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KIEV, August 24 (Itar-Tass) — Ukraine on Friday for the 21st time marks the national holiday - Independence Day.
Kiev residents this time will not see the traditional military parade in the city’s Kreshchatik Street – the holiday program consists of concerts and sports events. The festivities will begin with a ceremony honouring Prince Vladimir the Great, during the rule of which the baptism of Kievan Rus took place. President Viktor Yanukovich will attend the ceremony. He will also lay a wreath at the Monument to Taras Shevchenko and the first President of the Ukrainian state, Mikhail Grushevsky.
A singing marathon is beginning in the morning in Independence Square (Maidan) and a basketball tournament in the open in Kreshchatik. Matches between 40 men’s, 16 women’s and the same number of youth teams will be played at ten sites simultaneously. In Proreznaya Street located nearby “office chair races” will be held, and on the sidewalk in front of the Central Post Office building street artists will leave graffiti – greeting messages on the occasion of Independence Day.
Politicians will also make their contribution to the festive atmosphere. Seven political parties and organisations have submitted applications to stage mass events. The country’s ruling Party of Regions invites Kiev residents to a festive rally-concert in Sophia Square. The united opposition has called on its supporters to take part in a demonstration, which will end with a rally near the Monument to Shevchenko.
The program of festivities includes dozens of different actions, not only in Ukrainian the capital. An international festival of culture and history called “Epics of Ancient Kiev of the 9th-11th centuries” will be held in its suburbs. Taking part in the reconstruction of the historical events will be over 700 people, mostly actors, musicians, and craftsmen from around the world, including Russia. The festival is devoted to three dates – the 1,530th anniversary of Kiev, the 1,150th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Kievan Rus and the 1,130th anniversary of the declaration of Kiev its capital.