Victor Yushchenko called on the nation to unite in a speech on Friday to mark  the 90th anniversary of the creation of the Ukrainian Central Rada, according to the President`s press-office.

“We must remember the great experience and difficult lessons of the Ukrainian Central Rada in the creation of Ukraine. We follow the path of our glorious predecessors, confirm the irreversibility of our choice to develop the Ukrainian state and build its new future, which depends on each of us,” he said.

The President said the Central Rada played a pivotal role in the country’s history at the beginning of the twentieth century and helped Ukraine become independent. 

“The Ukrainian nation esteems and remembers its leaders and heroes, who sacrificed their lives on the altar of independence, sovereignty, and national rebirth.”

The Central Rada was a representative body formed in 1917 in Kyiv to govern the Ukrainian People`s Republic. It moved from being a representative solely of ethnic Ukrainians to the incorporation of other ethnic and national groups in Ukraine, and issued four Universals, which began with Ukrainian autonomy within a democratic federal Russia and ended with sovereignty and complete national independence for the Ukrainian People`s Republic.

During its brief existence between 1917 and 1918, the Central Rada, which was headed by the famous Ukrainian historian, Mykhailo Hrushevsky, was the fundamental governing institution of the Ukrainian People`s Republic and set precedents in parliamentary democracy and national independence.