Day of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred: 9 years of the bloody date

Olga Zaitseva08:30, 20.02.23

Ukraine honors the memory of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred, who defended the future of our state at the cost of their own lives.

On February 20, Ukraine celebrates the Day of Remembrance of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred. It was on this day in the center of the capital, on the Independence Square, that most of the activists of the Revolution of Dignity died.

Earlier we told how the holiday of Unity Day 2023 arose in Ukraine .  

Day of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred – date history

In late 2013 – early 2014, mass protests began in Ukraine. Citizens opposed the policy of the then government and its rejection of European integration. As a result, there was a change of power in the country – the then President Viktor Yanukovych and his associates fled abroad. The culmination of those events, which were called the Revolution of Dignity, was a mass confrontation on the Independence Square in Kyiv between the protesters and the security forces. It happened on February 18-20, 2014 – it was then that most people died. 

The Heavenly Hundred List opened on January 22, 2014. First, Maidan activists Sergei Nigoyan and Mikhail Zhiznevsky died from gunshot wounds in the center of the capital. On the same day, a body with signs of torture of activist Yury Verbitsky was found in a forest near Kiev. By February 18, 2014, there were already 9 dead, and from that day mass executions began on the Maidan. From February 18 to February 20, the most people died – 78 people, after February 20 – another 20. Almost immediately, all the dead were called the Heavenly Hundred, although in fact there were more than a hundred.

By the Decree of the President of Ukraine of February 11, 2015, the date of February 20 was established as the Day of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred .

Day of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred – commemorative events 

Every year these days in Ukraine, events are held to mark a memorable date – they honor the fallen participants in the Revolution who gave their lives for the ideals of democracy and the rights and freedoms of Ukrainians. This year, during a full-scale war, a number of events are held under the slogan “Heavenly Hundred – the first heroes of the Russian-Ukrainian war.”

“For us, especially during the war, it is important not to forget how it all started. It was actually the first battle of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the battle for our values, for the European future and freedom,” said Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko . 

On February 18, in the center of the capital, a memorial procession to the Alley of Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred and a memorial service took place in St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral. On the Day of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred, people bring flowers and lamps to the Memorial, and a hundred rays are directed into the sky, which symbolize the souls of the dead. Exhibitions, round tables, processions of memory, installations and requiems are held all over Ukraine.

The official number of the Heavenly Hundred is 107 people. These were people of different ages, different nationalities, different professions and social status. The youngest of them was Nazariy Voitovich – he was only 17. The oldest – Ivan Nakonechny – was 82.

(C)UNIAN 2023


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