On August 2, Ukrainian paratroopers celebrate their professional holiday, the Day of Highly Mobile Airborne Forces, otherwise the Paratrooper's Day. In this country, it is marked annually since 1999, under the respective presidential decree.
Ukraine's airborne forces proved themselves as valiant and fearless soldiers on the battlefield; they took heavy casualties during the early stages of Donbas conflict - and still completed tough missions during the conflict's most significant battles that took place in 2014 and later on. Since 2014, Ukrainian paratroopers have been marking this date not just a their professional holiday, but also as a day of memory for their fallen comrades who perished during the ongoing armed conflict on Donbas.
One of the saddest memorable dates for Ukrainian paratroopers is June 14, 2014, when an Ilyushin Il-76, the trasnport aircraft of Ukraine's Air Force was shot down by militants of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic. The incident took place near Luhansk international airport. None of those aboard survived. 40 of 49 people aboard that aircraft were the paratroopers from the 25th Airborne Brigade.
Currently, the very service branch of Ukrainian paratroopers undergoes essential reforms – first of all, the structure of the service and its combat capabilities. As of 2017, Ukraine’s Airborne Forces structure consists of several detached brigades and regiments, and a training centre.
For years, the airmobile forces have proved they are in constant combat readiness and are the high mobility branch of the Ukrainian military. Since the 1990s, Ukrainian paratroopers have served in peacekeeping missions to the Balkans, in Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ethiopia, Georgia and Congo.