On January 22, 2012, Ukraine celebrates an important event in its history – the Day of Unity and Liberty of Ukraine.
The idea of the Unity of Ukraine goes deep in history. During the medieval times of Ukrainian history unification of the lands of Kyiv Rus was a priority issue in internal policy of the Princes of Kyiv Rus. In the XI-XVI centuries the lands of nowadays Ukraine were divided between Lithuanian and Polish principalities. In the middle of the XVII century, a liberation war under the leadership of hetman (military leader) Bohdan Khmelnytsky began, as a result of which the statehood of Ukraine was resumed for a certain time. Unfortunately, in the XVIII – beginning of the XX century Ukrainian lands were divided among neighboring states – Poland, Russia, Romania, Austro-Hungarian Empire.
In such difficult circumstances it was very important for the people of Ukraine to get its territorial integrity in its struggle for the independence.
In 1917 the Ukrainian People’s Republic was proclaimed. A year later in western Ukrainian city of Lwiw representatives of western Ukrainian political parties proclaimed the formation of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic.
On January 22, 1919, the Unification Act was signed in Kyiv by the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the West Ukrainian People’s Republic.
Supported by cherished dreams and a will of the Ukrainian people towards establishing an independent and unified national state, taking into account historical, political, spiritual and legal aspects of this long process unified Ukrainian state emerged.
Nevertheless, at that time Ukrainian people could not realize its historical chance. In the difficult internal and external political circumstances Ukraine could not complete the process of its unification and for several decades it was separated ethnically and oppressed nationally.
Those difficult and sad days are now gone for Ukraine. The unity of Ukraine is secured in its Constitution, and the integrity of its territory is a key factor of its sovereignty.
At the end of the XX century independent Ukraine joined the world community and gained wide international recognition and support.
Nowadays Ukraine marks the Day of Unity and Liberty of Ukraine in order to pay tribute to the authors of the Unification Act and to commemorate those who lost their lives in the struggle for the Ukrainian independence, unity and statehood.