Ukraine celebrates its Independence Day in honor of the adoption by the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian SSR in 1991 of the Act of Independence of Ukraine – a political and legal document that certified the new status of the Ukrainian State.
Ukraine has come a long way to independence. It all started off with the existence of the Ant State, the state union of the Poliany people in Rus, before the unification of the Rus State with its heart in Kyiv. With the disintegration of the Kyiv-Rus, the traditions of statehood passed to the Galicia-Volyn principality. Then came the Lithuanian-Russian Grand Duchy, in which the Kyiv and Volyn lands enjoyed considerable autonomy.
In the XVII century, on the territory of modern Ukraine, the Cossack State began to shape up. The Cossacks fought for Ukraine's independence for more than a hundred years, but ultimately didn’t succeed. In the XVIII century, the Ukrainian nation lost its statehood and found itself as part of the two empires – the Russian and the Austrian – for the next two hundred years.
In the XIX - early XX centuries, the Ukrainian national movement was conceived and then developed, leading to the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917-1921 and the revival of Ukrainian statehood. The Central Rada (Parliament) was formed, which with its Third Universal proclaimed the Ukrainian People's Republic before the Fourth Universal declared its independence.
In 1919, the Act of Unification affirmed unity of the Ukrainian lands. However, the UPR, as a state, did not last long. Until the end of XX century, the Ukrainian people lost the chance to have their own state.
Following a coup in Moscow on August 24, 1991, the Verkhovna Rada (the Republic’s parliament) at its extraordinary session proclaimed the independence of Ukraine and the creation of an independent state – Ukraine.
This meant that the Ukrainian state had its own indivisible and inviolable territory, where the Constitution and laws of Ukraine were in force exclusively.
Ukraine gained full state independence after holding a nationwide referendum on December 1, 1991, where 90.32% of respondents supported the move.
This year, as part of celebration of the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence, festivities are taking place across the country. Having kicked off on August 22 and set to last through August 24, they are all united by the "You are my only one" slogan.
Today, August 245, a parade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be held on Khreshchatyk Street in Kyiv center to symbolize the strength of the country’s independence.
In addition to the military parade on the occasion of Independence Day, two concerts will take place on the same day, August 24: a gig by Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli and a show at the NSC Olympiyskyi Arena.
The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy has created a Digital Map to help citizens and guests navigate the events marking the national holiday in Kyiv and other cities across Ukraine.
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