This is a significant thing. Kyiv Post. Ukraine marks independence anniversary for the first time without a military parade.
Power and its projection were celebrated in Soviet times and even afterward here. All parades were military parades and they were for domestic as well as for foreing consumption. To cow the citizenry? Maybe there was some of that but a lot of the citizenry identified with the military and remembered the sacrifices made during the Great Patriotic War against fascism. It was more of a unifying theme for the people, something they all could identify with and made them a part of the whole, a Soviet. And that helped the state, of course.
It was said that Stalin couldn't get anyone to fight for the party so he brought back the concept of the Motherland. The citizens were engaged in protecting the Motherland in the fight against Hitler. I guess that means that communists were pragmatists too. (Stalin is even supposed to have brought back Orthodox religious worship and I think even gave back some of the sacred church icons. All to aid in the war effort. Was the Soviet Union all about communist dogma or was it simply a matter of maintaining power? But I digress.)
But that changed yesterday and I think that means the identity has changed too. Maybe it also means a lack of a unifying theme for the country, I don't know. It is all a result of more democracy but many might be a bit nostalgic here in a few years for those good old days when they were all in it together. (Didn't Plato say that a democrat--small "d"-- had so many things he could possibly do that he had a hard time concentrating on any one of them to the exclusion of all the others? Something like that?) If more were put into cultivating it, the Maidan and the Orange Revolution might just be able to take its place.