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28 Jul. 2023

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Intertwining heritage: The Day of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus-Ukraine and the Day of Ukrainian Statehood

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Intertwining heritage: The Day of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus-Ukraine and the Day of Ukrainian Statehood

On July 28, Ukraine celebrates the Day of Ukrainian Statehood. On this day, Orthodox Christians also traditionally celebrate the Day of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus. Find out how these holidays are connected and why the world needs the Day of Ukrainian Statehood

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For the second year in a row, Ukraine celebrates the Day of Ukrainian Statehood on July 28. This year, Ukrainians will also celebrate the 1035th anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus, from which Ukraine inherited its culture, traditions, and customs. Here's why this day is so important to the Ukrainian people and where the history of Ukrainian statehood originates.


The history of the baptism of Rus-Ukraine


The history of Ukraine as a state is evidenced by the first written references to events related to the founding of the capital of the Old Rus' state, Kyiv, and the activities of Volodymyr, Prince of Kyiv.


Volodymyr the Great brought Christianity from Byzantium. This was due to the fact that Byzantium was the most developed and powerful country on the continent.


According to the Tale of Byzantine Times, Prince Volodymyr passed a "test of faith" before being baptized. He was visited by messengers from Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. It was the latter religion that appealed to him the most. Volodymyr was baptized in Chersonesos and took the name Basil.


In 988, Volodymyr the Great baptized the inhabitants of Rus-Ukraine at the confluence of the Pochayna River with the Dnipro.

As the state mono-religion, Christianity became a civilizational choice for Ukraine.  It contributed to the development of culture and education, and gave impetus to the development of the Cyrillic alphabet.

Several European countries adopted Christianity later than Kyivan Rus. These are Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.


After Kyiv, other cities adopted Orthodoxy. Not all city residents immediately abandoned their traditions. Pagan practices were eradicated for several more centuries. It was not an easy process. And for a long time large areas were not Christianized.


The lands that are now in the north of russia were religiousized only 100-150 years after the beginning of Christianization.


Despite the historical facts that prove that Ukraine is much older than russia, Muscovy has been trying to appropriate Kievan Rus for centuries and has been propagating false theses about the creation of Ukraine, once again rewriting the great history of Ukraine, which the racists do not have.




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July 28: why this day is chosen


In Ukraine, the celebration of the Day of the Baptism of Kievan Rus was launched by President Viktor Yushchenko on July 25, 2008.


The date of the celebration was July 28, the day of remembrance of the Holy and Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir the Great.


Many Orthodox churches hold special services and ring bells on this day.


According to chronicles, the history of Ukraine as a nation dates back to the times of Kievan Rus, and Ukrainians are the heirs of the Volodymyr's trident.


Ukraine inherited Christianity along with the culture and traditions of Rus. That is why July 28 was chosen as the date for the Day of Ukrainian Statehood, with the aim of affirming the more than thousand-year old traditions of Ukrainian statehood.  


During the parade on Independence Square, President Zelenskyy signed a decree on the "Day of Ukrainian Statehood," starting a tradition of celebrating the holiday on this day every year - the Day of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus-Ukraine.


Formation of Ukrainian Statehood


Ukrainians have been fighting for centuries to create their own state. Its rich history is directly linked to Volodymyr the Great, who baptized Rus and brought it into European civilization.


In his Independence Day speech two years ago, President Zelensky said: "We consider the year of foundation of Kyiv, the capital of Kyivan Rus-Ukraine, which is not without reason called the place where it all begins, to be the starting point of our statehood."


The Day of Ukrainian Statehood is one of the information opportunities that reminds us that Ukraine honors and celebrates its connection with Rus, as well as counteracts the aggressor who seeks to deprive Ukraine of its history of nation-building.


Society, the government, and scholars face the task of disseminating the true Ukrainian history and building the future, taking into account the mistakes of the past.


"We are faced with the fact that russia, as an aggressor state, promotes various manipulations of the past, including the appropriation of Ukraine's historical heritage," says historian Volodymyr Tylishchak.


Due to russia's active propaganda, dozens of false myths related to the culture and history of Ukraine are spreading around the world. Learn more about how russia distorts the facts and tries to rewrite the past of the Ukrainian people here.


Why celebrate the Day of Statehood?


The solemn celebrations of the Day of Ukrainian Statehood are intended to draw public attention to the cherished national traditions that formed the basis of the country's formation and to honor all the important stages of this process.


This day was introduced to affirm the continuity of more than a thousand years of Ukrainian history, as well as to counter russian disinformation and historical fakes about the alleged unity of origin of the Ukrainian and russian peoples.


The purpose of celebrating the Day of Statehood is to preserve historical justice, affirm the principle of continuity of Ukrainian statehood, and protect Ukraine's national interests. The holiday is intended to educate all Ukrainians to understand that Ukraine has its own culture, identity and individuality.




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