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Christmas in the Ukraine: The country cannot be deprived of the festival


A decorated tree that lights up thanks to muscle power, street barricades that become decorations: With creative ideas, Kievans fight for a little Christmas cheer during the war. And the police hand out gifts.

AreaRead the video transcript expand here

A break, a little joy, in the middle of the war.

At the main train station in Kyiv, people are celebrating the Christmas season.

The state railway company has set up a Christmas tree here.

The guests kick for the lighting.

Ukraine has to be careful with electricity and gas because Russian troops keep attacking the critical infrastructure.

There is also a large Christmas tree in front of the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, but not a real tree like usual, but a twelve meter high artificial tree.

It shines in the colors of Ukraine, with energy-saving lamps.

Vitali Klitschko, Mayor of Kiev:

»There was a lot of discussion about whether we should put up the Christmas tree or not.

But we decided that the children should not be deprived of such a wonderful holiday as St. Nicholas Day.

We won't let Christmas or New Year's get away from us.«

St. Nicholas Day is not celebrated in Ukraine until December 19th.

Saint Nicholas is considered the protector of children, soldiers and travelers.

On the morning of the holiday, Russia flew a kamikaze drone attack to destroy important energy supply infrastructure.

So the tree is also a kind of defiant reaction to attacks like this.

Vitali Klitschko, Mayor of Kiev:

“And we symbolically named it our tree of invincibility because we want to show that Ukrainians cannot be broken.

Despite all the challenges we are facing today.«

In daylight it becomes clear: Kyiv has also become creative.

Large blocks of stone used as street barricades are used as colorful Christmas decorations.

But the efforts are by no means limited to the capital.

Even in the embattled east of the country, people celebrated St. Nicholas Day.

Man in Santa Claus costume:

»I know that you were all good.

I wish you to do good things and I will protect you from evil.«

Police officers distribute gifts here.

They visit families at home and give the gifts.

They drive through partly completely destroyed areas.

They also attend the St. Nicholas celebrations.

Oleksandr Savenko, police officer

»The police always work for the people.

We don't want the children to experience the war.

We want them to have fun.

Children are our future.«

So, with all the restrictions and violence of war, Ukraine is trying to celebrate a Christmas season that is as peaceful and normal as possible.

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-12-21

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