Conducting a parade in honor of the Independence Day of Ukraine has become another topic, which is still actively discussed by users of the network. Although this traditional for the country event has its objectors, the thoughts of those, who support the need for a parade, are still in the majority. Opinion has found out what to expect from this year’s parade, why such measures are needed, why there are “against” reflections and what are the reasons.

Who will take part in this year’s parade?

Speaking about the preparations for holding this year’s parade in honor of the Independence Day, Stepan Poltorak said, that Ukraine is now waiting for the arrival of 18 delegations from around the world. All of them will take part in the event. Moreover, new machines will be demonstrated and advanced weapons will be presented. Particular attention will be paid to combatants in the eastern part of the country.

“These days the arrival of 18 foreign delegations from different countries of the world, who will take part in the parade are expected. Also during the first training 250 units of new machines and those ones, which were accepted for arms or state tests, as well as perspective prototypes were presented. During the celebrations, brigades who took and take part in hostilities in eastern Ukraine will be given honorary names and handed flags. Everyone is invited to celebrate the Independence Day of Ukraine: where the army will be with the people, and the people with the army”, the minister stressed.

At the same time, Poltorak emphasized, that the parade is also an opportunity to see what is the condition of the Ukrainian army. And because of this, it is extremely important for the military themselves: to give a summary to the society.

“At the front, most people do not see what is happening. We know that our military is protecting our country. But its condition the people of Ukraine can see during the military parade. This is very important for every military person because it is a kind of report to the society in which state we are”, the minister said.

The president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko told about the parade of new machine units.

“250 machine units will take part on the Military Parade on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of Independence of Ukraine. New samples, that have already been put to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as those that are currently undergoing a state test, will be demonstrated. <…> For the first time this year, a box of female servicemen will take part in the parade”, the president stated.

Why do we need the parade?

Andrii Kozinchuk, a military psychologist, the participant in combat operations of 2014-2015, participated in the parade in 2001, explained to Opinion, that the main goal of the parade is the confidence of the people in their own security. At the same time, according to Kozinchuk, the holding of the parade is supported at the front, even by those who treat it rather skeptical. The reason is simple – such measures are another opportunity to remind about the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“We need a parade because this is a miniature model of troop display. The full name is the review of the troops. Military and law enforcement officers show themselves in full glory. You can compare it to a wedding. Young people show themselves in full dress and drive in the expensive cars, and everyone watches and congratulate them. The parade is not a political act, but a holiday one.

Why is it worth holding? In all post-Soviet countries, the parade is a demonstration of strength and warning to the world, like, we can bang. In our country, where there is still the war, it is for our people. Here are those, who protect us and keep the threat. Be proud and be calm. Therefore, the purpose of the parade is confidence in its own security by the people. Some “zradophils” say it’s expensive. But the very price itself is a sense of security. But let’s take a look at the reproach. Poroshenko takes the parade, and he is a traitor. It is not the surname, that takes the parade, but the position – the Supreme Commander. That is what’s written in the law. Other accusations. The machines are taken from the front. There is no explanation at all. Part of the technology is experimental and has not passed all the long bureaucratic tests, part of which, can not be on the front, due to the Minsk agreements. The personnel involved –  some took part in hostilities, and some did not. But believe me, the soldiers on the front support the parade, even those who are skeptical about it, because the parade is another opportunity to remind about the Armed Forces, which people already forget about.

We may like the parade, or may not. But nobody will remain indifferent to it and it’s already cool. But for me, this is a very good opportunity for children and teens, because the parade is aesthetics and power. You do not feel it on TV, and there you can feel the resistance of the asphalt from the machines, the smell of solar oil and the sound of the kettle drums and the stepping of the fighters, it makes the heart soar and give the opportunity to feel, what is rare for Ukrainians – pride for someone”, shared the expert.

The parade is a symbol of our independence, which we will always defend. This opinion was expressed in a commentary for our media by political expert Oleksii Minakov. According to him, our parade does not have anything to do with the “victorious” parade in Russia, which is full of postage and obscurantist “we can repeat”.

“There is a very big ideological need for a parade on Independence Day. As the modern hybrid war is not only a military confrontation but also an information confrontation.

Thanks to the demonstration of military and machines, the parade raises fighting spirit and tune in to victory, once again reminds the civilian population of the war and militarizes the society, scares pro-Russian forces in Ukraine, adds confidence in the future of Ukraine, scares off the “volunteers” from the neighboring country that were subjected to the Kremlin propaganda, and gives a signal to the enemy of readiness for a lasting defense. In general, the parade symbolizes our independence, which we will always protect.

On the parade Ukrainians will see Heroes fighting in Donbas, protecting our lands. Their faces. Their eyes. They are alive. They must be valued and honored. They are the pride of the country. That is, our parade on Independence Day has nothing to do with the “victorious” parade on May 9 in Russia, where there are the show and the obscurantist “we can repeat!”, the expert believes.

Oleksii Minakov also explained a number of disputes, that arose in the network regarding the holding of the parade on Independence Day. The political expert emphasizes: the reason is the lack of understanding of basic stuff in part of the population about the hybrid war, and sometimes even common sense.

“But the reasons for the controversy over the parade are understandable – the lack of understanding in some parts of the population of basic things about hybrid wars, the lack of common sense and self-confidence against the backdrop of dilettantism. This year, all skeptics about holding a parade appeal to the United States, where they refused to hold the parade as its too expensive. But this is a simple manipulation – firstly, no one has attacked the United States and does not have its powerful influence agents, that wash the brains of the population, and secondly, in the USA it is not a “holy date” like Independence Day, but about 100 anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Therefore, if a person considers himself a patriot of his own country and not of the aggressor country, if a man in the war with Russia does not want to play the invader, he should support the parade on Independence Day”, Oleksii Minakov shared.

