9th of May in Ukraine

9th of May in Ukraine

WWII Victory Day is a national holiday celebrated on May 9 in Ukraine to remember victory over the Nazi regime during the World War II and commemorate war victims. Let's find out why this holiday has complicated and controversial history in Ukraine.

Victory Day is a holiday that commemorates the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War, known in the Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War. It was first inaugurated in the 16 republics of former Soviet Union, following the signing of the surrender document late in the evening on May 8, 1945 (after midnight, thus on May 9 according to Moscow Time). The Soviet government announced the victory early on 9 May after the signing ceremony in Berlin. Though the official inauguration occurred in 1945 the holiday became a non-labor day only in 1965 and only in certain Soviet republics.People laying flowers on the Unknown Soldier TombUkraine officially recognized May 9 since its independence in 1991 as the official public holiday. The holiday was similarly celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union. Nowadays, Victory Day in Ukraine is an eventful public holiday that often features official greetings to war veterans, public display of Ukraine’s armed forces, Presidential speech, concerts featuring Ukrainian pop stars performing popular wartime songs and evening firework displays. Victory Day also includes a moment of silence to honor war victims. People often come to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Kyiv to lay flowers and commemorate those lost in the war. In the recent years, poppies became the symbol of WWII in Ukraine.Motherland monument in KyivAs of 2015, Ukraine officially celebrates Victory Day over Nazism in the Second World War on May 9, per a decree of parliament. Additionally, the term ‘Great Patriotic War’ as a reference was replaced with ‘Second World War’ over all Ukrainian legislation. Since May 15, 2015 Communist and Nazi symbols are prohibited in Ukraine. The same year, May 8 was designated as a day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, however it is not a public holiday. May 9 is a good occasion to visit the park of Eternal Glory, the Museum of the Second World War or simply enjoy the panoramic view of Kyiv.
Photo sources: Dmitry Birin, Review News, Oleksii Chumachenko / shutterstock.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.


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