Independence Day of Ukraine

Independence Day
День незалежності

2013 celebrations in Luhansk
Observed by Ukraine
Type National
Significance The day the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Supreme Soviet in 1991
Celebrations Concerts,[1] military parade[2]
Date August 24
Next time 24 August 2017 (2017-08-24)
Frequency annual

Independence Day of Ukraine (Ukrainian: День незалежності України) is the main state holiday in modern Ukraine,[nb 1] celebrated on 24 August[4] in commemoration of the Declaration of Independence of 1991.[5]

Beginning in 2004, 23 August is celebrated as the Day of the National Flag.[6]

Generally independence day is celebrated with a military parade held in Kiev, Ukraine's capital.[7]


When Ukraine was still incorporated into the Soviet Union the Ukrainian diaspora traditionally recognized 22 January (the Declaration of Independence of the Ukrainian People's Republic in 1918) as Ukrainian Independence day.[8]

The current form of the holiday was first celebrated on 16 July 1991, as the first anniversary of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine passed by the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) in 1990.[5][9] Since the Declaration of Independence was issued on 24 August 1991, and confirmed by the referendum of 1 December 1991, the date of the holiday was changed.[10] (In December 1991 many Ukrainian Canadians expected that 1 December would become Ukraine's official independence day.)[11]

Recent celebrations


After the annual military parade in Kiev an "unbroken march" was held, which consisted of current serving members of Ukraine's volunteer battalions, relatives of those killed during the fighting in the War in Donbass and family members of those killed during the Euromaidan uprising – known in Ukraine as the "Heavenly Hundred".[12] According to the Ukrainian army the volume of artillery fire set off by the separatist forces of the war in Donbass during the 24-hour period of 24 August 2016 was the highest since the February 2015 Battle of Debaltseve.[13][14]

Several Ukrainian cities held marches of people dressed in clothing featuring traditional Ukrainian embroidery.[15]


  1. In July 2013 in a poll by Razumkov Centre 61% considered Independence Day a holiday, 30.4% “not a holiday, but an ordinary day off” and 6.1% agreed to “this should be a working day”.[3]


  1. (Russian) Kharkov Ukraine celebrates Independence Day (photos, program of measures), SQ (24 August 2016)
  2. Kyiv hosts military parade, Interfax-Ukraine (24 August 2016)
  3. Poll: Independence Day a holiday for more than 60% of Ukrainians, Interfax-Ukraine (21 August 2013)
  4. How Ukraine Became a Market Economy and Democracy by Anders Åslund, Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2009, ISBN 978-0-88132-427-3 (page 185)
  5. 1 2 A History of Ukraine: The Land and Its Peoples by Paul Robert Magocsi, University of Toronto Press, 2010, ISBN 1442610212 (page 722/723)
  6. Ukraine celebrates National Flag Day, Xinhua News Agency (23 August 2012)
    Ceremony of hoisting Ukraine's national flag held at presidential administration, Kyiv Post (23 August 2011)
  7. Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives on Nationalism by Taras Kuzio, ibidem Press, 2007, ISBN 3898218155 (352)
    Language Policy and Discourse on Languages in Ukraine Under President Viktor Yanukovych by Michael Moser, ibidem Press, 2013, ISBN 3838204972 (page 102)
    Ukraine military parade marks 25 years of independence, BBC News (24 August 2016)
  8. "Washington State Marks Independence for the First Time" (PDF). Svoboda. The Ukrainian Daily. LXXX (40). Jersey City: Ukrainian National Association. 3 March 1973. p. 4. ISSN 0274-6964. LCCN 80012518. OCLC 01766932.
  9. Citizens of Ukraine mark 1 year of state sovereignty, The Ukrainian Weekly (21 July 1991)
  10. Ukraine Intelligence & Security Activities and Operations Handbook, International Business Publications, 2009, ISBN 0739716611 (page 268)
  11. Canada second to recognize Ukraine; establishing ties should go smoothly, The Ukrainian Weekly (8 December 1991)
  12. (Ukrainian) At the military parade in Kiev staged a "March unbroken", Ukrayinska Pravda (24 August 2015)
  13. Heaviest fire since Debaltseve battle recorded yesterday, 3 WIA, UNIAN (25 August 2016)
  14. Russian proxies intensify attacks on ATO forces on Independence Day, UNIAN (25 August 2016)
  15. (Ukrainian) Ukrainians at home and abroad celebrated Independence Day, Ukrayinska Pravda (24 August 2015)
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