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VIDEO. 'Russia won't steal Christmas', Ukraine celebrates New Year's Eve across the country


The mayor of kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, earlier this week lit a tree in the center of the city, assuring that he would not leave the

The weeks are alike lately in kyiv.

Last Monday, the day began with a series of attacks on a set of critical infrastructure in the Ukrainian capital.

But at the end of the day, an artificial tree 12 m high was installed in the center of the capital, symbolically decorated with doves of Peace.

But this is also the case in many other cities in the country, such as Karkhiv where a tree has been installed in the metro.

A few dozen residents braved the freezing cold to admire the tree - which adjoins kyiv's Saint Sophia Cathedral and its famous golden domes - and take selfies.

Among them, the tour operator Natalya.

She is delighted with AFP: the tree "brings a festive atmosphere in such a difficult period".

"It's such an iconic part of our holiday season," she adds, pointing to the tree illuminated by a constellation of blue and yellow dots, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

At the top is the country's coat of arms, which depicts a gold trident.

"The Russians are trying to deprive our citizens of a normal life, but we won't let them steal the biggest holidays - New Years and Christmas - from our children," the city's mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said during the the inauguration of the tree.

"Tree of Invincibility"

According to Orthodox tradition, Ukrainians celebrate Christmas on January 7, but polls show a growing number of people preferring to bring the date forward to December 25, in line with other churches.

An Interfax-Ukraine poll shows that support for this change has increased from 26% in 2021 to 44% in 2022. Kyiv City Hall was initially reluctant to install the tree, said the mayor, referring to attacks from Russian forces that caused blackouts and drained the Ukrainian power grid.

As a result, millions of people were left without electricity in the middle of winter.

In this context, the city has adapted.

The fairy tree lights are therefore powered by a diesel generator, and decorations from previous years are reused.

"We called it the Christmas tree of Ukrainian invincibility," Klitschko said, stressing that everything was done "so that the children have a holiday despite the difficult times."

But it's hard to ignore the conflict and get into the Christmas spirit.

"There is no particular festive atmosphere," says Tetyana Prykhodko, accountant.

She has just moved from Kherson, a city in southern Ukraine occupied for months by Russian forces.

“I just hope that eventually everything will end, and that peace will come.

We are all waiting for it,” she said.

Source: leparis

All life articles on 2022-12-24

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