February 20 marks one of the most remarkable, yet stunningly scary days of modern Ukrainian history. Seven years ago, on this particular day, dozens of unarmed people fell victim to the shootout at Instytutska street, in the very heart of the Ukrainian capital. Snipers of the law enforcement agencies gunned down protesters who tried to approach their positions in the government quarter, carrying light metal shields to protect themselves.
73 civilians and 11 law enforcers were killed in the gruesome street fights that occurred in Kyiv on February 18-20. The Trade Unions Building on Maidan Nezalezhnosti Square was burnt to the ground, as the law enforcers infiltrated the building and set it on fire. A number of wounded protesters deceased as they could not leave the building; some were evacuated, though.
The deceased are collectively known as the Heavenly Hundred; this is the reference to the organizational structure of Euromaidan's Self-Defense, as the activists were divided into hundreds.
It was on February 20 that the most protesters were killed. At night, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a resolution "On condemning violence, which led to the death of civilians in Ukraine."
President Petro Poroshenko posthumously awarded 104 Heroes of Heavenly Hundreds the title of Heroes of Ukraine. That number includes three foreigners: citizen of Belarus Mikhail Zhiznevsky (killed in January 2014), and two Georgians, Zurab Khurtsia and David Kipiani. All three were posthumously awarded the Order of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes.
The Revolution of Dignity embraces political and social changes that took place in Ukraine from November 21, 2013, to February 2014. They were caused by resistance against the departure of the country's political leadership from the legislatively fixed course towards European integration and its subsequent abandonment of this course.