Defender of the Fatherland Day Date in the current year: February 23, 2016

Defender of the Fatherland Day February 23 is one of the important holidays for Russia and number of former republics of the Soviet Union. This is Defender of the Fatherland Day.

The original name of the holiday is Red Army Day and it marked the date of the mass draft into the Red Army, that occurred in Moscow and Petrograd (modern Saint Petersburg) on February 17, 1918. As far as February 17 fell on Monday in 1919, the date of the celebration was shifted to the next Sunday, that was February 23. This date became traditional for further celebration of the holiday.

The holiday was renamed into Soviet Army and Navy Day in 1949. And following the fall of the Soviet Union, the holiday should have disappeared. Anyway, the tradition to celebrate the holiday was kept in former republics of the Soviet Union, but unofficially.

February 23 was proclaimed as Defender of Fatherland Day in different countries. For instance, President Vladimir Putin decreed it a state holiday in Russia in 2002. Belarus celebrates Defender of the Fatherland and Armed Forces Day on February 23 as well. In Tajikistan this holiday is known as Tajik National Army Day. President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma recognized February 23 as Defenders of the Motherland Day, but the holiday was deprived by President Petro Poroshenko in 2014.

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Public Holidays


Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan


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