“Ode to Joy” sounded in Kharkiv the same as four years ago, when hundreds of Kharkivites went to the meeting in support of Ukraine’s Eurointegrationon course.
On Sunday, November 19, Kharkivites gathered to mark the fourth anniversary of Euromaidan near the Taras Shevchenko monument.
In 2013, several days before the start of the All-Ukrainian Euromaidan in Kyiv, Kharkiv held its first meeting, which signaled its European choice. Citizens felt their responsibility for the future of Ukraine. They demanded Yanukovich to sign the Association Agreement with the EU and, at the same time, called active citizens to keep promoting European values and European integration at all levels.
The violinist Olga Babiy, who performed the Hymn of the European Union and “Zaporizhian March,” was among the 18 Kharkivites who received the People’s Awards “Maidan Cross” for their active participation in preserving Kharkiv as a peaceful Ukrainian city.
Participants remembered the most important events of recent years, which changed the course of Ukrainian history, strengthened the sense of dignity, self-identity and responsibility for the life of the country. They mentioned the first All-Ukrainian forum of Euromaidans, which were taking place all over the country in support of Kyiv protests on Maidan Nezalezhnosti. It gathered about 200 civil activists from Ukraine, Poland, Belgium in Kharkiv in January 2014. The forum participants discussed coordination of their efforts, changes in public education, cultural activities, the ideas of the Ukrainian Charter of the Free Person.
Meeting appealed to the regional authorities to install a plaque to Kharkivites who, during the dangerous times of the “Russian spring,” defended their hometown.
Text: Victoria Sklyarova
Photo: Natalia Kurganova, Leonid Logvynenko