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Honoring The Courageous: Ukrainians Commemorate The Heroes Of The Heavenly Hundred

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Every February 20th, since 2015, Ukraine solemnly observes the Day of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes. This day serves as a reminder of the citizens who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Revolution of Dignity in pursuit of democracy, human rights, and Ukraine’s integration into the European community.

February 20, 2014, stands as a stark testament to this sacrifice, as the heart of Ukraine’s capital witnessed the loss of 48 lives, including 54 others fatally wounded during the peaceful protests of the winter of 2013-2014. The events of that fateful day marked the culmination of the Revolution of Dignity, a 94-day civil protest sparked by Ukraine’s desire to break free from the shackles of post-Soviet influence and embrace a democratic, European path.

February 20th remains a poignant reminder of those who were the first to lay down their lives to ensure Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence. It is the realization that Russian aggression was aimed not only at Ukrainian citizens but at Ukraine’s very existence, dating back to January and February 2014 when activists in the heart of Kyiv fell victim to gunfire and gas poisoning.

The culmination of nearly a decade-long investigation into the mass shootings of February 20th resulted in the revelation of the utilization of special means from Russia by the Yanukovych regime, confirming the Kremlin’s involvement in military aggression. The subsequent annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern regions were but initial steps in the Kremlin’s sinister agenda to subjugate Ukraine.

For Ukrainians the Day of the Heavenly Hundred serves as a testament to the human, civic, and national courage and selflessness that reshaped the course of Ukrainian history. It is a day of mourning, intertwined with the loss of citizens during the Revolution of Dignity and the onset of Russian aggression in Ukraine. Yet, it also serves as a call to honor not the deaths, but the struggle for a dignified and free life, characterized by sacrifice and bravery. 

Their sacrifice transformed the societal consciousness of Ukrainians, reinvigorating the significance of concepts such as the right to self-determination, dignity, freedom, state sovereignty, democracy, and the European choice.

Acknowledging the significance of preserving the legacy of the Heavenly Hundred Ukraine established the National Memorial Complex of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes – the Museum of the Revolution of Dignity. This initiative represents national remembrance, directed towards safeguarding the narrative of the fight for human rights and liberties throughout Ukraine’s contemporary history.

under these pics: The “Rays of Dignity” project was first unveiled on the anniversary of the shootings at Maidan. It involved directing laser beams into the sky, symbolizing the souls of the fallen, from the locations where the Heavenly Hundred Heroes perished – on Institutskaya and Mykhailo Hrushevsky streets, as well as Independence Square.

“In 2024, 10 years since those tragic events, the Heavenly Hundred are the first heroes of Ukraine in this war, they are a unique example of unarmed fighters for dignity and freedom who stood against an armed enemy and emerged victorious. Their legacy continues to inspire the ongoing fight for dignity and freedom in Ukraine, ensuring that their sacrifice is never forgotten.” – Denys Mykhailiuk, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim

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