May 29, the international community marks the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.
'The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, 29 May, offers a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilians personnel’s invaluable contribution to the work of the Organization and to honour more than 3,800 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 98 last year. The theme for this year’s Day is “Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace” to mark the upcoming 20th anniversary when for the first time the Security Council explicitly mandated a peacekeeping mission (UNAMSIL in Sierra Leone) to protect civilians', reads the message on the UN website.
Ukraine has been contributing to the just cause of the UN peacekeeping missions all over the globe. According to the recently released data of the Defense Ministry, over 45,000 Ukrainians have served in 27 UN operations since 1992; 55 of them deceased while on duty.
The geography of Ukrainian peacekeepers' participation in UN operations is quite rich and versatile; the service staff from this country joined the missions in the ex-Yugoslavia, Angola, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire, as well as in Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, Tadzhikistan and other regions. The Ukrainian military have been involved in a wide variety of actions - from repair works on the roadways and infrastructure to guarding civilians and UN mission staff members, from medical evacuation to mine clearing.