Fallen Paratroopers Remembrance Day in Ukraine Date in the current year: August 2, 2024

Fallen Paratroopers Remembrance Day in Ukraine On August 2, Ukrainian Armed Forces observe the Day of Commemoration of the Fallen Warriors of the Airborne Assault Troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, also known as simply Fallen Paratroopers Remembrance Day.

In the Soviet Union, August 2 was celebrated as Airborne Forces Day (Paratroopers’ Day) to commemorate the birth anniversary of the Soviet airborne troops. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, some of the newly independent states continued to celebrate it. In Ukraine, Paratroopers’ Day was observed unofficially from 1992 to 1998 and received an official status in 1999.

Originally named Air Mobile Forces Day, the holiday was renamed High Mobility Airborne Forces Day in 2012. On November 21, 2017, the Ukrainian High Mobility Airborne Forces were transformed into the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces. Their main task is carrying out combat missions in the tactical and operational rear of the enemy. Ukrainian paratroopers are specifically trained for active combat behind enemy lines, as well as participation in defensive, counter-offensive, special, anti-terrorist and peacekeeping operations.

After the reorganization of the country’s airborne forces, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine moved Paratroopers’ Day from August 2 to November 21. By the way, this date wasn’t chosen randomly; the reorganization happened on November 21 because on this day Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate the feast of Archangel Michael, who is considered the patron saint of paratroopers and military in general.

Nevertheless, August 2 has been a celebration for Ukrainian paratroopers for so long that it can’t be simply struck off from the list of observances in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. So the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine decided to set this day aside to honor the memory of all Ukrainian paratroopers who died defending their motherland.

The main remembrance ceremony dedicated to the memory of the fallen Ukrainian paratroopers takes place at the Smolyanske military cemetery in Zhytomyr, the city where the headquarters of the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces are located. The ceremony is attended by the Air Assault Forces Command, personnel of the military units of the local garrison (95th Air Assault Brigade, 148th Self-propelled Howitzer Battalion and 199th Air Assault Forces Training Center), veterans, and family members of the fallen paratroopers.

Smaller remembrance ceremonies are held in all military units of the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces: 25th Air Assault Brigade (Hvardiiske), 45th Air Assault Brigade (Bolhrad), 46th Air Assault Brigade (Poltava), 79th Air Assault Brigade (Mykolaiv), 80th Air Assault Brigade (Lviv), 81st Air Assault Brigade (Kramatorsk), and others.

August 2 is the day of honoring the memory of all those who served in the ranks of the Ukrainian Airborne, Air Mobile, High Mobility, and Air Assault Forces, performed their military duty, protecting Ukraine and its people, and gave their lives while participating in UN peacekeeping missions and the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, which began in April 2014 and, as of 2020, is still ongoing.

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