Ukraine’s independence day will not have the usual festivities, as the conflict continues with Russia.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned Ukrainian citizens they will need to be vigilant and exercise caution ahead of the national landmark.
Zelenskiy said: “We must all be aware that this week Russia could try to do something particularly ugly, something particularly vicious.”
The Independence Day of Ukraine is a national celebration which is held each year, but what is its significance and will it go ahead despite the war with Russia?
When is Ukraine’s independence day?
Ukraine’s independence day will take place on Wednesday 24 August. It will mark 31 years since the Ukrainian government vowed to separate from the Soviet Union in 1991. The day will also mark six months since Russia officially declared war on Ukraine.
The history of Ukraine independence
The start of the 1990s saw the collapse of the Soviet Union and in July 1990 the Ukraine government declared state sovereignty.
On 24 August 1991, following a failed coup to restore the communist rule in the Soviet Union, the Act of Independence was adopted by the Ukrainian parliament.
The Ukrainian flag appeared outside of the parliament building known as the Verkhovna Rada.
One of the conditions of the declaration was that a national referendum would be held on 1 December 1991. In this referendum an overwhelming majority of around 90 per cent voted in favour of their country’s independence.
For some people in Ukraine, the referendum of 1 December is seen as a more significant landmark as it symbolises the unity of the Ukrainian people in wanting independence.
What normally happens during Ukraine’s independence day?
Ukraine’s independence day is a major landmark in the year which involves parades and crowds of people in folk costumes. Throughout the day there are a range of public markets, fairs, circuses and a number of concerts.
Independence day is a national holiday in Ukraine meaning the majority of shops, museums and libraries are closed to allow the public to commemorate the occasion.
Will Ukraine independence day still go ahead in 2022?
The Ukrainian authorities have cancelled celebrations for this year’s event following security concerns.
The US embassy is predicting that there will be an increased threat from Russian missile attacks after a car bomb killed Darya Durgina on 20 August. Durgina, who died aged 29, was a vocal supporter of Vladimir Putin and her father Alexander Dugin has been described by the media as the architect of the Ukraine war.
Russian security services have blamed Ukraine for the car bombing and many of Putin’s advisers have called for revenge. Ukranian officals have denied any involvement in the car bombing.
The traditional parade that is held on Kyiv’s main street has been cancelled and Ukraine’s authorities have lined the tarmac with captured and destroyed Russian military equipment.
How to say ‘Happy Independence Day’ in Ukrainian?
If you want to wish someone well on Ukraine’s day of independence then you could say “z dnem nezalezhnosti ukrayino”, according to Google. This is written as ‘з днем незалежності україно’ in Ukrainian and pronounced “z nem-nez-a-lej-nosti u-krane-en-y”.
While “Slava Ukraini” is also another phrase which people are using to wish someone a happy independence day in Ukraine. This translates to “Glory to Ukraine!” in English.