For the first time, the Ukrainian Independence Parade featured an all-female unit. Photo: Ukrinform
On 24 August 2018, a military parade on the central street of Kyiv was held to mark Ukraine’s 27th Independence Day said to be the largest yet. Approximately 4,500 military servicemen from Ukraine and 300 of their colleagues from 18 countries took part, according to Ukraine’s Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak. Soldiers from 10 NATO member countries marched down vul. Khreschatyk alongside their Ukrainian colleagues – up from eight in 2017. As well, 250 units of military hardware either in use in the Ukrainian Armed Forces or undergoing trials were displayed during the parade, including the Javelin anti-tank missiles Ukraine had so long sought from the USA and finally acquired earlier this year. For the first time in many years, military aviation took part in the parade. Also in a first for Ukraine, the standard military greeting was replaced with “Glory to Ukraine! – Glory to the heroes!,” the parade featured a chaplain and all-female parade units.
The parade, dubbed the “March of the new army,” was overseen by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko; guests of the parade included US National Security Advisor John Bolton and the management and representatives of the Defense ministries of Austria, Azerbaijan, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
From Ukraine’s side, about 4,500 servicemen from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard, Internal Ministry, State Emergency Service, Security Service, State Border Guard, National Police, Air and Land forces of Ukraine, marines, paratroopers, tank soldiers, soldiers of the Special Operations Forces, scouts, veterans of the war in Donbas, and over 20 military orchestras marched down Khreschatyk Street:
This year, female Cadets of the Military Institute of the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University and Military Institute of Telecommunications and Informatization took part as a separate parade unit. As well, for the first time, servicewomen took part in the parade as a separate unit (below: all photos – by Ukrinform).
As well, 18 foreign delegations took part in the parade. Particularly, parade units from the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Moldova, as well as flag holders from Georgia, Latvia, Denmark, the Czech Republic, and the multi-national LitPolUkr brigade, marched down Kyiv’s central avenue (photos are screenshots from broadcast of parade unless noted otherwise).