25 years without Russia: how to celebrate independence day Ukraine and CIS countries


The celebrations in Kiev

Ukraine on Wednesday will hold a large-scale military parade dedicated to the 25th anniversary of independence. Military parades on this day were conducted before, but were not regular.

The first military parade took place in 1994, but it has not involved military equipment. She appeared on the main city street Khreshchatyk four years later, in 1998. Planes in the sky over Kiev appeared even later — in 2008. In 2009, the capital hosted the biggest parade. Then the ceremony was attended by 3.5 thousand soldiers, 35 aircraft and helicopters.

During the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych from 2010 to 2013 military parade on independence Day was carried out. The tradition resumed under President Petro Poroshenko after the overthrow of Yanukovych and the victory of Euromaidan.

In 2014 the parade was held, despite heavy fighting near Ilovaysk. Last year the celebration was part 2.3 thousand soldiers and two pieces of equipment — American machine HMMWV.

This year it is planned the participation of more than 4 thousand servicemen and over 200 pieces of military equipment. In the parade on Khreshchatyk will be the soldiers of the Ukrainian armed forces, National guard, border guard and the police. It is planned that the festival will involve the demobilized combatants in the East of Ukraine, as well as the families of the victims participating in the operation.

The aviation part of the parade will not. Also, the defense Ministry of Ukraine said that the parade will not be present equipment in the area ATO.

Festive events in Ukraine has started and will continue all week. The capital will host various exhibitions and concerts, including dedicated anti-terrorist operation. Fireworks will not be the mayor of Kiev refused the spectacle in 2014, since the beginning of ATO, for moral and ethical reasons.

In the holidays Poroshenko and other officials have strengthened anti-Russian and hawkish rhetoric. On Monday the Prosecutor General’s office initiated the investigation against the Minister of defence of Russia Sergey Shoigu and other Russian officials, and published the transcripts of telephone conversations of Russian presidential adviser Sergei Glazyev and Director of the Institute of CIS countries Konstantin Zatulin, in which they were talking about establishment of Russian control over Crimea. Both acknowledged they had talked to each other, including about the events in the Crimea, but the published conversation was rigged and manipulated.

Not allowed on holiday

As reported by eyewitnesses, this week in Kiev’s Borispol airport, more thoroughly than before, checked the documents of the arriving Russians. One of the Russians held control of the border earlier in the week, said he very long time to check the papers and denied entry for formal reasons, although previously passed with the same set of documents. According to him, along with him were denied entry to a number of his countrymen, mostly single men. In casual conversation they explained that this is due to safety strengthening in connection with the celebration of independence Day.

Among Russians, there are problems with entry to Ukraine via Boryspil, has confirmed to the correspondent the employee of help service of the airport. The official representative of Boryspil had forwarded the questions to the Ukrainian border. A representative of the Department stated that “just because no one returns”. Failure is given to those passengers who do not fulfil the conditions for entry into the territory of Ukraine,” she explained. According to her, they are recorded in the law of Ukraine on border control and the same for all foreign nationals.

A foreigner must have valid passport, visa (if required), not be enrolled in the law enforcement database, to confirm the purpose of the trip and have “sufficient funds” were mentioned by the representative of the border service. The quantity of money should be about 1 thousand UAH a day (about 2,5 thousand rubles), she said. No tougher stance against Russian citizens was not, the increase in refusal of entry is not fixed, assured the representative of the border service.

The assistant Minister of internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko assured that no additional restrictions were not introduced.

Anniversary is not for everyone

This year is a jubilee for all the countries of the former USSR. Most of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of independence has received increased attention. Relay parades from Kiev will go to Moldova, where a military parade is planned on 27 August. While the authorities are practicing in social networks spread calls to organize protests, which continued from the beginning of the year.

Some countries, such as Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan refused to hold parade on May 9 in favor of holding the parade on the occasion of independence Day in Bishkek on 31 August, and in Astana on 16 December.

The unprecedented parade promise to make September 21 the authorities of Armenia, wrote to the local newspaper “Graparak”. It has been festival in Belarus, Georgia and the Baltic States (Lithuania 25th anniversary celebrated last year). They all wore massive.

In Russia, the independence Day was celebrated from 1992 to 2002 when it was renamed the Day of Russia. The Kremlin held a traditional welcome and red square held a concert and evening fireworks.

The Declaration of sovereignty in many countries occurred after the victory over the putsch in August 1991, so the parades are held there in August and autumn. In Russia with the events of August because of another memorable date — flag Day celebrated on August 22. But this year, despite the anniversary, the Russian leadership did not arrange special events.

“Russia was the Soviet Union it was the center of the Soviet Union, the peripheral of the Republic split, and they’re celebrating,” explains the difference in approach to the celebration, the Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS countries Vladimir Zharikhin. According to him, for the former republics is “a celebration of independence from the centre, which was Russia.” Russia, Zharikhin says, “there is nothing to celebrate” because Russia “is simply reduced in size and it would be a feast of separation from itself.

Despite the fact that Russia was among the 15 republics, the Soviet Union’s collapse as a geopolitical catastrophe at the management level and part of the elite only understand in Russia, said Deputy head of the Department of post-Soviet countries RSUH Alexander Gushchin. The celebration of independence Day in the former republics of the Soviet Union is, according to him, a consolidating basis: society konsolidiruyutsya around the date, for the elite this holiday is another way of legitimation. Celebrations have foreign policy implications: to show their independence of Russia and other regional players, such as China.

With the participation of Evgeniya Ovcharova and Elizabeth Surnacheva

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