On February 20, Kharkivites honored Heavenly Hundred Heroes. The commemorative event took place on Heroiv Nebesnoi Sotni Maidan (English: Heavenly Hundred Heroes Square) for the first time. During the past five years, the ceremony took place near the Taras Shevchenko monument, where Kharkiv Euromaidan activists gathered in winter 2013-2014.
A few hundred people including Euromaidan activists, officials, clergymen, Heavenly Hundred Heroes’ relatives and Kharkiv residents attended the ceremony.
During the action called “It’s Time to Fly,” the participants lit lanterns and 107 cadets of National Guard Institute raised portraits of Ukrainians killed in the Kyiv downtown six years ago during the Revolution of Dignity. At the end of the event, those present performed the Ukrainian anthem.
During the action, participants named all 107 perished heroes, and cadets holding portraits lined up in V formation – this is what the future monument to the perished heroes will look like when it’s installed on the square.
Special attention was paid to the Kharkivites who died during the Revolution of Dignity.
“You can imagine – unarmed people are going up Instytutska Street, and bullets are flying towards them. A friend has fallen here, a friend has fallen there, and they still keep going. Who knows when a person becomes a hero? Probably when you get into a situation when you are a hero or you are taking cover. Everything that is connected with memory is important to me. There is nothing left. I just have faith it was not in vain,” recalls Mykola Kotlyar, father of the Heavenly Hundred Hero.
According to Volodymyr Chystilin, the coordinator of the Kharkiv Euromaidan, it is planned to build a memorial complex at Heavenly Hundred Heroes Square in the near future.
Relatives of perished heroes discussed this issue with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
“Last year, large amounts of money were allocated from the regional budget, about 2 million UAH (about $80,000). In a month, the project documentation will be checked by experts, and then it will be possible to implement it. This is a big money, tens of millions in UAH,” Chystilin emphasized.
According to him, the Heavenly Hundred Heroes Square will be completely modernized. The construction time could be discussed in the spring of 2020.
Reference: Three valiant Kharkivites of the Heavenly Hundred are Yevhen Kotlyar, Vladyslav Zubenko and Yurii Parashchuk. Kotlyar was killed on Instytutska Street while he was carrying a wounded having covered him with his shield. Vladyslav Zubenko, who was also protecting those injured, was shot by a sniper and died in a hospital eight days later after he had been shot. Yurii Prashchuk was killed on the spot by a sniper’s bullet. He was a volunteer and did not have a bullet-proof jacket or a helmet.
Text: Natalia Ivanova
Photo: objectiv.tv, Volodymyr Chystilin