26 Reasons to Cheer About Ukraine on Its 26th Independence Anniversary

22 серпня 2017
24th of August 2017, Ukraine is going to commemorate and celebrate its 26th independence day. Centuries of Russian hegemony and then decades of Soviet occupancy was finally rid of 26 years back on 24th August 1991, when Ukraine attained independence from the ‘Iron-curtained Evil Empire’ – the Soviet Union.

These 26 years have been a mixed bag for the state and people of Ukraine. Though much has been achieved still the progress and development is not what it could have been and certainly, there is widespread recognition and comprehension of wasted time and lost opportunities. But there is no need to despair, we are still a young state, all of just 26 years, and the sustained, combined and well-directed efforts of people, Government, Non-Government Organizations, Civil Societies and helpful foreign partners, friendly countries would ensure that we overcome the hurdles and obstacles in our path to growth and prosperity and make Ukraine a strong, rich, powerful, globally respected country for its democratic values and people oriented rule of law in the time to come.  

Here are 26 reasons, a list of good things achieved by Ukraine during the 26 years since its independence that certainly give us hope and optimism for more positive developments and a better tomorrow for Ukraine and all its people:
  1. Slow and steady democratization of Ukrainian political system 
  2. Shaping up of democratic institutions that ensure rule of law
  3.   Introduction of Hryvna in Sept 1996
  4.   Annual Commemoration and remembrance of Holodomor – the artificial famine created by Stalin in the years 1932-33 that claimed lives of 8-10 million innocent Ukrainians
  5.   Revolution of Dignity & Freedom 2013-14 (The EuroMaidan or Maidan 2.0)
  6.   The Visa-Free Regime with the European Union
  7.   Introduction of ЗНО (зовнішнього незалежного оцінювання) External Independent Testing System (EITS)
  8.   Understanding and clarity of relationship with Russia – As aggressor, invader and occupant of Ukrainian territory and waging proxy war by actively helping terrorists in the Donbas region  
  9. A glorious cultural heritage that is being restored to its rightful position. Strengthening of Patriotism and consolidation of sovereignty and independence      
  10. Battle readiness of Ukrainian army and professionalization of the armed forces 
  11. The Orange Revolution 2004
  12. Press is generally free, Media censorship is low and people have freedom of expression  
  13. Successful integration with the global structural institutions like WTO, OSCE, European Council, UN organs, etc
  14. Consolidation of Pro-European path and deepening of Euro-integration process  
  15. Twice winner of Eurovision in the years 2004 and 2016 respectively – Annual European song & music contest involving almost 40 countries
  16. Ukraine along with its neighbor Poland successfully organized Euro 2012 – the European Soccer tournament held every four years    
  17. Individual sparks of talent and achievement in the field of entertainment, sports, media and other spheres of socio-cultural activities
  18. The slow and steady erosion of Soviet mentality   
  19. Ukrainians proudly wave & hoist their national flag – one of the most potent symbols of Ukrainian statehood along with the famous trident (Тризуб) and the national anthem.  
  20. Development of largest transport/cargo airplane – AN Mriya
  21. Agriculture sector and farm outputs have been the beacon of hope and Ukraine is the acknowledged № 1 exporter of Sun Flower oil globally
  22. The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement has been completely ratified by all the member-states of the EU and is a comprehensive approach towards trade structure and economic development between the EU and Ukraine   
  23. Ukrainians have finally rid itself of totalitarian and despotic Communist Party, banned the symbols and the communist ideology that represented decades of torture, suppression and repression  
  24. Ridding of the multipolar/ multi-vectoral orientation, moving towards NATO and opening up to the world  
  25. From 24th August 1991 onwards Ukrainians have got something very prized and its name is – “a Future”
  26. Independence is finally teaching Ukrainians to fend for themselves and starting believing in the fact that they themselves are responsible for building & strengthening their nation
З Днем Незалежності Україно :)
P.S. The list is not based upon any chronological order nor has any time recency. It has been compiled on as and when the required information evolved, surfaced, or came up during the writing of the article. 
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