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Monday, August 24, 2009

Kyiv Military Parade 2009

A Military Parade Turns Into a Military Festival

Today marks the 18th anniversary of Ukraine's regained statehood. Ukraine is coming of age — in a very difficult, crisis-stricken age.

It wasn't quite as sunny as last year, but the flags were there.

August 23 is Flag Day in Ukraine

Give peace a chance!

After a rather soporific speech by President Yushchenko, the parade finally kicked into gear. It went well, albeit in an unusual mode: the troops marched in sync with the aviation, not separately as before. (According to news reports, the President was 9 minutes too long, which upset the flight schedule.)

Ruslan and Mriya (the world's biggest cargo aircraft)

Yet what began like a parade ended up like a puzzle: the tanks wouldn't come. That pissed many people off. Well, only those people who didn't make it to Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square).

I did make it through those nasty police cordons.
And, lo and behold, I found my favorite toys standing motionless there — from Independence Square all the way to European Square...

...with swarms of kids crawling all over them.

Older kids deserve special note. I, for one, couldn't resist the temptation to mount one of those toys and have my fair share of fun. I

I haven't done this since I was a kid enjoying myself in the open-air artillery section of the WW II Museum.


Rationally, I still contend that the money would have been better spent on the military's urgent needs. But emotionally, I concede that the touch’n’feel approach created an interesting break with the watch’n’listen tradition.

The flower clock! Amazing piece of work!

Evening edition

З Днем Незалежності, Україно! Happy Independence Day, Ukraine!


Ropi said...

Our parade on 20th August was very similar to yours.

Anonymous said...

Happy Independence Day! I was in Kyiv for the celebrations in 2003 and these pics and videos brought back some memories. Great blog you have here, keep up the great work. Greetings from New York!

elmer said...

Happy Independence Day, Ukraine!

Soo - Taras, after 18 years of independence, what can Ukraine point to with pride?

It is a beautiful country, with very hospitable people.

I'm wondering, in a sort of "18 years of independence review," what Ukrainians would point to with pride. What has Ukraine accomplished in 18 years of independence?

Lingüista said...

Very nice parade, Taras! In comparison, Brazilian military parades tend to be quite tame and rather boring. I'm glad you had a nice time.

I found the little girl on top of the tank cannon very cute. :-)

John Kalitka said...

Great report, Taras. Thank you very much for this. Slava Ukraini!

Anonymous said...

I like the pictures and videos!

Hahaha, good job for climbing up on the tochka. Did you look out of place, or were there many other adults on it too?

Gabriela said...

Wow! Great pictures and videos! Very descriptive post, Taras.
What do the yellow and blue of the flag stand for?

elmer said...

This is truly impressive!

Thanks for the great photos and videos!

Taras said...


A belated Happy St. Stephen's Day!

Your parade indeed looks very similar to ours, except that your weather was sunnier and we don't have Eurofighters. Well, your fireworks look more impressive, too:)


Thank you! You're welcome to revisit Ukraine!


Thank you! Frankly, Ukraine has not accomplished much, save for a number of freedoms, including, unfortunately, freedom to be poor, freedom to depopulate, freedom to tolerate corruption, freedom to be killed by a DUI mazhor, freedom to be a victim of the reset button, etc.

That said, I'm proud of my native land — I will defend it if I have to. I'm proud of my friends — we share many things. I'm proud of my Ukrainian identity — I'm here to stay.

I'm proud of the skills I began acquiring at the dawn of Ukraine's independence. These issues go at the heart of my blog.


Do you have good links to your parades? I'd love to take a look. There were many boys and girls out there, small and big:)


Thank you! Heroyam slava!


Believe me, I wasn’t the only big boy who fell for that Tochka. I looked like a permanent fixture:)!


Gracias! The yellow stands for yellow grain fields and the blue stands for blue skies.

Gabriela said...

Thanks for the explanation!

Marina Darmaros said...

omg, taras! i'm laughing out loud of your black and white peace pigeon! rara

Taras said...

You're welcome, Marina!:)