Come back

2 min

24 Aug. 2023


Independence Day: How Ukraine became a powerful state and continues to fight for its freedom

Der Weg zum Sieg


Independence Day: How Ukraine became a powerful state and continues to fight for its freedom

For 32 years in a row, Ukraine has celebrated its most important national holiday, Independence Day, on August 24. This day plays an extremely important role in shaping and maintaining national identity, a sense of unity and pride in the country. Learn more about the history of the holiday, interesting facts and traditions

Order branded Visit Ukraine merchandise and support Ukraine (worldwide delivery)
Order branded Visit Ukraine merchandise and support Ukraine (worldwide delivery)

Ukraine's Independence Day is not just a public holiday, it is a holiday that emphasizes the importance of national identity, pride in one's country and the desire for democracy and development. This day honors the exploits of previous generations and reflects Ukraine's firm path to building a democratic, independent and strong state.

We tell you about the importance of this day, its meaning and interesting facts that every Ukrainian should know.

Declaration of Independence of Ukraine: how did it happen?

The great day of August 24, 1991, left an indelible mark on the history of Ukraine. On that day, under the walls of the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, an important meeting was held that went down in history books as a key event. It was at this meeting that the historic Act of Independence of Ukraine was adopted.

This extraordinary meeting, which took place just a few days after the suppression of the coup organized by the Cheka in Moscow, was an extremely tense moment for the country. A large number of people gathered outside the Rada, approximately 30-50 thousand, and they stayed until the evening without leaving.

Photo: Ukrinform. Rally near the Verkhovna Rada on August 24, 1991

Impressions from the beginning of the meeting were unpredictable. The deputies decided to broadcast the events to the street, which was a completely innovative step. The broadcast was carried out by the republican television, which was unprecedented in Soviet Ukraine.

The atmosphere in the hall was tense, and the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Leonid Kravchuk, had to make a lot of effort to calm the deputies down and urge them to adhere to minimum standards of behavior. And it was Leonid Kravchuk who became the main target of various moods among radicalized MPs. They accused him of not being decisive enough during the revolutionary events, cited the actions of the President of the Russian Soviet Federation Boris Yeltsin, who, they said, had shown the courage to "defend democracy" in Russia, and even suggested that he might be removed from the session.

This day left a deep mark on the hearts of Ukrainians and became a key point on the country's path to independence.

Ukraine is independent! 

An important event took place at the parliamentary session: the adoption of a resolution declaring Ukraine's independence. The resolution was supported by 321 MPs. And it was immediately followed by the Act of Independence, which was voted for by 346 deputies.

Photo: Ukrinform. The Act of Independence of Ukraine was supported by the constitutional majority of the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian SSR

The hall was filled with real euphoria. As a result of the long session day, several important decisions were made: work on the national currency was started, the military formations under the authority of the Rada were subordinated, and even the Speaker of the Parliament was temporarily granted "presidential" powers.

At the end of the day, the deputies expressed their gratitude for their heroic actions during the coup and their loyalty to the ideals of freedom and democracy. 

The legendary day ended with Leonid Kravchuk calling for gradual development and wishing them creative success. This historic session was a step towards the formation of modern independent Ukraine.

Photo: UNIAN. Ukrainian politician and public figure, Soviet dissident Levko Lukyanenko was lifted in his arms after the declaration of independence

Independence Day marks the end of the struggle for Ukraine's independence from the former Soviet Union, which culminated in the declaration of independence on August 24, 1991. This act became a symbol of the destruction of the totalitarian regime and the beginning of a new stage in the country's development.

The holiday is a reminder of the importance of democratic values and human rights. After gaining independence, Ukrainians began the path to building a democratic society where citizens have the right to choose and participate in government processes.

Visit Ukraine on social media: Telegram | YouTube | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | TikTok

A reminder of the value of independence

Independence Day is a reminder to the world of Ukraine's right to self-determination and independence. Ukraine has a long history of fighting for its freedom, and August 24 is a reminder of the value of freedom and liberty for all people.

Independence Day becomes a time to honor the memory of those who died during the full-scale war and to express support for their families and friends. This day shows soldiers that their efforts are important and do not go unnoticed.

And by raising the spiritual patriotism and morale of the military and civilians, it encourages them to believe in victory and continue to defend their dignity and national identity.

Independence Day of Ukraine: the history of the holiday

The history of the holiday dates back to 1990. However, the history of Ukraine's struggle for independence began much earlier.

On January 22, 1918, Ukrainians proclaimed the independence of their homeland at the 4th Universal of the Ukrainian Central Rada, and a year later, the official unification of the Ukrainian People's Republic and the Western Ukrainian People's Republic took place on St. Sophia Square in Kyiv.

