Independence Day of Ukraine: history and interesting facts about the main state holiday

Alina MilsentLife
Independence Day

On August 24, 2023, Ukrainians celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the declaration of independence. This is the main holiday of the state, which gained special significance in the conditions of a full-scale invasion.

Defending freedom on the battlefield, we learned the true value of independence. About how this holiday emerged, why the first anniversary of independence was celebrated not on August 24 and how the "Act of Declaration of Independence" was written - read in the material OBOZREVATEL.

July 16, 1990 and August 24, 1991

On July 16, 1990, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the "Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine". The first anniversary of independence was celebrated not on August 24, but on July 16, 1991. In 1991, the mass events for Independence Day were very communist: the Communist Party leadership laid flowers at the Lenin monument, followed by celebrations at the Ukraine Palace - these were standard Soviet rituals, the authorities did not know any others.

After the adoption of the "Act of Proclamation of Independence of Ukraine", Independence Day was celebrated on August 24.

Independence Day of Ukraine: history and interesting facts about the main state holiday

National Referendum

On December 1, 1991, a nationwide referendum was held on a single question: "Do you confirm the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine?". 31,891,742 people (84.18% of the population) took part in the referendum. 28,804,071 people (90.32 %) answered "yes".

The highest percentage of support for independence was in the following regions:

  • Ternopil (98.67%);
  • Ivano-Frankivsk (98.42%);
  • Lviv (97.46%);
  • Cherkasy (96.93%);
  • Rivne (95.96%);
  • Kyiv (95.52%).

Events of August 24, 1991

Three days after the suppression of a putsch by the conservative forces of the USSR, which sought to bring back the USSR and abandon democratic initiatives, an extraordinary session of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR was held.

On August 24, 1991, 346 deputies voted for independence.

Immediately after the meeting, the anthem of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen "Oy u luzi chervona kalina" was sung at the rostrum.

Draft of independence

Ukrainian political and public figure, diplomat, writer, lawyer Levko Lukyanenko and scientist, diplomat Leontiy Sandulyak wrote a draft of the Act on Declaration of Independence in 1.5 hours in an ordinary school notebook.

They chose "act" to define the name of the document, because "universal" was associated with Petliura (it could scare off the Communists, who then had weight in the parliament), and "law" sounded too commonplace and hinted at repeated action.

The first blue-and-yellow flag over Kyiv since 1920

MP Vyacheslav Chornovil suggested that the blue-yellow flag, with which Ukrainians stood on the barricades, be brought into the parliamentary hall.

Also, for the first time since June 1920, the blue-yellow flag was raised on the official flagpole near the Kyiv city council.

On January 28, 1992 the blue-yellow flag was officially approved as the national flag, and since August 2004 Ukrainians began to celebrate Prapora Day on August 23.

Independence Day of Ukraine: history and interesting facts about the main state holiday

Some facts

Poland was the first to recognize Ukraine's independence.

On August 24, 1994, the first military parade for Independence Day was held on Khreshchatyk.

Leonid Kravchuk became the first president of independent Ukraine.

UNESCO archives have collected a phonotheque of folk songs of the world. The Ukrainian collection contains 15.5 thousand songs. Italy ranks second in the number of folk songs - 6 thousand.

On September 2, 1996 the hryvnia was put into circulation.

The Constitution of Pilip Orlik (1710) is one of the oldest in Europe.

Independence Day of Ukraine: history and interesting facts about the main state holiday

Earlier OBOZREVATEL told about how independence was celebrated in 1991 and 1992.

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