The screenwriter Rostyslav Pikho also supported the holding of the parade on the Independence Day. In a commentary to Opinion, the speaker noted, that discussions usually arise when new factors and challenges arise, and wartime celebrations are just one of the greatest challenges.

“Such a founding event as the acquisition of sovereignty in the framework of the universal affirmation of an individual state, and hence the people, simply can not be an ordinary event and a red mark on the calendar. Independence is more than a holiday, it is a prerequisite for all other steps of society, which is now marked by the dignity of autonomy and responsibility for its own destiny. But nobody denies that. Discussions arise when there are other factors and challenges. Celebration in the absence of a peaceful sky is one of the greatest challenges.

And such an inalienable attribute of this holiday as a military parade, which is perceived by all in the exclusive peacetime period through the prism of power and security demonstration, is now understood in a slightly different way. This “power”, which served as a kind of “captive” forced to enter into the confrontation with another, revealing in the minds of people understanding the devastating consequences of these collisions. While the weapon does not shoot, it remains only an attribute, a kind of stimulant. But used for intended purpose, by those who saw and felt its influence, forever, would seem to be an overwhelming burden, that resembles not only what it is capable of, but what those who used it are capable of.

It is important to just remind citizens of their civic responsibilities: to value and protect not only their freedom but also their surrounding citizens, despite differences in their views on one or other things. And the main thing is to remember and be grateful to those, who stand guard for the freedom of the whole nation and the whole people. Because these people went for self-sacrifice. They may have bitter siege offenses because they do not feel direct signs of gratitude. Everyone knows, that they are protecting and not everyone has enough power to say it. That’s it, the psychological peculiarity of us – people. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to celebrate”, says Rostyslav Pikho.

Is everything so simple?

Political observer Dmytro Havrilyuk agreed, that a military parade is a necessity for the state to demonstrate not only to its own citizens but also to other countries, in particular, the aggressor. However, the expert believes, that in the absence of the Independence Day parade it would be unlikely to lose its brilliance: it is equally necessary to work on the formation of a truly high-quality military training of armed men, social support and timely rehabilitation.

“The question whether to hold military parades or not is actually rhetorical. On the one hand, it is a necessity, that the state authorities have to demonstrate to both their own citizens and foreign political players, including the opposition states that are definitely in Ukraine, both on the eastern and western geopolitical and geo-economic front. A correct approach to conducting military parades was the pragmatic decision of the country’s political leadership to restrict the public demonstration of heavy weapons, which if honestly awaits the forces of the OUF  and on the Ukrainian border to reflect possible provocations.

On the other hand, the celebration of the Independence Day would not have lost its gloss, if for some time the troops, demonstrations and parades were absent. Nevertheless, it would be expedient if the political and military leadership of the country were engaged and guaranteed high-quality military training of Ukrainian armed forces, provided them with decent social support, timely post-war rehabilitation and development of the territorial defense network. The latest is forgotten in the euphoria of decentralization, and how wrong it is! As for me, looking at the fact of the amount of several thousand military and citizens without military training who came through ATO, the formation of a reserve army seems reasonable.

Military parades are generally used as a symbol and instrument of psychological warfare if there are open military conflicts/contradictions in the countries. The sense of security in citizens is best served by victory in open local military confrontations, respect, and not by the audit of defeats during the ATO and the prosecution of corrupt military heads and “officers” and “several thousand strong detachments of generals”, is mentioned in the comments to Opinion.

Meanwhile, journalist Mykhailo Andriiovych in a talk to Opinion focused his attention on the financial aspect of a military parade. According to him, the total cost of such an event this time can be approximately 200-400 million UAH, as part of the machines after the holiday will have to be repaired, and equipment for thousands of soldiers will also cost a lot of money.

“What is now a military parade holding means for Ukraine. First of all, significant financial costs, which are “managed” from the military budget. The tank has to be “refilled” at least 400 liters of diesel fuel (T-80 T-90 2.6-4.6 l km) – this is only for rehearsals. In addition to tanks, in the main colony, there are armored transport vehicles, machines on the BAZ chassis (missile tactical installations “Tochka”), MAZ (“Smerch”, “Hurricane”), KRAZ (“Grad”). All the equipment passes various regulations and repairs and stains beforehand. According to rough calculations, one fuel distillation can range from 500 to 1000 tons. If to take into account the use of motorcycle technology – almost half of the “main units” of the tracked vehicles after such measures should undergo major repairs. In the on-going calculations, up to 6,000 soldiers and officers are marching, yet another 10 thousand provide this process. The new equipment for them also costs a considerable amount of money. The number of involved law enforcement officers, employees of the SSU and NSA is just difficult to say – at least another 10-15 thousand detached from current responsibilities. In general, the total cost of this year’s expenditures for celebrating the Independence Day only in Kyiv may amount to 200-400 million UAH.

According to the rehearsal of the parade, it can be said that, in most cases, the old samples of military equipment developed during the Soviet era and, possibly, prototypes of new developments of Ukrainian “defense” will be demonstrated. Like the “donated” to Ukraine machines of the NATO Army. It is clear, that the spectacle will be striking – and it is unlikely that the rush of diesel engines and the slip of trucks will be able to cause citizens a higher sense of security and safety. The fact is, that among the spectators there is enough amount of those, who were in military service for 20-40 years – it is easy to see that there is no particular difference in the modernization of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. In practice, it corresponds to the level of equipment of the army of a potential enemy – that is, Russia. The trouble is that Ukraine is losing combat losses due to the use of Russian machines and it does not dare to respond adequately”, the journalist said.

Text by Dmytro Zhuravel

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