Ukraine marks Volunteer Fighter Day

Ukraine marks Volunteer Fighter Day

Ukrinform
Ukraine marks the Ukrainian Volunteer Fighter Day on March 14.

The date was introduced by the Verkhovna Rada in early 2017 to honor the courage and heroism of the defenders of Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, contribute to the further strengthening of patriotic spirit in society, strengthen public attention and care for volunteer groups, and support public initiatives.

The date was chosen not accidentally. On March 14, 2014, the first volunteer fighters left Independence Square in Kyiv for the training base in Novi Petrivtsi. The contribution of the first wave of volunteer fighters at the beginning of the war in eastern Ukraine can hardly be overestimated, since at that time not all professional servicemen were ready to defend their homeland. Volunteer battalions helped conduct mobilization and prepare a professional replacement for volunteer fighters.

In late 2013 and early 2014, thousands of ordinary Ukrainian citizens, abandoning their own affairs - education, work, business and families – were the first to take to the country's squares, protesting against the anti-state policy of the then top government of the country, and then resisted with arms in their hands to the Russian army. In the spring of 2014, there was a record-breaking turnout at Ukrainian military recruitment offices. People came there without waiting for a summons. Others - men and women, self-organized into battalions and left for the east of the country. Volunteer fighters, their courage, dedication to national interests and genuine patriotism helped mobilize forces in the rear and supply the army with weapons. Ukrainian volunteer fighters became the pride of the Ukrainian people and at the same time the headache of the Kremlin's assassins. In total, nearly 40 volunteer battalions participated in the military conflict in the east of the country. The overwhelming majority of them later turned into military units of law enforcement agencies.

The phenomenon of volunteer fighters has long been characteristic of Ukrainians. One of the first such examples was Zaporozhian Sich - a paramilitary structure of volunteer battalions, which defended Ukraine for centuries.


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