On Independence Square a parade is under way which is dedicated to this event. Parades in Ukraine have not been conducted since 2009. The celebrations began with the hoisting of the flag and performing the anthem.
The parade is attended by all heads of the state, and it is led by the commander of the Land Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Anatoly Pushnyakov. The Defense Minister Valery Geletey have circled all the troops and welcomed the participants of the parade, among which – there are 120 people who fought in the South-East, reports “Interfax”.
Parade in Ukraine
Speaking at the parade, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that the steps towards peace “should not happen at the expense of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine.” Ukrainian diplomacy is doing “everything possible” to find a diplomatic way to settle the situation in the east of the country. The Ukrainian president said that the conflict has gone beyond bilateral relations and is now “threatening European and global security.” “The Centenary of the First World War was celebrated less than a month ago. We cannot allow the third one,” – said Poroshenko.
He also said that to update the weapons and military equipment Ukraine “will spend billions of hryvna” before the end of this year, and in 2015-2017 – another 40 billion hryvna (about $ 3 billion). “This will allow modernizing, purchasing and supplying the troops with aircrafts, helicopters, warships and boats. And this is only a modest beginning,” – said Poroshenko.
Poroshenko also said that Ukraine will no longer celebrate the Day of Defender of the Motherland on February 23. The phrase “Defender of the Motherland” has ceased to be an abstract ritual expression. It got filled with specific content … In rich with heroism chronicle of the exploits of the Ukrainian military there are many battles and dates, which are worthy to become a new Day of Defender of the Motherland. Ukraine will never again celebrate this holiday according to a military history calendar of a neighboring state; we will honor the defenders of our country, and not someone else’s, “- he said.
Earlier Poroshenko with his family, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov and Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko laid flowers to the cross at the site where Maidan activists died. This was reported by RIA Novosti with a reference to the TV channel “112 Ukraine”.
Meanwhile, his congratulations to Ukraine and its people passed the President of the US Barack Obama, reported the press service of the Ukrainian state. Obama reminded that in all the challenges that Ukraine had to face since 1991, “The United States have always been near.” The American president said that last year was not easy but reassuring for Ukraine. But at any time, Ukrainians need to know that the United States is their partner and friend. Obama stressed that the United States supports the “right of Ukraine to choose its own future” and welcomes the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU.” This event has become a significant step towards building a more democratic, prosperous and equitable Ukraine,” – said the President in his statement.
Meanwhile, the militia of the DPR on Sunday changed its fighting tactics and announced its transition to the counter-offensive attack. According to the militia, they have occupied the settlements Novodvornoe, Agronomicheskoe, Novokaterinovka, Osykovo, Klenovka, Stroitel and Leninskoe.