Today at noon about 2 hundred Kharkiv activists gathered near the Palace of Sports at Novi Doma area to remember the violent events of February 22 in 2014 and 2015.
In 2014 a session of separatists parties and agents was appointed in the Palace of Sports, organized by local pro-Russian authorities. Yanukovich, still formally occupying the position of president, was planning to attend this session and to make some statements there. Many patriots viewed Yanukovich as a Russian puppet who would attempt to provoke splitting of Ukraine and inviting Russian army to suppress Euromaidan. Only mass protests of patriotic Kharkivites prevented Russian-backed rally succeed and made its organizers escape.
Today’s meeting participants remembered as for the first time in the city history about 50 thousand Kharkiv residents gathered to protest against Russian violent interference into Ukrainian internal affairs and to confirm Kharkiv as an integral part of Ukraine. Then the people marched from the Palace to the city center with Ukrainian flags and singing the national anthem.
“I’m getting scared when thinking what could have happened if Kharkivites wouldn’t have disrupted the Kremlin’s plans to divide Ukraine into two parts, to cut the southeastern Ukraine and to arrange its capital in Kharkiv”, says a renown Kharkiv activist Volodymyr Chystylin. “I am convinced that averting the separatist rally on February 22, 2014 was a real victory of patriotic Kharkiv”.
However the same day in 2015 the tragedy happened. When the activists gathered to celebrate the glorious event first anniversary, the Russian-backed terrorists blew up the people’s march with an anti-personnel mine, four people including 2 young boys were killed and a dozen was wounded.
Today near the monument installed in the site of the explosion Kharkivites commemorated deceased 15-year-old Danya Didik, 18-year-old Mykola Melnichuk, civilian activist Ihor Tolmachov, and a policeman Vadym Rybalchenko.
Also, a 100 meter yellow and blue flag was stretched to honor the patriotic defenders of Ukraine – both military and civilians.