Kyiv, 22 January...
22 January - an important day to any Ukrainian. On this day, in 1919, the eastern and western regions of Ukraine, long controled by numerous foreign powers, were united into a single, independent Ukrainian state. For present-day Ukraine this day also marks a modern anniversary, that of the "Ukrainian Wave" of 22 January 1990, a human chain stretching from the city of Ivano-Frankivsk, through Lviv, and on to Kyiv, Ukraine's capital. On this day hundred's of thousand's of people joined hands across Ukraine to show the unity of all Ukrainian peoples.
This year, on Saturday, 22 January 2000, thousand's of people formed another living chain along Kyiv's Volodymyr Street, from St. Sophia's Plaza to the Taras Shevchenko monument. Even frost and a chill wind could not deter the participants. Members of various organizations in Kyiv and the surrounding region, including the Ukrainian Youth Association of Ukraine, took part, under hundreds of blue and yellow flags.
The participants then gathered at St. Sophia's Plaza where Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church led the assembled people in a prayer service (moleben). National Deputies from a number of political parties addressed the crowd, emphasizing the historical significance of 22 January in Ukrainian history, as well as urging all to work together for a strong and unified Ukraine.