Ukrainians celebrate November 21 Day of dignity and freedom. This landmark date was established in honor of two revolutions – in 2004 and 2013.
On this day, Ukrainians honor the memory of all those who stood up to defend democracy, human rights and freedoms, and the national interests of Ukraine.
Gazeta.ua will tell how the events of 2004 are connected with 2013 and how two revolutions began – see in the photo gallery.
Historically, it happened that Ukrainians went to protest actions on the 20th of November. In 2004, Ukrainians demanded repeat elections, and in 2013 – to support European integration. And also the Orange Revolution and the Revolution of Dignity began with dissatisfaction with Viktor Yanukovych’s actions.
The wave of public disobedience rallies began on November 22, 2004. It was initiated at that time by the presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko. He called on Ukrainians to come to Independence Square and defend their victory.
The day before, on November 21, the second round of voting in the presidential elections took place. The current prime minister and the candidate from the united opposition, Viktor Yushchenko, competed for the presidential seat.
On November 22, at two o’clock in the morning, the Central Election Commission of Ukraine announced that after counting 33% of the ballots, Yanukovych emerged as the leader with 50% of the votes, while Yushchenko received 46%. These data differed from the exit polls, which declared Yushchenko the winner immediately after the end of the voting. Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first to congratulate Viktor Yanukovych on his victory.
After the announcement of the first results of the count, Yushchenko went to the CEC for a meeting with its chairman, Sergei Kyvalov. After the conversation behind the closed door, the oppositionist stated:
“We do not trust the calculations of the Central Election Commission. We call on our supporters to come to Independence Square and defend their victory,” Viktor Yushchenko said.
On November 23, several hundred thousand Ukrainians gathered on the Maidan. They condemned the announced election results. Protests broke out all over Ukraine, especially in the cities of Western Ukraine. The rallies continued until December 26, 2004. Viktor Yushchenko won the election in the second round of voting.
Revolution of Dignity
Large-scale protests took place in Ukraine on November 21, 2013. On that day, Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov announced his refusal to sign the association agreement with the European Union. They say, signing the agreement can increase Ukraine’s debts to the IMF and lead to sanctions from Russia.
Already in the evening, activists came to Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv. On the first day, there were about one and a half thousand people. Among them were opposition politicians, students and other citizens. A wave of protests swept across the country. Especially in the western regions.
Less than a day later, the number of protesters on the Maidan increased to 100,000. On the night of November 29 to 30, the head of the Kyiv Ministry of Internal Affairs Valery Koryak ordered to disperse the activists by force. At dawn, at 4 o’clock in the morning, 300 Berkut fighters armed with special equipment surrounded the square and pushed people out of the square. many were severely beaten. 84 protesters were injured. Among them were 17 students. Then the authorities explained that they wanted to clear the place for the installation of the main Christmas tree.
This angered the Ukrainian people. Pro-European protests turned into anti-government ones.
On December 1, the first million rally was held on the Maidan. People from different regions began to gather for the protests. Meanwhile, the opposition seized the KSGA building, where they organized the headquarters of the revolution. On the same day, the headquarters of the national resistance was created, demanding the resignation of the government, the holding of extraordinary presidential and parliamentary elections.
Large-scale protests in Ukraine and fierce fighting in the center of the capital continued for three months.
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On January 22, activists Sergey Nyhoyan and Mikhail Zhiznevsky received fatal gunshot wounds on the Maidan. On the same day, the body of Yuri Verbytsky, a resident of Lviv, was found in a forest near Kyiv with traces of torture. Yuriy was a resident of Maidan who was kidnapped from the hospital the day before the tragedy became known. Previously, 107 participants of the Revolution of Dignity died during the protests. However, no one knows the real numbers yet.
On February 21, a party was held on the Maidan. Activist Vladimir Parasyuk took the stage and noted that if Yanukovych does not hand over his powers by 10 a.m. tomorrow, his hundred will go on an assault with weapons.
On February 21, a part of the “Berkuta” units was withdrawn from Kyiv, accompanied by several people’s deputies.
On the night of February 22, 2014, Yanukovych fled Ukraine. Then Russia began the occupation of separate regions of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the illegal annexation of Crimea.
Before the beginning of the Day of Dignity and Freedom in Ukraine, on the official level, the Day of Freedom was celebrated – November 22 – in honor of the Orange Revolution. This holiday was introduced by President Viktor Yushchenko. And his successor Viktor Yanukovych in 2011 abolished the celebration of this day. He united it with the Day of Sobornosti. This is how the Day of Unity and Freedom was established.
The Day of Dignity and Freedom began to be celebrated in 2014 – on the anniversary of the beginning of Euromaidan. The corresponding decree was signed by the fifth president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. The document states that the holiday was established on November 21 for the approval of the ideals of freedom and democracy in Ukraine, the preservation and transmission of objective information about fateful events in Ukraine at the beginning of the 21st century to modern and future generations. Also, paying due respect to the patriotism and courage of citizens who, in the fall of 2004 and in November 2013 – February 2014, stood up for the defense of democratic values, rights and freedoms of a person and a citizen, the national interests of our state and its European election.
On this day, Ukrainians honor the people who, during the Revolution of Dignity and the Orange Revolution, stood up for the defense of democratic values, the rights and freedoms of man and citizen, the national interests of the state, and its European election. Thanks to all those who, with weapons in their hands, defend not only the ideals of the two revolutions, but the right of Ukraine to life.
They will also honor the memory of all those who died during the revolutionary events and in the further armed struggle for the Ukrainian state.
This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
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