Оn January 29 Ukraine commemorates
the defenders of Ukrainian People's Republic (Ukrainian state in the period
1917 - 1920), who died on this day in 1918 in an unequal battle near Kruty, defending the right of the Ukrainian people to live
in their own state.
99 years ago at the railway station, located at a distance
of 130 km. north-east of Kyiv, there was a battle between troops, which
included students and militants of Free Cossacks – a total number was about 400
people, and the 4.000 unit of the Red Army headed by Mikhail Muravyov (later executed by the Bolsheviks for his cruelty
During about 5-hours-long battle the soldiers of the UNR
caused significant losses to the enemy (several hundred soldiers), but many of
them also died. They failed to stop the advance of the Bolsheviks, but,
damaging the railway track, they delayed them for a few days.
The tragic death of students near Kruty
became a symbol of patriotism and sacrifice in the struggle for independent
Ukraine. The famous Ukrainian poet Pavlo Tychyna
dedicated to young heroes a poem named "In Memory of Thirty".
In accordance to the Decree of the President of Ukraine
dated January 15, 2007 January 29 has been declared the Day of Kruty Heroes. This is not only a date to celebrate, but
also a lesson of how a small group of people can do great things that affect
the whole nation.