October 14 Ukraine marks the Defenders and Defendresses of Ukraine Day, which is indivisibly linked with the development of the Ukrainian army and its military traditions. The annual public holiday is established by the Decree of the President of Ukraine № 806 of October 14, 2014.
On this day, Ukrainians honour the soldiers who at different times defended and defend our independence and territorial integrity, all the defenders of Ukraine, regardless of official position and gender. This holiday is associated with the development of the army since the days of Rus. The best traditions of the defenders of the past were inherited by the fighters of the modern Armed Forces of Ukraine, who today defend the sovereignty of Ukraine in the war against the Russian aggressor.
The history of this holiday has a long tradition. The Intercession of the Theotokos was celebrated by the Cossacks, for what the holiday received the second name the Cossack Intercession. The Ukrainian army of 1917–1921 preserved the Cossack military traditions in the names of military units, structure, flags, uniforms, and so on.October 14, 1942, is considered a symbolic day of the formation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.
With the onset of the current Russian-Ukrainian war, nearly 4,000 Ukrainians have taken up arms and joined the Armed Forces, the National Guard, law enforcement, and volunteer groups to stop Russian aggression and defend Ukraine independence.
Currently, the Ukrainian army is being actively modernized, losing its Soviet heritage and restoring Ukrainian military traditions. Our army is becoming one of the most capable armies in Europe, with more than 7 years of experience in fighting the Russian-Ukrainian war.
The Ukrainian army preserves the fighting traditions of ancestors and the names of heroes, from Cossack soldiers to Sich riflemen and soldiers of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. That is why the names of legendary Ukrainian commanders and famous units of the past appeared in the army: the 24th separate mechanized brigade (OMBR) named after King Danylo, the 72nd OMBR named after the Black Cossacks, the 93rd OMBR Kholodny Yar, the 30th OMBR named after Prince Konstantin Ostrozky, 55th Separate Artillery Brigade (OABR) "Zaporizka Sich", 26th OABR named after General-Cornet Roman Dashkevich, 58th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade named after Hetman Ivan Vyhovsky, 7th Tactical Aviation Brigade named after Petro Franko, 299th Tactical Aviation Brigade named after Lieutenant General Vasyl Nikiforov, Heroes of Kruty Military Institute of Telecommunications and Informatization.
The relationship of generations is reflected in the elements of uniforms - hat "mazepinka", trident on the sleeve. The slogan "Glory to Ukraine" - "Glory to the Heroes" became the official greeting of the Ukrainian army.
Along with men, women defended the Motherland. For example, we know the names of Khrystyna Sushko and Kharytyna Pekarchuk, who fought in the UPR Army. In the Legion of Sich Riflemen, there was a Women's unit, co-organized by scout Olga Basarab. Hundreds of female names can be found among the heroes of World War II, UPA fighters. In the modern Ukrainian army, every tenth fighter is a woman. They serve side by side with men on the front line, have mastered the specialities of the sniper, machine gunner, scout, mechanic, instructor, medic. Over the last 10 years, the number of women in the Ukrainian army has15 times increased.
On the Day of the Defender of Ukraine, we honour modern defenders of Ukraine and heroes of different epochs of our history. This is a day when it is necessary to remember the fallen soldiers and thank all the citizens who dedicated their lives to defending the Ukrainian state.
It is impossible to liberate Ukrainian territory from the occupier without armed rebuff. Therefore, a combat-ready army and internal consolidation of society based on common values and respect for one's state will ensure the protection and restoration of the country's territorial integrity.