Photo 09:59 20 Feb 2024

Ukraine honors memory of "Heavenly Hundred" protestors

Photo: Mykola Tymchenko

According to the President's Decree of February 11, 2015, "On honoring the feat of the participants of the Revolution of Dignity and perpetuating the memory of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred," Ukraine marks the Day of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes on February 20.

Ten years ago, on this day, pivotal events occurred that determined the outcome of the revolution and forced the pro-Russian president-dictator Viktor Yanukovych to flee, Rubryka reports.

In protests for a European and democratic future of Ukraine on Maidan Nezalezhnosti Square in Kyiv, the most people died on February 20, 2014, during the police's attempt to disperse protesters. 48 protesters lost their lives that day. From February 18 to 20, 78 people died on the Maidan, and after February 20, another 20 lost their lives. Now, there are 107 people listed as Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred.

У День Гідності та Свободи Зеленський вшанував пам'ять Героїв Небесної Сотні

On February 21, 2014, farewell ceremonies were held for those who died among the revolutionaries on Maidan Square. The ceremony drama inspired two Ukrainian poets, Liudmyla Maksymliuk and Tetiana Domashenko, to write poems in which the phrase "Heavenly Hundred" was mentioned for the first time. Domashenko read her work from the Maidan stage.

Фото: Микола Тимченко

Photo: Mykola Tymchenko

Photo: Mykola Tymchenko

The name arose by analogy with the main structural units of the Euromaidan protest camp — hundreds. The media immediately used this expression; it appeared in official documents related to the events of the Revolution of Dignity.

In the same year, 2014, the Order of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes was established; streets in dozens of Ukrainian cities were renamed in honor of the fallen. Part of Institutska Street in Kyiv, where a mass shooting of protesters took place on February 20, 2014, is now called the Alley of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes.

небесна сотня

In November 2014, the title of Hero of Ukraine was posthumously awarded to 98 revolution participants. Currently, the Heavenly Hundred consists of 107 people, four of whom died in the first days of the Russia-organized separatist uprising in Donbas.

The death of the Hero of the Heavenly Hundred, Pavlo Mazurenko, is recognized as the first and happened on December 22, 2013. He was beaten to death in Kyiv by people dressed in what was then still the police uniform.

The last hero, Viktor Orlenko, died on June 3, 2015, from injuries sustained on February 18, 2014, near the House of Trade Unions.

марш до Дня гідності та свободи рбк2Photo: Facebook/Olessii Panych

The youngest of the heroes, Nazarii Voitovych, was 17 years old, and the oldest, Ivan Nakonechnyi, was 82 years old. Among the 107 Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred are three women and 104 men.

On February 20, 2015, for the first time, a requiem action, "Minute of Silence – Infinity of Memory," took place on Maidan. Dozens of projectors installed in places where the demonstrators died simultaneously lit up in the center of the capital.

небесна сотня

The fifth President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine to the 104 Heavenly Hundred Heroes.

Three foreigners — Belarusian citizen Mykhailo Zhyznevskyi and Georgian citizens Zurab Khurtsia and David Kipiani — were posthumously awarded the Orders of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes.

This year's program of events to honor the memory of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes includes exhibitions, excursions, a media marathon, memorial marches, requiems, and a memorial concert, "10 Years of Invincibility."

The events will take place under the slogan: "We remain worthy of our heroes!"

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