Deceased Motorcyclists Remembrance Day in Ukraine Date in the current year: September 18, 2024

Deceased Motorcyclists Remembrance Day in Ukraine Deceased Motorcyclists Remembrance Day, also known as Deceased Bikers Remembrance Day, is observed by the Ukrainian motorcycling community every September 18. It was created to honor the memory of all motorcyclists who died in accidents.

September 18 was chosen as the date of Deceased Motorcyclists Remembrance Day to commemorate Ukrainian motorcyclist Anna Mishutkina, known by the nickname Nikita, who was killed in a road accident in September 2008. Mishutkina was active in the Ukrainian biker community; she was the founder of Daughters of the Wind, an all-female motorcycle club.

On September 16, 2008, a Bentley Continental going at as speed of more than 170 km/h (approximately 124 mph) crashed into Anna’s Suziki near the railway station in Simferopol, Crimea. The driver of the Bentley, Vitaly Feingold – a son of the Ukrainian millionaire and former member of parliament Iosif Feingold – failed to slow down stop to give way to Anna, who was moving along the main road and thus had a priority over him.

The impact was so violent that Anna died on the spot and her motorcycle was left in pieces. She was only 25 at the time of her death and left behind a 5-year-old daughter. Feingold pleaded guilty, but didn’t go to prison for his crime. Thanks to his father’s money and connections, Feingold received a suspended sentence of three years with a two-year probationary period. In 2011, his criminal record was cleared.

Anna’s funeral took place on September 18, 2008. After paying their respects, Ukrainian bikers decided to observe its anniversary as Deceased Motorcyclists Remembrance Day. To honor the memory of their comrades who died in accidents, bikers organize candlelight vigils, solemn ceremonies, and motorcycle rallies in many Ukrainian cities.

The largest memorial ceremony is held at the Monument to Deceased Bikers near the city of Bila Tserkva. The monument was opened in June 2006, a little more than two years before the death of Anna Mishutkina. It was created by Anton Maslyk, a biker and sculptor who sold his bike to buy materials for the sculpture and raised the rest of the funds through a charity foundation.

The Monument to Deceased Bikers is a 4 meter wide bronze sculpture of a young biker flying on his motorcycle. It is mounted on an 11.5-meter pole at a height of 7.5 meters above the ground. A small cross is installed on the top of the pole. There are no inscriptions on the monument itself, but at the beginning of the alley leading up to the monument, there is a metal cross with a memorial plaque that reads “To deceased bikers. If we are one family…”

On Deceased Motorcyclists Remembrance Day, there is an unspoken rule among Ukrainian bikers: not to judge, discuss or blame car drivers, including the culprits of road accidents. According to statistics, the human factors leading to motorcycle crashes are roughly equal between the actions of motorcyclists and the behavior of drivers who share the roads. So instead of assigning blame, it is more important to remind everyone involved about the importance of traffic rules.

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