A Ukrainian angels gallery stands on the main squares of many Ukrainian cities – a searing tribute to the Heavenly Hundred, the modern spiritual angels of Ukraine.
The tragic events of January – February 2013 resulted in Ukrainian orphans around the country. There were and are those who would like to adopt a Ukrainian child. Grateful communities and local administrations have come together to support and protect the families of the fallen Ukrainian angels.
The Revolution of Dignity inspired politicians, activists and members of the Ukrainian diaspora to travel from around the world to meet Ukrainian men and women, amazing heroes prepared to uphold human dignity.
The Ukrainian angels gallery consists of 112 men and women. The youngest member of the gallery is only 17 years old – Nazar Voytyvych, while the oldest is 83 – Ivan Nakonechnyy. All of the angels were victims of police brutality and a corrupt regime. The events that brought to pass the Ukrainian angels gallery occurred in Kyiv, Ukraine in the winter of 2013 – 2014.
The Ukrainian angels gallery received it’s first member on January 22, 2014 (see below for details). Most of the Ukrainian angels were gunned down during the peaceful protests in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 18 – 21, 2014. Some died immediately. Others lived for a period of time before succumbing to the wounds they had received from state sponsored forces.
“Ukrainians. Russian. Armenians. Georgians. Jews… ‘Right-wing’ and ‘left-wing’, young and old, ‘eastern’ and ‘western.’ None of them had held weapons. All of them were killed by professional sniper fire, and the snipers saw very well who it was they were shooting.” (V.Kikhachev, 2014 – a new window will open).
The victims are commonly referred to as The Heavenly Hundred. Additionally, they are known as the Ukrainian Angels of Goodness and Light.
If you watch the video clip below you will be able to familiarize yourself with a gallery of faces. These are the beautiful Ukrainian angels.
The Ukrainian Angels and the Ukrainian Bard – A Coincidence?
Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861)
The killing of unarmed civilians – the Ukrainian angels – fully exposed a corrupt state administration. The violent and deadly events on the Maidan (Central Square) in Kyiv, Ukraine in January–February 2014 were unjustified and shameless. In order to protect its power and assets, the regime was prepared to commit murder.
The brutal and bloody events on the Maidan coincided with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ukraine's national bard and symbol – Taras Shevchenko (1814 – 1861). A poet, artist and political prisoner of conscience, Taras Shevchenko has been an inspiration for several generations of Ukrainians around the world.
Significantly, the Russian tsarist dynasty of the 19th century was terrified of any opposition from its Ukrainian subjects. Shevchenko's hand-written inaugural work, Try Lita (Three Years), incorporated many of his revolutionary writing – including Kavkaz (The Caucasus) featured below.
Penned in 1843-1845, the hand-written, unpublished clandestine anthology Try Lita (Three Years) became the reason for Shevchenko's subsequent arrest by the Russian Imperial Third Section secret police on April 5, 1847, confinement in St.Petersburg, sentencing and exile to to the Orsk Fortress in present-day Orenburg Oblast, Russia.
The video below is an excerpt from the 45 minute musical rendition of Kavkaz (The Caucasus) by Ukrainian composer Stanislav Liudkevych (1879 – 1979). It is based on the first 64 lines of Kavkaz (The Caucasus) by Taras Shevchenko. The final 8 lines are featured in this excerpt. The video clip includes a gallery of the Ukrainian angels – a tribute to The Heavenly Hundred.
І вам слава, сині гори
І вам, лицарі великі,
Богом не забуті.
Борітеся – поборите!
Вам Бог помагає!
За вас правда, за вас слава
І воля святая!
Text by Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861)
And glory to you, dark-blue mountains,
Frost and snow protect you;
And to you, great-hearted heroes,
God does not forget you.
Battle on – and win your battle!
God Himself will aid you;
At your side fight truth and glory,
Right and holy freedom.
