How much money did you spend on your birthday at most? A few thousand hryvnias for a party? Or a few tens of thousands — for a respectable anniversary? During the quarantine, we started spending less on such feasts because it was impossible to gather a large company, and because we are used to saving money.

However, the current celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine has become an absolute exception to this rule. As of August 17, government agencies have already spent UAH 115 mln for its preparation in Prozorro. In addition, in the near future contracts for at least UAH 80 mln more are planned to be signed.

We are trying to understand what this money was used for, and what else is to be purchased.

Previously, the amount spent on Independence Day was ten times less. For example, in 2020, such expenses amounted to only UAH 4 mln, and in 2019 — UAH 10 mln. It is impossible to compare it with the expenses for the previous anniversary — the 25th anniversary —because most of the procurement transactions were conducted using paper tenders. After the launch of Prozorro, only UAH 870,000 was spent on Independence Day in 2016.

However, the current celebration differs in scale. In addition to activities in the capital, more than 150 events will be held throughout Ukraine. This year, the national flags in the regions have also been renovated. Back in January, the Presidential Office instructed that each regional state administration install the largest national flag of Ukraine in the region on the National Flag Day on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of independence of Ukraine.

Moreover, the Independence Day’s budget included many infrastructure projects: restoration of airports in regional centers, various attractions, launch of a spacecraft. According to predictions of the Ministry of Finance, it will cost the budget UAH 5.4 bln.

Celebrations in Kyiv

The main festive events, of course, will take place in the capital. First of all, the Festive Parade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will take place on August 24. The Specexpotrade company will shoot it, as well as the parade in Odesa; the company belongs to Lviv resident Bohdan Tril and a resident of the Petrivskyi village (Kyiv oblast) Yurii Bilovus. They received a contract for almost UAH 20 mln.

Under the contract, in addition to filming, a theatrical performance “DNA” will be organized: everything from the concept to its implementation in detail — costumes, makeup, props, special effects, and so on. Probably, by theatrical action they mean a festive concert on Independence Day. It will be held at the Olympic Stadium. Renting a concert space is another procurement transaction for more than UAH 5 mln.

On August 24, in addition to DNA concert, a concert of an Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli will also take place in Kyiv. The event is fundraising, and although it is announced and promoted, it is closed — admission is by invitation. Probably, it will be organized by the PE PKS, whose owners are Kyiv residents Yurii Koshel and Mariia Semenova. They received a contract for UAH 19.5 mln to organize a celebrative concert with the participation of the President, officials, diplomats, international organizations, the Ukrainian diaspora, scientists, creative intelligentsia, and clergy.

The funds raised from this concert, as well as from the DNA tickets, will be sent to the charity foundation “Modern Art Foundation.” It was founded on the initiative of Volodymyr Zelenskyy to create a center for Contemporary Art — the Ivan Marchuk Museum. By the way, tickets for DNA can be purchased at the link.

As part of the Independence Day celebration, a free music event will also be held. Travel concert Ark “Ukraine: ten centuries of Ukrainian music” will be held on August 22 on Mykhailivska square. Its TV version will be shown on the 1+1 TV channel. The program includes the most famous compositions of the last millennium: from carols to modern music. TOV MediaTek PR received a contract for UAH 15 mln to organize this concert.

Several official events will also be held in the capital. On August 22, the award show National Legend of Ukraine will be held. Citizens will be awarded annually for outstanding services in the formation of an independent Ukraine, strengthening its statehood, defending the homeland, and serving the Ukrainian people. This is also an initiative of the President. This year, UAH 6.8 mln will be spent on the awardThe main contractor — the event agency LM Production — will provide the awards itself (UAH 1.6 mln), the event scenario and its implementation, including scenery, lighting, and mini films (UAH 1.7 mln). SE “Garant Service” will provide catering services for the event for almost UAH 140,000.

On August 23, the Constituent Summit of the Crimean Platform will be held. This is a diplomatic initiative of Ukraine to promote the deoccupation of Crimea and protect the rights of people there. As many countries as possible are engaged in it so that the platform becomes a collegial subject of interaction with Russia on Crimea. The summit will be held at the Kyiv International Convention Center Parkovy. UAH 6.8 mln was spent on the script, decor, VR Zone, videos, and other multimedia products for the event. SP Ihor Malakhov from Kyiv will be responsible for organizing the event. However, in addition to this, 31 more contracts are to be concluded for almost UAH 10 mln: logistics, advertising, catering, transportation, and much more.

National celebration

Most of the funds for official events was spent in Kyiv oblast, as expected, (in particular, in Kyiv) — UAH 168 mlnDnipropetrovsk oblast comes second in terms of expenses — UAH 6.4 mlnKharkiv oblast comes third, having spent UAH 4.6 mln.

