By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KYIV (Worthy News) – Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged his people to celebrate the birth of Jesus despite Russian attacks devastating his wartorn nation. His appeal comes as many Ukrainians observe Christmas in bomb shelters.
Ukrainian President Zelensky said in a Christmas message that he realized Russian missiles and drone attacks left millions of Ukrainians without power this winter.
But he urged the many Ukrainians celebrating this Christmas in bomb shelters not to give up hope.
Zelensky made clear that Christ’s light and hope persevere. “Even in complete darkness, we will find each other,” the president said, standing outside dressed in his trademark olive-green military clothes near a Christmas tree. He told his nation: “We will find each other to hug each other tightly. And if there is no heat, we will hug for a long time to warm each other. We will celebrate our holidays as always. We will smile and rejoice as always. The difference is one: we will not wait for a miracle because we create it ourselves. Christ is born. Glorify Him.”
His words resonated in the streets of Kyiv, the capital. Some said they would celebrate Ukraine’s first Christmas since Russia’s invasion began in darkness if necessary. “Yes, we will do it [celebrating Christmas] even without candlelight. We will do it because we have the fire in our hearts,” said a young man carrying a toddler at a Kyiv Christmas market.
Ukraine previously also celebrated Orthodox Christmas, but the Russian Orthodox Church here has come under government pressure over its alleged ties with Moscow.
Yet, the Christmas cheer has been overshadowed by reports that at least ten people were killed in new Russian air strikes since Saturday in Ukraine’s southern Kherson city.
The regional authorities said nearly 70 others were injured and urgently requested residents to donate blood.
Elsewhere workers in Russian-occupied Mariupol have begun dismantling the theatre in the southern city, where Kyiv said hundreds were killed in a Russian airstrike.
Russia has denied deliberately targeting civilian sites, despite mounting evidence suggesting otherwise.
However, while Europe’s worst armed conflict since the Second World War is far from over, Ukrainians seem determined to celebrate Christmas.
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