The holiday is marked annually on November 21 pursuant to the Decree of the President of Ukraine. It is established in honor of the commencement on this day of two significant and fateful events in the contemporary Ukrainian history: the 2004 Orange Revolution and the 2013 Revolution of Dignity.
The Day of Dignity and Freedom became a kind of successor to the Freedom Day holiday, which was celebrated in honor of the Orange Revolution on November 22 from 2005 to 2011 but was later canceled.
It was on November 21, 2013, when Ukrainians started to hold the first protest actions in response to the decision of the then government to stop the country’s European integration and freeze the preparations for the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The change in the legislatively enshrined priorities of Ukraine's foreign policy aroused the indignation of Ukrainians.
This is what made the Ukrainians launch peaceful rallies in Kyiv, later followed by protest actions throughout the entire territory of Ukraine. A total of 106 protesters were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded as the criminal authority led by Viktor Yanukovych resorted to a crackdown on the Ukrainians using security and police officers. The Euromaidan events were followed by Russia’s cynical annexation of Crimea and military hostilities in Donbas resulting in thousands of killed, wounded and displaced persons.
The path chosen by the Ukrainian people is irreversible, although difficult. The events that began on the Independence Square in Kyiv in the evening of November 21, 2013 continue up to this day. Dignity cannot be bought for any money. Ukrainians – the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred, soldiers fighting in the anti-terrorist operation area in Donbas, volunteers, Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians thrown behind bars of Kremlin’s prisons – have proved they have dignity.
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