Today, Kharkiv together with all Ukraine is commemorating the Day of Heavenly Hundred Heroes.
February 20, 2014, was a tragic landmark for many Ukrainians. This day, enforcement troops shot peaceful protesters of EuroMaidan on the Institutska Street in Kyiv. Totally over 100 activists were killed, and they were called Heavenly Hundred by the people. It was the former president Yanukovich who allegedly authorized shooting unarmed people. The next day, he has fled the country, the new government was appointed by the parliament, and the Ukrainian authorities officially recognized the fallen protesters as victims and Heroes. The official day of their memory was introduced in 2015.
There were three Kharkivites among the dead: Yevhen Kotlyar, Vladyslav Zubenko and Yury Parashchuk. Kotlyar was killed in the Institutska Street while he was carrying a wounded one having covered him with his shield. Vladyslav Zubenko, who also was protecting those injured, was wounded by a sniper and died in a hospital. A sniper’s bullet killed on spot Yuri Prashchuk, who was a volunteer, and did not have bullet-proof jacket or a helmet. All three Kharkiv heroes did not know each other and went to Kyiv, on February 18, to protect freedom and the people of Ukraine.
Today, a number of memorial events are taking place in the city. In the afternoon “Patriot” meeting was held in the Kharkiv Regional Library for Youth.
Activists and patriots of Kharkiv are traditionnaly gathering in the evening at Taras Shevchenko monument, where the Kharkiv EuroMaidan activists used to gather to protest and discuss their ideas during tumultous winter 2013-2014.
In the Opera House concert hall Guiseppe Verdi’s Requiem for the Heavenly Hundred is performed by the symphonic orchestra.
Text: Olena Sokolynska
Photo: Serhiy Kozlov