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President Poroshenko greeted Ukrainian people on the Day of Defender of Ukraine

Today October 14, 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko greeted Ukrainians on the Day of Defender of Ukraine, which is celebrated for the first time. It is a national holiday and an officially declared day off
President Poroshenko greeted Ukraine on the Day of Defender of Ukraine

As a part of the celebration, the President congratulated Ukrainians and visited the exhibition of military equipment “Power of Unbroken” opened on Mykhailivska Square in Kyiv on the occasion of the Day of Defender of Ukraine. The exhibition demonstrates the achievements in military-defense sphere of the last 1.5 years: modern samples of military equipment, which is already at the disposal of Ukrainian defenders.

“We’ve managed to create a modern, combat capable, patriotic and efficient army jointly in a bit more than a year. We forced military plants to work in three shifts without a weekend. We’ve eliminated corruption in military supply. Together with volunteers in the Ministry of Defense, we’ve dressed, fed and trained tens of thousands of troops. We’ve done it together, the entire Ukrainian nation. Warriors, volunteers, workers and engineers, diplomats and government officials,” the Head of State noted opening the exhibition.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko assigned October 14 as Day of Defender of Ukraine for honoring the courage and heroism of defenders of independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, military traditions and achievements of the Ukrainian people, promoting further strengthening of patriotic spirit in the community and in support of public initiatives.

Many years, as a Soviet Republik, Ukraine celebrated Day of Defender of the Fatherland along with other Republic of USSR. But after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the military aggression in eastern regions, pro-European tendencies in Ukrainian society along with decommunisation tendencies (rejection of Soviet symbols and holidays) became very strong. So this day was chosen because October 14 is one of the main feasts of Orthodox calendar among the Slavic peoples – a holiday of the Protection of the Mother of God (Pokrova in Ukrainian), who is traditionally considered as a sacred protector of Ukrainian Cossacks.