November 21, 2022. OTTAWA, ON. Today, the people of Ukraine and Ukrainians all over the world mark the Day of Dignity and Freedom. On November 21, 2013, the Ukrainian people rose up to defend their right to choose their own common destiny and their right to freedom and democracy.
In the ensuing months, on Kyiv’s Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) and in cities and towns throughout the country the Ukrainian people faced increasing authoritarianism, repression and violence from the regime. The Revolution of Dignity united the country – from east to west, from north to south, the Ukrainian people demanded their government respect their rights.
On February 18-20, 2014, the regime opened fire on its own people. Months of peaceful demonstrations were met by the Yanukovych regime with increasing repression and political violence. On February 18-20, 2014, the Yanukovych regime opened fire on its own people. But the Maidan withstood the regime’s assault and the regime retreated. Yanukovych fled, abdicating his office. The Ukrainian people succeeded in defending their freedom.
More than 100 brave Ukrainian patriots were killed in those days by Yanukovych’s security forces. Their names and their faces are today etched upon stone in Ukraine’s capital. They shall forever be remembered as the Heavenly Hundred – Небесна Сотня – and they gave their lives so that Ukraine may be free. We honour their memory. Вічная Пам’ять.
The freedom that was won amid the fires of the Maidan is today defended by the Ukrainian people against the genocidal war that Russia wages. Russia seeks to destroy Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, and subject Ukraine to Moscow’s tyranny. Thousands of brave Ukrainian patriots have given their lives in defence of Ukraine’s liberty. They join the Heavenly Hundred in the hearts of a grateful nation.
Russian despotism will be defeated. The Ukrainian people will be victorious – for light always defeats darkness, and justice always defeats evil. The valour and determination of the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian Armed Forces today inspires the world. As we mark the Day of Dignity and Freedom, we pray for Ukraine’s victory and we pledge to do all that we can to make sure that day of victory come as swiftly as possible.
Слава Україні! Героям Слава!
To learn more about the Revolution of Dignity, please see:
National Memorial to the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred – Museum of the Revolution of Dignity