Defenders and Defendresses of Ukraine Day

Defenders and Defendresses of Ukraine Day (Ukrainian: День захи́сникі́в і захи́сни́ць Украї́ни, romanizedDen zakhysnykiv i zakhysnyts Ukrainy) is a public holiday[7] in Ukraine celebrated annually on 14 October.[8][9] Its first celebration was in 2015.[10][11]

The Day of Defenders and Defendresses of Ukraine
Defender of Ukraine Day 2017 03.jpg
Defender of Ukraine Day 2017 01.jpg
Official nameДень захисників та захисниць України[1]
CelebrationsConcerts, expos, military parades, marches and festivals[4][5][6]
Date14 October
Next time14 October 2022 (2022-10-14)


On 14 October 2014, a decree by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko decreed the new holiday "Defender of Ukraine Day" (Ukrainian: День захи́сника́ Украї́ни, romanizedDen zakhysnyka Ukrainy) due to the Russian military intervention in Ukraine (2014–present) and decommunization in Ukraine.[12][7] This decree was approved by the Ukrainian parliament on 5 March 2015.[13] The holiday replaced the former 23 February's holiday called "Defender of the Fatherland Day", which had its origin in the Soviet Union.[14] As the Ukrainian SSR, Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union from 1922 until Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union on 24 August 1991.[15] On 24 August 2014 (Independence Day of Ukraine) President Poroshenko had proclaimed that Ukraine should not celebrate the holidays of the "military-historical calendar of Russia" but "We will honor the defenders of our homeland, not someone else's".[16]

On 14 July 2021, the parliament officially changed the name of the holiday to its current name "Defenders and Defendresses of Ukraine Day" (Ukrainian: День захи́сникі́в і захи́сни́ць Украї́ни, romanizedDen zakhysnykiv i zakhysnyts Ukrainy) to honour the female defenders of Ukraine (in Ukrainian grammar захисників is the masculine form of the word defender and захисниць the feminine form).[7][1]

14 October in Ukrainian historyEdit

The chairman of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, Volodymyr Viatrovych, motivated the choice of the date for 14 October on the Ukrainian historical tradition of honouring the Ukrainian army on the day of the Intercession of the Theotokos.[13][1] This holiday has been celebrated by Ukrainians since the 12th century.[13] The holiday was especially popular among Ukrainian Cossacks, who celebrated it since at least the 17th century as they believed the Mother of God (also known as "Theotokos") to be their patroness.[13] Fourteen October is also the Day of the Ukrainian Cossacks.[12]

During the Ukrainian War of Independence (1917–1920) the military symbolism of the holiday was adopted by the soldiers of the Ukrainian People's Army.[7][1]

In an effort to adopt some Cossack traditions, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (1942–1956) chose the day of the Intercession of the Theotokos to be the official day of their establishment.[7][13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d (in Ukrainian) Defender's Day was renamed Defenders and Defenders' Day, BBC Ukrainian (14 July 2021)
  2. ^ a b Ukraine celebrating Defender Day (Video), UNIAN (14 October 2018)
    "Методичні матеріали Українського інституту національної пам'яті щодо відзначення 14 жовтня Дня захисника України | Офіційний веб-сайт УІНП". (in Ukrainian). Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  3. ^ Ukraine celebrates Day of Defender and three more holidays, 112 Ukraine (14 October 2018)
  4. ^ Ukraine celebrates Defender Day, UNIAN (14 October 2016)
  5. ^ (in Ukrainian) For the first time in 30 years, a military parade took place in Luhansk region, Ukrayinska Pravda (14 October 2021)
  6. ^ (in Ukrainian) A march dedicated to the Day of Defenders begins in the center of Kyiv, Ukrayinska Pravda (14 October 2021)
  7. ^ a b c d e Day of Defenders and Defendresses of Ukraine celebrated today, Ukrinform (14 October 2021)
  8. ^ "October 14 declared 'Defenders of Ukraine Day' after lawmakers back Poroshenko's proposal". Ukraine Today. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  9. ^ "President proclaimed October 14 the Day of Defender of Ukraine". 14 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  10. ^ Ukraine marks first 'Defenders Day' with harsh words for Putin, Fox News Channel (14 October 2015)
  11. ^ "Ukraine honours servicemen during celebrations of first-ever Defenders' Day", Ukraine Today (14 October 2015)
  12. ^ a b Ukraine's Defenders Day to be observed on October 14, February 23 celebration canceled, Interfax-Ukraine (14 October 2014)
    President proclaimed October 14 the Day of Defender of Ukraine, (14 October 2014)
  13. ^ a b c d e New Oct. 14 state holiday has Orthodox, Cossack roots, Kyiv Post (8 October 2015)
  14. ^ (in Ukrainian) Таємниця 23 лютого. Українцям є що святкувати "'Mystery of February 23. Ukrainians have something to celebrate", Ukrayinska Pravda (23 February 2013)
  15. ^ A History of Ukraine: The Land and Its Peoples by Paul Robert Magocsi, University of Toronto Press, 2010, ISBN 1442610212 (page 563/564 & 722/723)
  16. ^ (in Ukrainian) Poroshenko: Ukraine will never celebrate February 23 Archived 25 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine, TVi (24 August 2014)
    English-language translation of Poroshenko's Independence Day remarks in Kyiv, Kyiv Post (24 August 2014)

External linksEdit