(QHA) -

Russia’s BM-21 launch vehicle “Grad” is being displayed at the central square of Simferopol, Crimea, ahead of Defender of the Fatherland Day, one of Russia’s public holidays celebrated nationwide Feb 23.

There are also modern tools used by the Ministry of Emergency Situation displayed at the square.

It should be noted that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has abolished the Defender Day marked Feb 23, and announced Oct 14 the Day of Ukraine's Defender, saying Ukraine would ‘no longer celebrate foreign holidays.

According to a presidential statement the day is for "honouring the courage and heroism of the defenders of the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, military traditions and triumphs of the Ukrainian people, contributing to the further strengthening of patriotic spirit in the community"

The date religious holiday celebrates the Virgin Mary and patron saint of Ukrainian Cossacks.

Russia’s Defender Day holiday marks the date in 1918 during the Russian Civil War when the first mass draft into the Red Army occurred. The holiday was given its current name after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Previously it had been known as Red Army Day and later Soviet Army and Navy Day.

QHA