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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ukraine Celebrates Independence Day, Kyiv Holds Military Parade


Today, Ukraine celebrates its 17th anniversary of renewed statehood.

On August 24, 1991, a few days after the failed coup in Moscow, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine declared our independence from the Soviet Union.
The rest is history, a bittersweet history of lost of opportunities.

Anyway, I couldn't miss today's parade.




The day started warm and sunny (and ended cloudy and rainy)



As I suspected, Maidan was for VIPs only


So I hurried back to the upper Khreshchatyk Station on Instytutska St....


...to take a dive and reemerge at Khreshchatyk







Sweltering in that uniform, aren't you?






From Ukraine with love and peace!


Some people sure know how to climb



Lieutenant General Ivan Svyda, commander of the Ground Forces, commences the parade




Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov drives from Maidan, salutes troops; troops salute back



Driving back to Maidan





Troops on standby to march forward












They're marching! The audience is responding.


They're coming...


Hurray!
BTR-80, BMP-1 "Shkval"



In order of appearance: T-64 BM "Bulat," 2S1 "Gvozdika," 2S3 "Akatsiya," 2S19 "Msta-S"








BMP-2






Heading for NATO! The Humvee is replacing the UAZ-469.


MT-12 "Rapira"




9K51 "Grad"


In order of appearance:

BM-27 "Uragan," BM-30 "Smerch," 9К79 "Tochka-U" (SS-21 "Scarab B"), 9K33 "Osa" (SA-8 "Gecko"), 2S6M "Tunguska," Buk-M1, S-200 (SA-5 "Gammon"), S-300 (SA-10 "Grumble")

Now let's do a little flying!


In order of appearance:
Mi-8, Mi-24


The remaining birds are a bit trickier for me to identify...
An-30 escorted by two Mig-29s, right?


Il-76 escorted by two Su-27s?


I'm not sure what some of these birds are...but the first four look like Mig-29s, followed by three Su-24Ms, one Su-24MR, four Su-25s and four Su-27s.

In 2001, they closed the parade with the An-124 "Ruslan" flying in formation with the An-225 "Mriya," the world's biggest aircraft (no kidding)...produced in Kyiv, Ukraine! (Click here for a video chronicle of parades held in Kyiv since 1917.)

Airshows in Ukraine don't always go as planned. In July 2002, we had the Sknyliv tragedy, which killed 85 people and injured over 100.

Thankfully, everything was fine this time.





Z Dnem Nezalezhnosti tebe, Ukrayino! Happy Independence Day, Ukraine!

13 comments:

Hans said...

Great pics! Happy Independence Day!

Veronica Khokhlova said...

Thanks for the report, Taras! And, somewhat belatedly, з днем незалежності!

Taras said...

Thank you, Hans! Thank you, Veronica!

З Днем Незалежності once again!:)

the8thcircle.com said...

Nice work, by far the most extensive coverage I've seen.

Sumorsaete said...

A belated thanks for all of the wonderful pictures Taras. I visited Kiev for 10 days in February 2007, and I'm still in love with the city. For me, Kiev is the most beautiful city in the world, and I've been to Paris, Sydney, etc. I stayed just around the corner from Ernst and Young. I want to return, in summer next time.
All the best from Canada

Taras said...

Thank you, Vitaliy!

I don't know about extensive, but it certainly turned out to be quite attractive. I’ve had visitors from the U.S. House of Representatives, the Pentagon, the CIA, Oxford and Yale (not to mention Chicago:)

You are welcome, Sumorsaete!

It’s a pleasure to hear Kyiv praised so high! I’m glad you recognized the Ernst & Young office:) Come back to us in spring or summer and enjoy!

Brave Cat said...

Awesome pics thanks a million!!

Taras said...

You are welcome, Cat!

samuel said...

fantastic report, taras. i know how much time it costs to write this ;-) and thanks for your comment.

Kate Kharenko said...

THANKS FOR THE PICTURES, GUYS!! THAT MAKES ME FEEL BETTER BEING IN FLORIDA, US. NISHO NE ZABUTE, NIXTO NE ZABUTIY!!! URA!!! Z DNEM NEZALE*NOSTI, YA LYUBLYU TEBE, UKRAYINO!!! Kate Kharenko, Kyiv

Taras said...

You are welcome, Kate! Slava Ukrayini:)!

Kate Kharenko said...

Geroyam slava!!

Anonymous said...

Geroyam slava!!
Kate Kharenko, Kyiv