Victory Day undergoes a long-awaited paradigm change in 2014 when celebrations commemorating those who died in the Second World War take place on May 8, on the eve of traditional celebrations of victory in the Great Patriotic War.
During Yanukovych’s presidency, Victory Day was celebrated in a typically Soviet fashion. In 2011, an attempt was made to legalize the presence of Soviet flags during celebrations. The law was passed by Parliament and signed by the President, but it was finally deemed unconstitutional. Attempts to use Soviet symbols in particular and the overall sovietization of the holiday during Ukraine’s independence, when a national vision of the role of Ukrainians in the war began to materialize, led to additional civil strife in society and became another fault line between its citizens. Continue reading