85th Anniversary of the Battle at Kruty
On 22nd January 1918, the Ukrainian Central Rada proclaimed an independent Ukraine, under the name of the Ukrainian National Republic. This Act would give the indigenous population the freedom and equal rights they had been denied for centuries whilst under occupational and Soviet rule.
It is with regret that at this time, whilst the country was still under attack from its enemies, Ukraine did not have a national army.
On 29th January 1918, only seven days after the declaration of independence, 300 Ukrainian university students chose to block the route of the Bolsheviks into the city of Kiev, by positioning themselves at the railway station at Kruty. The young scholars, with no military training and limited weapons at their disposal, were physically no match for the Bolshevik army, and nearly all 300 men died in battle.
For sumivti (members of the Ukrainian Youth Association), the battle at Kruty is of particular importance: it signifies the tremendous courage displayed by young people, who sacrificed their lives for Ukraine, to protect her from further carnage and oppression which had been imposed on her by her enemies for many years past. Each year, CYM in Bradford commemorates this event. 2003 marks 85 years since 300 students died defending the honour of their country.
On Sunday 2nd February at 12.30pm at the Ukrainian Club in Bradford, all members of Oseredok CYM in Bradford and the local Ukrainian community held a commemoration in honour of the 300 Ukrainian students who died at the Battle of Kruty in 1918, whilst defending the honour of their country. Druh Mark Danylczuk read an article describing the events which lead up to the battle at Kruty and the aftermath. The Leader of CYM in Bradford, Druh Stefan Jarockyj, emphasised the importance of this tremendous display of courage by the young men who gave their lives for Ukraine and its significance to sumivti today, and why we should, and will, continue to commemorate this event. The singing of the Ukrainian National Anthem closed proceedings.