Leaders from all Baltic countries to attend Maidan commemoration in Kiev

  • 2015-02-20
  • from wire reports, TALLINN/RIGA/VILNIUS

Leaders from all three Baltic countries are to visit Ukraine this weekend to attend commemorations of those killed during the EuroMaidan protests in Kiev one year ago. Over one hundred people were shot during the Ukrainian Revolution of February 2014, following protests against then-president Viktor Yanukovych's decision not to pursue closer ties with the EU.

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas will attend the events, as well as Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma and President Andris Berzins, and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite. 

 A number of events will be organised in Kyiv to commemorate the anniversary of Maidan and people who were killed during protests in Ukraine's capital a year ago. The March of Dignity to commemorate Maidan movement and victims of protests will take place on Sunday. 

According to Dalia Grybauskaite, this presents an opportunity to discuss and assess the situation once more, as well as to pay respects to the victims. Ukrainian President Poroshenko invited heads of all European countries to visit Kyiv during his earlier visit to Brussels.

Commemorations will also take place in the Baltic States: today (Friday, 20 February(, an event to commemorate the Heavenly Hundred Heroes will be held at the Lithuanian Parliament on the initiative of the Ukrainian Embassy in Lithuania.

The event, which is open to the public, will be attended by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Lithuania Valery Zhovtenko, as well as members of the Seimas. Lithuanian and Ukrainian priests will hold joint services. A composition dedicated to the Heavenly Hundred will be performed by Ukrainian folk rock band TaRuta.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree proclaiming 20 February the Day of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes. He said this was to honour the memory of the victims killed during the Revolution of Dignity in November 2013 - February 2014, who died defending democratic ideals, human rights and freedoms and the European future of Ukraine.

In addition, on Friday, the European Information Office of the Seimas will screen the documentary Stronger Than Arms, produced by Ukrainian film studio Babylon'13.