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Ukraine for the second time in its history celebrates a holiday with long history - the Day of Defender of Ukraine. This date is quite controversial, as it was previously honored with the far-rights only, now the authorities and the Institute of National Memory tries to popularize it under guise of patriotism. One of the main holiday traditions far-right march. We decided to recall the marches held in recent years.
Storming of the Verkhovna Rada and the concert around the insulator
Last year, the "Freedom" party, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, and the "Right Sector" held a rally at St. Michael's Square. More than 10 people came to the rally with fireworks, knives, and brass knuckles. All these items were seized by the law enforcement officers, but no one was detained. Someone threw a firecracker, but it was an isolated incident.
Column of about 2 thousand people went to Lukyanovka jail and detention center in Kosogorny lane. They staged a concert of Ukrainian groups in support of the detainees, which the protesters consider political prisoners.
In 2014, the celebration of the Defender’s Day was perhaps the most turbulent. The action began with a rally at Independence Square, and then the column moved from downtown to the European square, and later - on the street Grushevskogo to the Verkhovna Rada.
Marchers demanded to recognize soldiers UPA (Ukraine’s Insurgents Army) fighters for Ukraine's independence, as well as the ban the communist ideology and political organizations that support it.
There were about 8 thousand protesters near the Parliament. They burned tires, threw smoke bombs and stun grenades, and then started a riot. 15 policemen were injured, 37 people were detained. The protesters stood under the flags of "Freedom", "Right sector" and "Brotherhood" of Dmitry Korchinsky, but they all declared non-participation in the rally. Parliament's session was interrupted prematurely.
Before 2013, the marchers did not even appeared on Khreshchatyk. The procession was headed by the leader of "Freedom" Oleh Tyahnybok.
In 2012, the column leaded from the monument to Taras Shevchenko in the direction of St. Michael's Square. Along the way, people threw under the feet of the Communist Party and the Party of Regions flags. In parallel, the Communists held a rally, "hanging" effigy symbolizing Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych.
In 2013, "Freedom" and its leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, demanded to recognize the activities of OUN-UPA the national liberation struggle, return the title of Hero of Ukraine to Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych, deprived him by the courts in 2010-2011, as well as to announce the October 14 national holiday - the Day of the creation of the UPA. The number of participants, according to various estimates, ranged from 4 to 25 thousand people.
In western Ukraine, celebrations were held magnificently and loudly, with reconstructions, hanging red and black flag and rebel songs. The number of participants in the hundreds or even thousands. After the Revolution of dignity the situation has changed: the procession began to be held regularly in Kharkiv and Odesa, but the emphasis was not on the UPA, but on the fighters ATO.
Since 2015 the celebration on October 14 in Ukraine, moved to a new level: now it is a national holiday and a day off. The event is organized across the country, with an emphasis on honoring and rewarding soldiers.
In Kharkiv, the "March of Heroes" was attended by about 1.2 thousand man. A column of marchers passed by the Constitution Square to Freedom Square. People came with national flags, symbols of the regiment "Azov" and "Right sector". The demonstrators chanted "Glory to Ukraine! - Glory to the heroes" and sang abusive songs about the Russian president.
In Odesa, several "Azov" activists and their sympathizers in the amount of about a hundred people marched through the city center.