Over the past few years, military parade on Independence Day was a good custom in Ukraine. Last year's event even included a brief but heartily performance from the pilots of Ukraine's combat aviation. The military parade became a part of life in the country that is currently at war.
However, this year, President Volodymyr Zelensky decided that in 2019, there will be no military parade with the vehicles on Kyiv's main street. Instead, the head of the state ordered to assign money from the state budget and award the military with money prizes; contract servicemen will get 80 dollars each, while conscripts and cadets will get 40 USD each.
Procession of Dignity
The Office of the President also organized the Procession of Dignity, which involves veterans of Donbas conflict, medics, teachers, athletes, diplomats and volunteers. President Zelensky himself will join the event; after the official part is over, the state leader will address the Ukrainian nation.
Except for the solemn part and a procession itself, President Zelensky will also hold an awarding ceremony.
The procession will be staged by famous music video director Alan Badoyev and stage director Olena Kolyadenko.
It will kick off on Maidan Nezalezhnosti at 9 a.m. Saturday. Some of the Ukrainian officials, common citizens and celebrities will come at the celebration. Singer Tina Karol will perform the national anthem during the official part of the ceremony. ONUKA, the electro-folk music band, composer Myroslav Skoryk and Ukrainian opera singers will join the event.
Five orchestras, stars of the opera stage, 17 pianists and artists of Ukraine will take part in the event.
“We must remember our heroes, those, who gave their lives for the better future of our country. Our children are the symbol of our future. And this is why they will be important characters in the ceremony,” Badoyev noted.
According to Kolyadenko, the budget of the event is relatively low.
“We refused from the idea of costly massive decorations and special constructions on Maidan, placing the accent on real people – their actions, stories and fates, which all the country should know of,” Kolyadenko said.
March of Defenders of Ukraine
Last but not least, the March of Defenders of Ukraine is to take place in Kyiv. The event, which also incorporates many combat veterans, families of the fallen warriors and civilians who come to express their gratitude is to begin at 11 a.m. Kyiv time.
On August 18, the first rehearsal of the March of Defenders took place in Kyiv: the organizers defined time frames of the event and the route. Around 100 stewards, responsible for the movement of participants were at rehearsal of the March.
The March will include 20 blocks with 12 people each and will move from Shevchenko Park, through Bessarabska Square to Khreshchatyk Streaat and Maidan Nezalezhnosti, then to St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, where a prayer service will be held. The March will end at 13 p.m.
“The whole area in front of red bulk of Taras Shevchenko University. These people will go in the “boxes.” All the rest will follow them and we can’t imagine how many people will be there, because 9,000 participants have already registered. We set the timing and we are to finish by in at 13 p.m.,” the chairperson of the Veteran Brotherhood NGO at the Ministry of Veterans of Ukraine Dmytro Shatrovsky said.
It is reported that the families of those killed in Anti-Terrorist Operation will be in the front, after them will follow the wounded, then members of families of Heavenly Hundred, then veterans and separately the clergy.
The organizers have already agreed with the police and city authorities on the scenario of the event. Law enforcement officers will guard the order during the event.
The Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman instructed the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Defense to provide funding for the Independence Day parade, not at the expense of social benefits.
The National Flag will be raised on Independence Square. The military choir will perform the Anthem of Ukraine.