Azerbaijan celebrates Armed Forces Day every 26 June to commemorate the institution of a national military force on this date back in 1918.
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In the chaotic aftermath of the Russian Empire’s defeat in World War I, Azerbaijan took opportunity to declare its independence from Russia on 28 May, 1918. Within a month, Azerbaijan also voted to establish its own armed forces to defend its newly proclaimed freedom.
After the “distractions” World War I and the Russian Civil War had sufficiently waned, Russia invaded Azerbaijan to re-establish its control over that territory in 1920, though under a new Soviet government. Despite fierce resistance, Azerbaijan was reconquered, and most of its generals were punitively executed.
After the fall of the USSR, Azerbaijan again declared its independence in 1992 and re-established its own armed forces. In 1998, the government of Azerbaijan declared Armed Forces Day a public holiday to be celebrated on 26 June, in remembrance of the first attempts at independence 70 years earlier.
On Armed Forces Day, there are various military parades, patriotic speeches, and other public events held all over the country of Azerbaijan.