In August 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev, the President of the Soviet Union, was holidaying in Crimea with his family. Conservative members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union opposed to his reforms attempted a coup and placed him under house arrest. The coup failed after a few days and Gorbachev (briefly) returned to power.
The August Coup market the end of the Soviet Union. Ukraine’s parliament, fearing a return to Soviet rule, declared its independence on 24 August 1991. Over 90 percent of Ukrainians backed independence in a referendum the following December.
August 24 is now a public holiday and day of celebrations. Events on the day usually include:
- Top officials laying flowers at monuments of famous Ukrainians
- Vyshyvanka (Ukrainian national dress) Parade from the Singing Fields to Khreschatyk
- Various events on Khreschatyk – Sports, car shows, children’s activities, and more
- Free concert and fireworks display on Independence Square
Independence Day in 2017 falls on Thursday August 24. Most workers will enjoy a 4-day break from August 24 to 27.
Venue: Independence Square (and other venues)
Independence Square (and elsewhere)
Nearest Metro Station(s): Khreschatyk, Maidan Nezalezhnosti