The military parade in Kyiv, timed to the 27th anniversary of Ukraine's independence and the centennial of the revival of Ukrainian statehood, would become the most spectacular in recent years. 250 units of military equipment and aviation flights, which have not been in Ukraine since 2009, be involved in the event. For the first time, the Minister of Defense would start his speech with "Glory to Ukraine!" instead of the "comrades."
After the annexation of Crimea, the beginning of Donbas war, and the revival of the Ukrainian army, military parades are held in Kyiv again. In 2014, amidst terrible fighting in the east of the country, the public was actively debating whether it was worth holding a parade during the war and whether it would be better to send this equipment to Donbas. The parade was held though. It was beautiful and to some extent useful for war-torn society. The army protects us. In the following years, there was much less discussion about the expediency of the parade.
The military equipment was not involved in 2017 march. We limited ourselves to the exhibition. This year will demonstrate one of the most powerful military parades in the history of independence.
"Bogdans" on Khreshchatyk, fighters in the sky
Khreshchatyk will host a mechanized column, in which 250 units of military equipment will take part. The composition of the column will be both a technique that is already used by Ukraine’s Armed Forces, as well as testing samples. The press service of the Ministry of Defense informed 112.ua that 40 units of heavy armored vehicles, more than 100 units of vehicles and armored personnel carriers, 30 artillery systems, and 30 missile systems will be presented at the parade. Also, portable anti-tank missile systems, in particular, the Javelin anti-tank missile launchers supplied from the US, will be presented - they will be placed on cars.
The tank column would be headed by the T-84 tank with a gun of 120 mm caliber. Well-known modernized tanks T-64BV would also join this column.
The newest military equipment would be also presented – self-propelled howitzer "Bogdan," which is still being tested. The howitzer can hit a target at a distance of up to 60 kilometers and has a "NATO caliber" of 155 mm.
It will also be possible to see a portable anti-tank missile system "Stugna-P," an anti-tank missile system designed and manufactured in Ukraine. Stugna-P is able of destroying low-altitude, slow-moving aerial targets. The laser-guided system has a range of 4,000 meters and can penetrate armor up to 800 millimeters thickness. The operating temperature range is from - 40° to +60°. Stugna-P is able to destroy armored targets on all terrain condition in various climatic conditions at a distance of 100 to 4000 meters. Round comprising " Stugna-P antitank guided missile is intended for firing from the tank T-55 or anti-tank artillery gun MT-12 against stationary and moving modern armored objects with combined, incomplete or monolithic armor including ERA (explosive reactive armour), and also against pinpoint targets like weapon emplacements, tank in a trench, lightly armored objects.
The latest development of the Ukrainian military industry – “Vilkha” multiple-barrel rocket system, which should replace the Soviet “Smerch,” would be presented.
Speaking about the innovations, "Furia", "Leleka" and PD-1 multifunctional unmanned aircraft systems, manufactured in Ukraine, to be involved.
The public could also see BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle, BTR-3DA armored personnel carriers, BTR-70 DI, “Rapira” and MSTA-B anti-tank guns, battery of self-propelled howitzers "Claw", a complex of automated control of artillery batteries and artillery division "OBOLON-A", self-propelled howitzer "Acacia", self-propelled gun "Pion", multiple rocket launchers "Verba" and "Uragan", “Tunguska” air defense missile gun, "TOR" anti-aircraft missile system, BUK-M1 self-propelled guns, anti-aircraft missile system S-300. Tactical armored wheeled vehicles "Dozor-B" and "Kozak-2", ambulances "Hammer" and "Bogdan," would be presented as well.
There are no reasons to worry that the military equipment would damage the pavement in Kyiv. "All heavy armored vehicles (from 40 tons of weight) use special asphalt crawlers, all tanks are equipped with asphalt rubber, the rest of the equipment weighs up to 40 tons and will not damage the condition of the road surface," the Ministry of Defense assured.
A static exhibition of the latest developments of the Ukrainian military industry will also take place – it will open on August 23 at Mykhailivska Square.
The appearance of aviation in the military parade remained the biggest intrigue. Last Friday, the Cabinet approved a plan of measures to prepare for the celebration of Independence Day, allowing, in particular, the flight of aviation in the parade. However, the final decision was not reported to the Ministry of Defense until the evening rehearsal on August 20. A few days ago, 29 fighters, transport aircraft, and helicopters flew over Khreshchatyk.
However, the participation of the aircraft in the parade depends on the weather conditions.
"Glory to Ukraine!" instead of "comrades"
For the first time at this parade, during the appeal of the Minister of Defense to servicemen, we will not hear the "comrades". Previously, Ukrainian servicemen and senior officers have been greeting each other with the Soviet-era "Hello, comrade!" and "Good day, sir!" And although this greeting still appears in the military statute, President Petro Poroshenko recently made a decision that at the current parade the military will say "Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!"
In order to officially fix this issue in the statute, an appropriate decision of the parliament is necessary. It is expected that the decision will be voted at the new session.
The marching step means raising the leg by 15-20 cm from the ground and stumping the foot it with a noisy sound. A long time ago, Russian tsarist army took this practice from in the Prussian one. It was inherited by the army of the Soviet Union and was used in military parades in Italy from the time of Mussolini.
Female soldiers and foreign soldiers join the military parade
4,500 servicemen are planned to participate in the military parade (like in 2017). Representatives of the Land Forces, the Navy, the Air Force of Ukraine, the Special Operations Forces, scouts, assault troops would be among them. During the rehearsals, the marchers were greeted with a warm ovation. Women-servicemen have got applause too. Last year there were no women participating in the parade. This year, the cadets of the Military Institute of the Kyiv National University named after T. Shevchenko and the Military Institute of Telecommunications and Informatics named after Heroes of Kruty, police officers, rescuers, border guards, and National Guard will be presented.
Representatives from Georgia, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Lithuanian–Polish–Ukrainian Brigade, the US, Great Britain, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Canada would take part in the parade.
The current parade is planned to be the most spectacular in Ukraine’s history. The parade is timed not only to the 27th anniversary of Ukraine's independence but also to the centenary of the revival of Ukrainian statehood. "The main psychological message of the parade is that every year we become stronger both at the expense of internal forces and with the help of partner countries. We are proud of the fact that we have something to show, we show it to our friends, delegations, which are invited (invitations have been sent to 39 countries, representatives of 18 of them confirmed participation, US presidential advisor John Bolton would also come to the parade)," the Ministry of Defense informed.
The parade starts on August 24 at 10:00.
By the way, the last rehearsal with the participation of the military equipment is scheduled for August 22.
Read the original text at 112.ua.