Ukraine commemorates the Heroes of the Battle of Kruty every year on 29 January. This day, in 1918, nearly 600 Ukrainian servicemen fought with 4,000 Bolshevik troops 130 km northeast of Kyiv in Chernihiv Oblast. Although Ukrainian forces later retreated, the battle gave time to evacuate the government and continue the war, which allowed Kyiv to be taken back by Ukrainian troops once again in 1919. However, without international support, the Ukrainian army couldn’t maintain the long war and eventually lost, while most of Ukraine was occupied by the USSR.
“All our heroes, all those who gave their lives for Ukraine’s independence, freedom and future will forever be in the history of our nation. We remember each and every one of them! Eternal glory and gratitude to the defenders of Ukraine!” Zelenskyy said.
He also honored the memory of Mark Paslavskyi, who died in August 2014 during battles in Donbas, Hero of the Heavenly Hundred Oleksandr Klitynskyi, killed during the revolution of dignity in 2014 as well as participants in the Russian-Ukrainian war Andriy Pilshchykov (callsign Juice) and Dmytro Kotsiubailo (callsign Da Vinci), who are buried at the Askold’s Grave.
Ukraine’s Commander in Chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi also paid tribute to the Kruty heroes.
“On 29 January 1918, the UNR army fulfilled its combat mission on the field near Kruty – it stopped the Russian invaders who were rushing to Kyiv. 106 years have passed, and now Ukrainian soldiers are once again giving battle to the Russian invaders on the entire front line and proving every minute that Ukraine was, is and will be free and independent,” Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi wrote.
Along with Zelenskyy and Zaluzhnyi, all Ukraine’s military leadership participated in the commemoration ceremony, including Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov, Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov, Head of the Security Service Vasyl Maliuk, Chief of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov, Minister of Internal Affairs Ihor Klymenko, and Deputy Head of the Presidential Office Roman Mashovets.