The Day of Fatherland Defender


"Have you signed up as a volunteer?", by D.S. Moor (real name Dmitry Orlov), 1920.

On February 23, Ukrainian men are celebrating the Day of Fatherland Defender, which was originally known as Red Army Day (Russian: День Красной Армии / Dyen’ Krasnoy Armii.) It’s believed that the first mass draft into the Red Army occurred on February 23, 1918 during the Russian Civil War. Regular working class people were encouraged and most of the times forced to join the army. It was the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army. During the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922 the army consisted of communist combat revolutionary groups.

In 1922 this date was officially declared the Day of the Red Army.

Later it grew into the Soviet Union national army. In 1949, it was renamed into the Soviet Army and Navy Day (Russian: День Советской Армии и Военно-Морского Флота/ Dyen’ Sovyetskoy Armii i Voyenno-Morskogo flota).

After the Soviet Union collapsed the holiday was renamed into the Day of Fatherland Defender. Originally only soldiers, armed forces veterans, and law enforcement agencies celebrated this holiday. These days the Day of Fatherland Defender is not a public holiday. Though, people celebrate it as the “real men’s day”. Women give special attention to their men (family, friends, husbands, boyfriends). And men love celebrating it and of course getting all the attention and gifts from their loved ones.

The Ukrainian army has its own holiday “The Armed Forces Day” on December 6.

Here is the list of all the military holidays in Ukraine:

  • February 23 – The Defender Day
  • July 8 – The Air Defense Day
  • Last Sunday in July – The Navy Day
  • August 2 – The Airmobile Forces Day
  • August 8 – The Signal troops Day
  • September 7 – The Day of Military Intelligence
  • Second Sunday of September (September 9 in 2012) – The Tankman Day
  • September 14 – The mobilization serviceman Day
  • October 29 – The Day of finance officers
  • November 3 – The Rocket Forces and Artillery Day
  • November 3 – The Day of Engineers
  • December 6 – The Armed Forces Day
  • December 12 – The Day of Ground Forces
  • December 23 – The Day of all level operational control structures servicemen.

My best wishes go to all the men who defend and protect us, to all the manliest men!!!

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Categories: Ukrainian Traditional Holidays | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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