(QHA) -

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced new official holidays to mark two crucial days in a year of upheaval.

The president's website says November 21 has been declared the Day of Dignity and Freedom, while January 22 will mark the Day of Unity.

On November 21, 2013, former President Viktor Yanukovych announced Ukraine would not sign an association agreement with the European Union and would instead seek better economic ties with Russia.

That touched off the "EuroMaidan" protests that led to the fall of Yanukovych and his government three months later.

Poroshenko's website said the November 21 holiday will also commemorate the 2004 "Orange Revolution."

On January 22, 2014, the first anti-Yanukovych protesters were shot dead during clashes with the police.

Russia annexed Crimea in March and more than 4,000 people have been killed in a conflict between government forces and pro-Russian separatist in eastern Ukarine.

QHA