Ukraine marks Day of Heroes of Heavenly Hundred
The Day of Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred is marked annually on February 20 pursuant to the Decree of the President of Ukraine dated February 11, 2015 “On Commemoration of the Heroism of Participants in the Revolution of Dignity and Honoring the Memory of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred.”
These days seven years ago, during the Revolution of Dignity, the confrontation between the Ukrainian people and the then regime reached its peak. February 20, 2014, the greatest number of Maidan activists – 48 people – was killed. On the next day, February 21, 2014, the official authorities of Ukraine legally recognized the killed protesters as the victims. On the same day, the farewell ceremony took place on Independence Square in Kyiv, and the fallen activists were called “the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred” in mourning speeches.
The first Hero of the Heavenly Hundred, Pavel Mazurenko, died on December 22, 2013 as a result of injuries inflicted by unknown persons wearing special forces’ uniform. On January 22, 2014, Sergei Nigoyan and Mikhail Zhiznevsky died of gunshot wounds during clashes in the Kyiv city center. On the same day, the body of activist Yuri Verbytsky with traces of torture was found in the forest near Kyiv. By February 18, 2014, a total of nine activists were killed. February 18-20, 78 activists were killed on Maidan. Later, another 20 activists were killed. Apart from Ukrainians, the Belarusians, Armenians and Georgians became the victims of the Yanukovych regime. All of them became the Heavenly Hundred Heroes, the fighters for Ukrainian independence.
105 Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred were awarded the title of the Hero of Ukraine posthumously, and three foreigners – citizen of Belarus Mikhail Zhiznevsky, citizens of Georgia Zurab Khurtsia and David Kipiani – were awarded the Order of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred posthumously.
Ukraine paid too high a price for liberation from the dictatorship and its civilizational choice to be part of Europe.
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