NAfter new Russian attacks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj called on people to hold on in an emotional video message at Christmas. “We endured attacks, threats, nuclear blackmail, terror and missile strikes. Let’s get through this winter because we know what we’re fighting for,” Zelenskyy said in a video circulated on Christmas Eve. He was standing in the dark on the street with a Christmas tree and dim lights in the background.
“We believe that tears will give way to joy, that hope will come after despair, and death will be conquered by life,” Zelenskyy said. Millions of people in Ukraine and around the world are celebrating Christmas these days, he said. The President recalled Ukrainians who fled abroad or had to spend Christmas in Russian captivity. “We will bring freedom back to all Ukrainian women and men.”
After the Russian attacks on the country’s energy infrastructure, the streets and houses may not shine as brightly as usual this year, Zelensky said. But no Russian drone or missile can break the spirit of Christmas. “And even in total darkness we will find each other to hug tightly. And if there is no heating, we will warm ourselves with a big hug,” said Zelenskyy. “We will not wait for a miracle, we will create it ourselves.”
In Ukraine, December 25 is both an official Christmas day and January 7, when the Orthodox Christians celebrate. As a survey published a few days ago showed, more and more people are turning away from the orthodox tradition and are following the calendar of the western churches.
The Mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, also sent Christmas greetings on the news channel. The festival strengthens faith in hearts, he said. “We especially thank the defenders who are far from their hometowns and their relatives.” They are in the process of bringing victory closer and closer to Ukraine.
Dead and injured in shelling of Cherson
In the southern Ukrainian city of Cherson, the number of dead from artillery fire and explosions has risen to 16, according to authorities. In addition, 64 people were injured by Russian attacks, said the Ukrainian military governor Yaroslav Yanushevich on Sunday in his channel in the news service Telegram. Among the dead are three men who died while clearing mines.
The day before, Yanushevich had spoken of 10 dead and 55 injured. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy published photos of lifeless people in the center of the city recently liberated from Russian occupation on Telegram. Zelenskyy condemned the attack as another crime by the “terrorist state” Russia right before Christmas. There are no military targets there, Zelenskyy emphasized. It’s not a war. “It’s terror, it’s killing for the sake of intimidation and pleasure,” he said .