On February 20, Ukraine marks the Day of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred. On this day in 2014, many activists of EuroMaidan – nation-wide protests against corruption, lawlessness and a Russia-imposed foreign policy U-turn from the association and integration with the European Union to Russian plans to build ‘Soviet Union 2.0’ – were killed by the criminal regime of former President Viktor Yanukovych. These events are known in Ukraine and worldwide as the Revolution of Dignity and these perished activists are named the Heavenly Hundred.
Five years ago, Ukraine’s life changed radically. Our nation had to endure so horrible events that could not be even imagined previously. This page of history was inscribed into our hearts with unbearable pain.
It all started in November 2013, when Ukrainians began fighting for the European future by peaceful protests. On November 30, hundreds of young students came to Kyiv to Maidan (Independence Square), emphasizing the peaceful nature of their actions in every possible way. The criminal authorities made an attempt to disperse the peaceful protest. Dozens of young protesters were brutally beaten by special units of the police. A million of Ukrainians who got angry because of these illegal actions that deprived Ukrainian people of their Constitutional right for free assembly and opinion gathered in Maidan demanding punishment for those who had beaten the students and the resignation of criminal authorities.
On February 18, 2014, after three months of “winter on fire” marked with clashes between the protesters and police units, the authorities headed by Viktor Yanukovych gave the criminal order to use weapons and to «sweep out» the Maidan.
On February 20, 2014, nearly 100 people were killed by snipers and soldiers of the police special forces. They were students, teachers, artists, theater directors, businessmen and other activists. The Heavenly Hundred secured freedom for millions of Ukrainians by sacrificing their own lives and gave us all a chance to build a new value-based and law-governed state.
On this day since then onward, the Ukrainians remember the act of bravery and self-sacrifice of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred and pay tribute to their memory.