For the first time in many centuries, the historical regions of Ukraine were united into a single state. Unfortunately, the actual unification of the UPR and ZUNR republics did not take place, but the process of proclamation itself influenced the political situation in the country.

As for the vassal Soviet Ukrainian SSR, Ukraine's independence was not implemented on its territory until 1990: On July 16, the Verkhovna Rada took a historic step as a harbinger of future independence and adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine.

In March of the following year, a referendum and public opinion poll were held to determine whether the population agreed to Ukraine's membership in the Union of Sovereign Republics in accordance with the Declaration of State Sovereignty. About 80% of respondents said yes, and July 16 became a public holiday.

Later, taking into account the August coup d'état, the will of the Ukrainian people and their eternal desire for independence was accepted and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine decided to consider August 24 as the Independence Day of Ukraine and to celebrate it annually as a public holiday of Ukraine.

Since then, after a hot summer and a fierce struggle, Ukrainians have won their independence. And they will continue to fight until they win an eternal victory over their eternal enemy.

Interesting facts about Ukraine's independence

• Ukraine was one of the first republics to declare independence from the Soviet Union.

• In an all-Ukrainian referendum, the people decided to declare the independence of the Ukrainian state. There was only one question on the ballot: "Do you support the Act of Independence of Ukraine?" Over 90% of Ukrainians in all regions answered in the affirmative.

• On the morning of August 23, 1991, the Act of Independence of Ukraine was prepared. It was written in ordinary school notebooks by Leontiy Sanduliak and Levko Lukianenko.

• On August 24, 1991, an extraordinary special session of the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian SSR was held, at which 346 deputies voted for Ukraine's independence.

• After the extraordinary session, the opposition performed the national anthem of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen near the rostrum of the Verkhovna Rada. The song was also taken up by protesters on the street.

• Vyacheslav Chornovil suggested that Ukrainians bring the blue and yellow flags that are on the barricades near the Russian White House to the parliament building. The flag was raised on the dome of the parliament.

💙 In January 1992, the Ukrainian flag was officially adopted as a symbol of independence.

💛 On August 24, 1994, the first military parade dedicated to Ukraine's Independence Day took place.

💙 Poland became the first country in the world to recognize Ukraine's independence.

💛 On September 2, 1996, the Ukrainian currency was put into circulation.

During the all-out war, the whole world recognized the dedication and courage of the Ukrainian people, and the blue and yellow flag is now known throughout the world. The symbol of invincibility is hung on balconies, worn by people and attached to cars as a sign of support for the Ukrainian people. 

Be in trend, wear blue and yellow and be independent not only on this holiday, but always. That's what Visit Ukraine merchandise is for! Choose accessories and stylish clothing with Ukrainian symbols to your liking here.

You may be interested in:

Visit Ukraine Donation - make a good deed and an important contribution to the Victory of Ukraine;

Visit Ukraine Legal advice - comprehensive legal support on entry to Ukraine;

Visit Ukraine Tours - the largest online database of tours to Ukraine for every taste;

Visit Ukraine Merch - choose patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery;

Visit Ukraine News - get the latest news and updates in our Telegram channel;

Cooperation - cooperation and advertising integrations with Visit Ukraine and Visit World projects.

Recommended articles

2 min

Der Weg zum Sieg Indestructible: stories of Ukrainian military personnel who return to service even after the most severe injuries

Indestructible: stories of Ukrainian military personnel who return to service even after the most severe injuries

Courage and faith in service to the homeland help the Ukrainian military continue to defend the country through hardship and pain. Learn the amazing stories of soldiers whose determination and perseverance bring them back to service after harsh trials

22 Aug. 2023

More details

2 min

Veranstaltungen National Flag Day of Ukraine: what you should know about the blue and yellow symbol of invincibility

National Flag Day of Ukraine: what you should know about the blue and yellow symbol of invincibility

Every year, on the eve of Independence Day, August 23, Ukrainians celebrate the National Flag Day. Learn about the importance of this holiday, the meaning and history of the national flag of Ukraine

23 Aug. 2023

More details

2 min

Travel How to get to Ukraine from Latvia: convenient routes by car or plane + train/bus

How to get to Ukraine from Latvia: convenient routes by car or plane + train/bus

The absence of air travel reduces the options for getting to Ukraine. But the country's land borders are open, so we have prepared routes to enter Ukraine from Latvia

23 Aug. 2023

More details

1 min

Popular Nine more checkpoints to be opened on the border of Ukraine and the EU: details

Nine more checkpoints to be opened on the border of Ukraine and the EU: details

Ukraine is working hard to build its border infrastructure. In particular, it is planned to open 9 more checkpoints on the border with the EU in the near future. Find out more about where new checkpoints will be opened first

23 Aug. 2023

More details