Dnipropetrovsk oblast came second in terms of spending on Independence Day due to a large procurement amounting to UAH 4.2 million, spent for organization of the Free Sky air show. On August 21, a huge Ukrainian flag will be unfurled at the airfield in the village of Maiske, and paratroopers will “dance” hopak at an altitude of more than 4 km. There will be a performance of Ruslana and Ivan Navi and a fair organized for the guests. Olena Molotova, an SP from Dnipro, will be engaged in the entire organization: from providing flights and performances of paratroopers to organizing a food zone and holding a flash mob.

The two largest procurement transactions in Kharkiv are the equipment for the festive event: lighting and multimedia equipment for UAH 1.2 mlnsound equipment and construction for UAH 1.3 mln. Both procurement transactions were competitive. Contracts were awarded to SP Volodymyr Khukhrianskyi and TOV Show-Light Firm “Feeria.”

The largest national flag of Ukraine

Before Independence Day, Ukraine will celebrate National Flag Day: large flags will be raised in all regions of the country on August 23. On this occasion, back in January, the Presidential Office instructed that each regional state administration install the largest national flags of Ukraine for the holiday.

According to data of the StateWatch organization, at least UAH 170 mln was spent on this project. The most expensive was a stele with national symbols in Kharkiv — it cost UAH 24.5 mln. The second in terms of cost is the flag in Brovary (Kyiv oblast). Almost UAH 20.8 mln was spent on its construction. The Sumy, Ternopil, Odesa, and Kherson regional state administrations decided to do without budget funds in this case. In Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia, the highest flags were installed earlier, in previous years.

UAH 4.6 million more will be paid for a communication campaign for flag-raising ceremonies. The President and other officials will take part in the events. This is not the end of the holiday expenses — video recording and creating a video clip are purchased separately for the event in Kyiv. This will cost more than UAH 1 mln.

Lots of videos

At least UAH 42 mln has been spent on video content this year. Shooting and creating videos was often purchased for individual events, such as when the President would raise the flag. Sometimes such services were included in the list that was purchased as the organization of the event — filming the parade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was part of the procurement of the DNA concert. In addition, several large procurement transactions were conducted exclusively for video production.

International Broadcasting Multimedia Platform of Ukraine ordered the production of a documentary series about 30 years of Ukraine’s independence. It is this state-owned enterprise that owns foreign broadcasting channels UA (in Russian about Ukraine for other countries) and DOM (also Russian-speaking, but for residents of Ukraine’s temporarily occupied territories). The production of 30 documentary videos of 20 minutes each will cost the budget UAH 4 mln. The videos will be in Russian. The series was ordered from Fresh Production UA, whose founders are Serhii Kotenko, Yuliia Cherniavska, and Oleh Shcherbyna, through the Cyprus company MV Movi World Limited. Among the well-known documentary projects, it was the films “’Word’ House” (2017), “Crimea. The Stolen Peninsula” (2019), and “1944. Deportation” that the company shoot.

UAH 9.8 mln will be spent on another documentary series, but this time about the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence. These will include 26 60-second videos, a 90-second video, and a 26-minute documentary. The series should reveal the Independence Day of Ukraine as a holiday of the whole nation, focusing on the concept of unity, the long-term civilizational development of the Ukrainian people and our statehood, as well as the historical process of restoring Independence. Services were ordered from the capital’s Light Communication company, whose founders are Vitalii Shapovalenko and director Yevhen Vysokovskyi.

Infrastructure projects

Finally, despite all the expenses on the celebration, the highest amount — UAH 5.4 mln — is planned to be spent on infrastructure projects.  UAH 570.2 mln is to be spent on the construction of the Kyiv — Lviv — Sknyliv euro track, UAH 1.3 bln — on the completion of the second stage of the National Museum of the Holodomor Genocide, and UAH 1.2 bln — on the completion of the New Okhmatdyt hospital complex. 6 regional airports are also to be modernized. In addition, this year, also on the occasion of the anniversary of independence, a Ukrainian satellite is to be launched into space.

Prozorro already involves the following procurement transactions from these plans:

  • UAH 440 mln — reconstruction of the runway of the Kherson airport;
  • UAH 306 mln — restoration of the building of the Ukrainian National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music;
  • UAH 98 mln — reconstruction of radio-technical means of navigation and landing of the airfield complex of the RME Rivne International Airport;
  • UAH 6.6 mln — reproduction of the tombstone monument to Prince Kostiantyn Ostrozkyi in the Dormition Cathedral of the National Reserve “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.”