Оn January 29 Ukraine commemorates the defenders of Ukrainian People's Republic (Ukrainian state in the period 1917 - 1920), who died on this day in 1918 in an unequal battle near Kruty, defending the right of the Ukrainian people to live in their own state.
99 years ago at the railway station, located at a distance of 130 km. north-east of Kyiv, there was a battle between troops, which included students and militants of Free Cossacks – a total number was about 400 people, and the 4.000 unit of the Red Army headed by Mikhail Muravyov (later executed by the Bolsheviks for his cruelty and tyranny).
During about 5-hours-long battle the soldiers of the UNR caused significant losses to the enemy (several hundred soldiers), but many of them also died. They failed to stop the advance of the Bolsheviks, but, damaging the railway track, they delayed them for a few days.
The tragic death of students near Kruty became a symbol of patriotism and sacrifice in the struggle for independent Ukraine. The famous Ukrainian poet Pavlo Tychyna dedicated to young heroes a poem named "In Memory of Thirty".
In accordance to the Decree of the President of Ukraine dated January 15, 2007 January 29 has been declared the Day of Kruty Heroes. This is not only a date to celebrate, but also a lesson of how a small group of people can do great things that affect the whole nation.