Translated by Vera Rich (1936-2009)
The first Ukrainian angel – victim of the Maidan – was an ethnic Armenian. Serhiy Nigoyan (1993 – 2014) was born in the central regions of Ukraine, in the industrial heartland of Ukraine, south of the city of Dnipropetrovsk.
Nigoyan was the son of Armenian immigrants. His parents had fled the Nagorno-Karabakh War in the early 1990s and had moved to Ukraine seeking freedom and justice.
Serhiy Nigoyan was shot four times in the neck, head and chest on January 22, 2014 and died from his wounds at approximately 6:00am that morning. At the time of the shooting, he was unarmed.
If you watch the video clip above, you will see Serhiy Nigoyan near the end of the video clip. There is a very poignant scene of Nigoyan reciting the famous words to Taras Shevchenko’s Kavkaz – Борітеся! Поборите! (Battle on – and win your battle!). Significantly, the Maidan barricades are in the background.
The video clip with the first Ukrainian angel was taken by Sergii Proskurnia, director of the Shevchenko Theatre in Cherkasy, Ukraine. It was part of his project (a new window will open) to create a gallery of 365 people reciting the work of the great Ukrainian poet as a tribute to the 200th Anniversary of Shevchenko's birth.
Angels are supernatural beings or spirits. The English word angel comes from the Late Latin angelus meaning 'a messenger of God'.
Jewish, Christian and Islam traditions – all have angels that act as messengers between Heaven and Earth. In all three religious traditions, some of the angels even have names and perform specific duties. One such angel is Michael, who is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Quran.
In the Ukrainian Eastern Christian tradition, the Archangel Michael (Архистратиг Михаїл) is considered to be the protector of the central regions of Ukraine. Additionally, in icons, the Archangel Michael is depicted as a warrior.
On the right is the Order of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes portraying the warrior Archangel Michael. Established on November 3, 2014, it is awarded to those who have exhibited outstanding acts in upholding Ukrainian independence, its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
According to The Book of Revelations, Archangel Michael is the angel who defeats Satan in the final battle between Good and Evil. His feast day is celebrated on November 21. It was on this day that, in 2013, the call went out for Ukrainian citizens to come out, into the streets of Kyiv. This was the beginning of the Revolution of Dignity – the Maidan – and ultimately, the genesis of the Heavenly Hundred – the Ukrainian Angels.
The Heavenly Ukrainian Angels – On Guard for Thee!
In the Christian tradition, angels are not only messengers between God and His people. They are also guardians. The special guardian angel which everyone receives at birth is considered to be a personal protector and guardian.
Ти бачив як Ангели в небо летіли?
Так-так, саме в Небо, а не навпаки…
Від пострілів влади отак відлітали
До Бога назавжди вкраїнські сини.
Сьогодні не в силі і сильні змовчати
Бо кожного серце від болю кричить
Коли на Майдані відспівують СОТНЮ
Що в вічність у славі до Бога летить.
Look, unto heaven the Angel ascends
Yes, unto Heaven and not down to Earth…
Propelled by the force of state sponsored bullets
Ukraine’s children rise up to God from this earth.
For even the strong can stay silent no more
It’s today that our hearts are lamenting, in mourning.
The Maidan honours it’s HEAVENLY HUNDRED
Up to God, for eternity, our Angels are soaring.
But why are the Heavenly Hundred considered by so many to be the Ukrainian angels?
This is not the place to discuss theology and biblical interpretation. For Christians the words of Jesus in Matthew 22:23-32 ring true: «…At the resurrection, people… will be like the angels in heaven.»
Do humans transform into angels at death and become a part of the heavenly gallery?
According to Ukrainian tradition, the departed are often endowned with the ability to come-between the spiritual and physical worlds. Departed ancestors are considered protectors of the family hearth. It is, therefore, completely in keeping with a Ukrainian world-view that those who were innocent but brutally killed, martyrs in the struggle for human dignity, would be considered angels – messengers and protectors of the Ukrainian nation.