Over 10,000 patriots marched across the Kyiv city center bearing torches, flags & banners on Oct. 14, 2016 to mark the Day of Ukraine’s Defender (similar to the American Memorial Day) which is the traditional warrior holiday in the Ukrainian culture. Organized by the AZOV movement, the March of the Nation was supported by Right Sector, C14 and other nationalist organizations, as well as numerous city residents. It has become the bright symbolic conclusion of the party congress of National Corps – a newly established electoral wing of the AZOV movement.
The march, accompanied by the songs of famous patriotic Ukrainian performers, lasted for 3 hours. It started from the Motherland Monument and proceeded through the historical city center of Ukraine to St. Sophia Square and the monument to Bohdan Khmelnytsky. The longest stop was made on Grushevskogo street where more than two years ago, in winter of 2014, were killed Heroes of Heavenly Hundred. (Those who were killed by police during the Maidan Revolution.) The leaders of movements and organizers of the march laid flowers at the memorial to the fallen to honor their memory and the memory of Ukrainian soldiers killed in the current war. “Peace – only after victory!“ was written on one of the banners.
As soon as the march reached its destination, the participants listened to the speeches by the leaders of organizations. They emphasized two main ideas. First, they sent a clear message to the Ukrainian government: “We entered the streets to show the authorities that we won’t give up and are prepared to take decisive actions when they try to betray Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.” Second was the idea of solidarity of nationalist organizations that joined forces at the march and are ready to form a common political front. “The strength is in unity,” stressed Andriy Biletsky, the leader if National Corps and the entire AZOV movement.
The march ended with a collective reciting of the prayer of Ukrainian Nationalist – a traditional rite of the AZOV movement.