Sweden sent three copies of Pylyp Orlyk’s Constitution, a significant Ukrainian heritage, to Ukraine for the country’s national Constitution Day on June 28.
“One (copy of Pylyp Orlyk’s Constitution) was exhibited in the lobby of the Verkhovna Rada in the morning. The second will be in the President’s Office. The third will be held in the Constitutional Court,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said during a speech in the Verkhovna Rada on June 28 to mark the 25th anniversary of Ukraine’s adoption of the 1996 Constitution.
The landmark earlier Constitution, written by Cossack hetman Pylyp Orlyk in 1710, was the first official document to establish a Ukrainian government in legislative, executive, and judiciary branches.
Ukraine will receive the original document on Aug. 24, its 30th Independence Day, for the first time in 311 years.
In May, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine had requested Sweden to send the original Latin version of Pylyp Orlyk’s Constitution for its temporary display in Ukraine as part of the celebration of its 30th Independence anniversary.
“These were very difficult negotiations, we were offered a copy, but we only wanted the original, which has never been in Ukraine,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced on Facebook on May, 21.
The official document will be kept in St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv with free access together with the mace of Ukrainian historical figures hetman Pylyp Orlyk and hetman Petro Mazepa.
“The presence of the original Constitution in an independent state is another step in restoring our historical continuity from the times of Kyivan Rus, the Cossack state, the Ukrainian National Republic up to this day,” Kuleba said.
The current Ukrainian Constitution was modeled after Pylyp Orlyk’s Constitution, one of the first attempts to establish a modern form of government in Europe.
The Ukrainian parliament, or Verkhovna Rada, adopted its Constitution in 1996, five years after the country became independent following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
According to the first article of the Constitution, Ukraine is a sovereign, independent, democratic, social and legal state. The final version of the document determines Ukraine’s form of government, civil rights, as well as the organization of state and local authorities.
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