Defender of Ukraine Day

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The Day of Defender of Ukraine
Defender of Ukraine Day 2017 03.jpg
Defender of Ukraine Day 2017 01.jpg
Official name День захисника України
Celebrations concerts, expos, and festivals[1]
Date 14 October
Next time 14 October 2018 (2018-10-14)
Frequency annual

Defender of Ukraine Day (Ukrainian: День захисника України, Den' zakhysnyka Ukrayiny) is a state holiday in Ukraine celebrated annually on 14 October.[2][3] Its first celebration was in 2015.[4][5] Starting from 2015, this day is considered a public holiday (this is thus a day off in Ukraine).[6][7]


On 14 October 2014, a decree by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko decreed the new holiday due to the Russian military intervention in Ukraine (2014–present) and decommunization in Ukraine.[8] This decree was approved by the Ukrainian parliament on 5 March 2015.[9]

The holiday replaced the former February 23's holiday called Defender of the Fatherland Day, which has its origin in the Soviet Union.[10] (As the Ukrainian SSR, Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union from 1922 until Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union on 24 August 1991.[11])

14 October in Ukrainian history[edit]

The 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.[9][12] This holiday has been celebrated by Ukrainians since the 12th century.[9] The holiday was especially popular among Ukrainian Cossacks, who celebrated it since at least the 17th century as they believed the Mother of God (also known as Theotokos) to be their patroness.[9] 14 October is also the Day of the Ukrainian Cossacks[8]

In an effort to adopt some Cossack traditions, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army chose the day of the Intercession of the Theotokos to be the official day of their establishment.[9]

On 12 October 2015, the National Bank of Ukraine put into circulation 50,000 pieces of 5 hryvnia coins with an inscription "Day of Defender of Ukraine".[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ukraine celebrates Defender Day, UNIAN (14 October 2016)
  2. ^ "October 14 declared 'Defenders of Ukraine Day' after lawmakers back Poroshenko's proposal". Ukraine Today. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "President proclaimed October 14 the Day of Defender of Ukraine". 14 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2015. 
  4. ^ Ukraine marks first 'Defenders Day' with harsh words for Putin, Fox News Channel (14 October 2015)
  5. ^ a b Ukraine honours servicemen during celebrations of first-ever Defenders' Day, Ukraine Today (14 October 2015)
  6. ^ "Рада зробила вихідним День захисника України 14 жовтня". (in Ukrainian). Radio Liberty. 10 October 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015. 
  7. ^ "Verkhovna Rada initiates declaration of the Day of the Defender of Ukraine, which is celebrated on October 14, a day-off". Ministry of Defence. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Ukraine's Defenders Day to be observed on October 14, February 23 celebration canceled, Interfax-Ukraine (14 October 2014)
    President proclaimed October 14 the Day of Defender of Ukraine, (14 October 2014)
  9. ^ a b c d e New Oct. 14 state holiday has Orthodox, Cossack roots, Kyiv Post (8 October 2015)
  10. ^ (in Ukrainian) Таємниця 23 лютого. Українцям є що святкувати "'Mystery of February 23. Ukrainians have something to celebrate", Ukrayinska Pravda (23 February 2013)
  11. ^ A History of Ukraine: The Land and Its Peoples by Paul Robert Magocsi, University of Toronto Press, 2010, ISBN 1442610212 (page 563/564 & 722/723)
  12. ^ "В інституті національної пам'яті пропонують відзначати День захисника України 14 жовтня" (in Ukrainian). 112 Ukraine. 8 October 2014. Archived from the original on 19 January 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015. 

External links[edit]