Ukraine marks Defender Day

On October 14, Ukrainians celebrate the Defender Day and the Protection of Our Most Holy Lady.

Ukraine's Defender Day was officially established on October 14, 2014 by a presidential decree "in order to honor the courage and heroism of the defenders of Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity, military traditions and victories of the Ukrainian people, foster the further strengthening of patriotic spirit in society and support the initiative of the Ukrainian public."

The need for this national holiday became acute after the start of Russia’s occupation of Crimea and armed hostilities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The society and the state had to show worthy respect for the unprecedented courage and bravery of Ukrainian soldiers on the front line and hundreds of lives given for the Motherland.

The date of October 14 was not chosen by chance. On this day Ukraine also marks Protection of Our Most Holy Lady, the Day of the Ukrainian Cossacks, as well as the anniversary of the creation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). From ancient times, Our Most Holy Lady was a patron of the Ukrainian Cossacks and all Ukrainian armed groups.

Defender Day is a public holiday in Ukraine.

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