On October 14, Kharkivites held the patriotic march on Defender of Ukraine Day. Participants marched through the city center from Maidan Konstytutsii (Constitution Square) along Sumska Street to Maidan Svobody (Freedom Square).
The column was led by a car with national and red-black flags [Kh.O.: the flag of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army]. At the front of the column, marchers unfurled a several-meter-long red and black flag, followed by a group of veterans of the war in the east. The main column marched, carrying a banner reading “Defense of Ukraine is a Matter of Honor.”
Walking through the Kharkiv downtown, the marchers chanted: “One, united Ukraine,” “East and West together,” “Heroes don’t die but enemies die,” “Ukraine is above all,” ” Glory to Ukraine – Glory to the heroes!” and others.
A drummer and a musician with a Scottish bagpipe performed the national anthem of Ukraine.
The march was held in Kharkiv for the fourth year in a row. It is dedicated to Defender of Ukraine Day as well as Pokrova, the Day of Ukrainian Cossacks and the creation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army,” stated Bohdan Voytsekhovsky, the co-organizer of the event.
Pokrova or the Intercession of the Theotokos celebrated on October 14, is a traditional religious holiday which was observed by Ukrainian Cossacks in the 17th and 18th centuries. That’s why the Day of Cossacks was introduced on Pokrova in 1999.
The march was attended by ATO/JFO veterans and representatives of public organizations. There were not any party flags at the event. According to Kharkiv National Police, about 300 people took part in the march.
“Ukraine has the right to live as it sees fit, to be a democratic and free country and to ensure that its territorial boundaries are not violated. We are from Donbas, we have lived in Kharkiv for four years and have already taken part in the march a number of times,” said Olena Artemova, an event participant who joined the march with her son.
Defender of Ukraine Day is celebrated as a state holiday for the eighth time and for the seventh year it has been a day off.
Text: Natalia Ivanova
Photo: suspilne.media, newsroom.kh.ua, nakipelo