Armored Troops Day in Ukraine Date in the current year: September 14, 2024

Armored Troops Day in Ukraine Armored Troops Day, also known as Tank Troops Day, is a professional holiday in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Its roots can be traced back to the Soviet era, but the current date of the holiday, September 14, was officially adopted in 2023.

A holiday dedicated to armored and mechanized troops was celebrated in Ukraine for the first time in 1946. Named the All-Union Tank Crewmen’s Day, it was established by a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on July 11, 1946 in recognition of the outstanding contribution of tank troops to the Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War (the Eastern Front of World War II).

Tank Crewmen’s Day was originally celebrated on September 11. This date was chosen to commemorate the breakthrough of enemy defenses by Soviet tank forces during the East Carpathian Operation (also known as the Battle of the Dukla Pass) in September 1944. In 1980, the date was moved to the second Sunday in September.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine continued to celebrate Tank Crewmen’s Day on the second Sunday in September. However, this changed after the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. In September 2023, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree “On Armored Troops Day”, moving the holiday to September 14. According to the decree, the main goals of the holiday are to honor the courage and heroism displayed by tank crewmen while fighting for their country’s freedom, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

The formation of the Armored Troops within the Ukrainian Ground Forces began in 1991, as Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union. The main units of the Armored Troops are armored brigades and armored battalions of infantry brigades, which are characterized by great resistance to the striking factors of both conventional and nuclear weapons, considerable firepower, and high mobility and maneuverability. The structure of the Armed Troops has been reorganized several times since their formation, most recently in 2019.

The Armored Troops are used primarily in conjunction with mechanized troops as the main striking force during both defensive and offensive operations. They played an important role in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, both during the initial defense and during the subsequent counter-offensive operations.

The insignia of the Armed Troops of Ukraine depicts a knight’s gauntlet holding a pernach (a type of mace). It symbolizes the Battle of Orsha that was fought on September 8, 1514, between the allied Lithuanian-Polish Forces and the Army of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. The Lithuanian-Polish victory prevented the Grand Duchy of Moscow from gaining control of the former Kyivan Rus’ lands. In Ukraine, it is regarded as an important victory within the long history of the Russo-Ukrainian conflicts.

According to the former Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine General Viktor Muzhenko, the Armored Troops are a spiritual successor to the Volyn heavy cavalry, which played an important role in the Battle of Orsha, and their branch insignia serves as a reminder of this connection.

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