Longing for the Anniversary Ukraine Will Celebrate, Not Just Mark

Photo of a torn Ukraine flag

On the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Kseniya Kharchenko, Documenting Ukraine Project Manager and Member of PEN Ukraine, reflects on Ukraine's many "dark anniversaries".

Since 21 November last year, the same date the Revolution of Dignity began on Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv in 2013, Ukrainians have marked a string of anniversaries. Ten years since the people of Ukraine won the right to choose a future in democratic Europe. Then ten years since protesters on Maidan were killed by special forces on 20 February 2014; later they came to be called the Heavenly Hundred. On that same day, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation. These are national anniversaries that Ukraine never celebrates; they are days that will be forever marked in black in every calendar, regardless of how many years have passed.  

This is how the “Ukraine crisis” began a decade ago. This was the start of an internationally unrecognized hybrid war waged by Russia. It lasted until the events of 24 February 2022 shook Ukraine with massive explosions. This date, this “youngest anniversary,” marks Ukraine’s most profound grief in modern history.

Here you can continue reading and learn how the Documenting Ukraine community has commented on the occasion of two years of full-scale war. 

Photo by Mykhailo Palinchak