people. On November 30, dozens of young protesters were brutally beaten by special units of the police. It became clear that the country was moving towards authoritarianism, the basic principles of which were felt by Ukrainian society: disregard for human rights, corruption, law enforcement, arbitrary acts of repressions against dissenters. Pro-European protests have grown into anti-governmental and became of significantly larger scale.
It was the beginning of the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity, when Ukrainian citizens rised to defend democratic values, their personal dignity and freedom to make their own choice about the future of their country as every free European nation.
On November 13, 2014, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed the Decree “On the Day of Dignity and Freedom”. This date was set with the aim to mark the beginning of freedom and democracy in Ukraine as well as to deliver to the future generations the objective information about the most important events in Ukraine at the beginning of the XXI century.
On this day, Ukrainians pay tribute to the patriotism and courage of Ukrainian citizens who decisively stood up for democracy, human rights and freedoms, and the future of the country as a free European nation. Ukrainian nation commemorates the Euromaidan Heroes who gave their lives protecting the interests of their people.
Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Heroes!